INDEPENDENT NEWS

Beyond Haka to Te Puia for Rugby World Cup Fans

Published: Fri 18 Nov 2005 02:40 PM
Beyond the Haka to Te Puia for Rugby World Cup Fans
Te Puia, one of New Zealand’s most visited paid tourist attractions, is celebrating the NZRU’s successful Rugby World Cup bid for 2011 to bring the event to New Zealand soil.
More than half a million visitors a year visit Te Puia’s Whakarewarewa geothermal valley in Rotorua.
With the World Cup expected to bring three-times as many rugby fans to New Zealand as this year’s Lions tour, Te Puia can now invest confidently in its future business development.
Andrew Te Whaiti, CEO of Te Puia, says: “We hosted the Lions last year with great success. We received fantastic feedback from the players and supporters. Te Puia is perfectly suited to showcase Maori culture, arts and crafts and the geothermal valley – all key motivators for the international tourist.”
Waimaria Erueti, General Manager – Sales & Marketing– Te Puia says: “We’re excited about the economic benefits this will bring to the country as a whole and as New Zealand’s leading Maori cultural and geothermal visitor attraction in New Zealand we’re looking forward to showcasing our world class facility to the visiting international rugby fans.”
Te Puia is currently conducting significant work on developing the geothermal valley and tourism products it offers including night tours, banquets next to the geysers, future-proofing their Kiwi breeding programme and promoting their arts and crafts institute.
“Our research tells us that tourists from the United Kingdom in particular tend to be ‘FIT’ – Free Independent Travellers,” Ms Erueti says.
“They want an authentic cultural experience and enjoy learning about nature. They relish the chance to interact with our local guides and learn as much as they can about traditional ways, medicines from the bush and our Maori legends.
“New Zealand and Rotorua will be on the world stage again and we will be investing heavily in our facility to showcase a memorable experience for every rugby fan that comes to Te Puia,” she says.
Whakarewarewa has about 500 mud pools and at least 65 geyser vents, each with their own name. Seven geysers are active, the most famous, Pohutu, meaning big splash or explosion. In front of visitors Pohutu can erupt up to 30 metres high, depending on its mood. Te Puia is the most accessible geyser in the world and is the only natural geyser of this sort anywhere in New Zealand.
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