Visiting Napier proved to be very different than my previous day in the capital. Napier is much smaller and more of a beach town. I received another tour for this day to have a look at the cultural heritage of the region. “Archway to the Ancestors,” as this excursion was titled, took us to the ancestral property, called Hakikino, of modern-day descendants of a Maori tribe of the area.

I have to admit that the experience went a little beyond my comfort zone. I didn’t love the idea of these people taking their family’s traditions and showing them off for money, although I can’t think of a better way for the past to live on. Regardless of that, I am very thankful to have gone. The property’s beauty cannot easily be described. I would have been ecstatic solely with the views from the drive, but it was even more exciting to have come out of the experience with more knowledge of this region’s history and beliefs. They even had us try poi! I’ve always wanted to master it. I have to say; my first tutored experience was way more successful than I had imagined it would be!