On the day of our trip we met by the gates and waited for a member of the tangata whenua to welcome us onto the marae. The powhiri (welcome) was a new experience for many of us and we listened carefully to the rolling sounds of the te reo Maori we could hear being spoken. In the wharenui (meeting house) we each introduced ourselves and were told that our names are now part of the marae and we are welcome back any time.
After the official welcome we were called to the wharekai (eating area) for a delicious morning tea, yum!
Next we headed on a walk amongst the beautiful native bush. It was a magical place and we were told about the Maori beliefs that Tane created the forest, birds and insects. We looked carefully at the underside of ferns to find the silver fern and saw kawakawa that one of our families makes into creams for skin. We saw huge big tall trees and lots of amazing plants and bushes.
Next we headed to the whare taonga (museum) and saw different artefacts and photos. When we were back into the wharenui we had lots of fun with poi and flax balls before singing more waiata.
What a great experience for all the tamariki (children), whanau (families) and kaiako (teachers) involved. We look forward to returning again next year with another group of four year olds.