The Lonely Planet Travel Guide lists the Kawhia Kai Festival as a “must see” event and one of the top ten Maori experiences for visitors to New Zealand. The festival is held on the beautiful Kawhia foreshore and showcases a feast of traditional Maori Kai (food), freshly gathered from the land and sea.
Festival goers will also have a unique opportunity to view experienced artists at work and gain an insight into Maori art and craft with sites featuring rāranga (flax weaving), wood carving and more.
Amongst some of the delicious fare available is the traditional hangi served in kono (flax serving basket).
As the spiritual and ancestral home for the region’s Maori tribe Tainui, Kawhia is a significant place to celebrate Maori culture. The Tainui waka (canoe) made its final landfall at Kawhia harbour in the 13th century, and this became the first settlement for the Tainui people.