We walked an exquisite local marae before leaving Rotorua, marveling at the area's tidy symmetry and detail.
At the front of the meeting house is the kōruru, carved to represent the face of the ancestor. The two long beams trailing down are the maihi and represent the arms, at the ends of which are the raparapa or fingers of the ancestor. Supporting the beams are the amo, or legs, holding up the entirety of the building. Finally, standing aloft at the top of the marae is the tekoteko, or statue, which represents the ancestor in all their revered likeness.
There was also a cemetery on site.
Then a stop at the grocery, whose full bins belied the note below. Between the heavy rains and cyclone some weeks ago, it's true though that many growing areas have been devastated.
Next time I'm going to get the green-lipped mussels...
And the individual units compel you to take off your shoes and stay awhile.
The Waitahanui Lodge has much more going for it, though. It sits steps from the Waitahanui River, world famous for its trout fishing. Just walking the winding river paths is a thrill. More on that next time.