Poihakena tours: stories of Maori in Sydney

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From $34.34

5 reviews   (5.00)

Price varies by group size

Lowest Price Guarantee

Pricing Info: Per Person

Duration: 2 hours

Departs: Sydney, Sydney

Ticket Type: Mobile or paper ticket accepted

Free cancellation

Up to 24 hours in advance.

Learn more


Poihākena tours: stories of Māori in Sydney is based in The Rocks where Māori have lived, loved, visited, traded and worked for over 228 years. It is the only Māori tour in Australia, where one in five Māori now live. Poihākena tours are led by Māori Guides, passionate and knowledgeable about Māori Culture and history.

What's Included

Tour commentary

Traveler Information

  • INFANT: Age: 1 - 3
  • CHILD: Age: 4 - 15
  • ADULT: Age: 16 - 110

Additional Info

  • COVID-19 vaccination required for guides
  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Infants and small children can ride in a pram or stroller
  • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
  • Public transportation options are available nearby
  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
  • COVID-19 vaccination required for guides
  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Infants and small children can ride in a pram or stroller
  • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
  • Public transportation options are available nearby
  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience

Cancellation Policy

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours before the scheduled departure time.

  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Experience may be cancelled due to Insufficient travelers
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

What To Expect

The Rocks
The tour begins in Campbells Cove, at the harbour edge with a welcome in Māori language, (translated for visitors), and stories of early Māori visitors to Sydney since 1793. The tour meanders through The Rocks including cobblestoned laneways.

60 minutes • Admission Ticket Free

The Rocks Discovery Museum
After visiting a timeline and other sites in The Rocks, the tours visits The Rocks Discovery Museum. At the Museum visitors will see a Māori greenstone treasured object that was revealed on a dig site in The Rocks, and get 'hands on' with other Māori cultural treasures.

20 minutes • Admission Ticket Free

The Big Dig Archaeology Education Centre
Visit the archeological dig site where Māori cultural treasures have been revealed. See the actual locations they were found, the foundations of The Whalers Arms Hotel (a popular haunt of Māori whalers, sailors and traders) and walk down Māori Lane. The tour finishes with waiata (Māori song).

30 minutes • Admission Ticket Free


Wow, what a tour!
Angela P, 12-09-2015
Our guide was Hohepa - a man filled with knowledge and passion for the history of māori in Sydney.

Hohepa took us on a journey of enlightenment and ahh moments. This tour is one that is shows that māori were adventurers and entrepreneurs and persistent when needed.

It opened my eyes to hear some of these stories, stories from so long ago, stories that are documented, and to know how māori first came here to Sydney.

Not too strenuous, a few stairs and plenty of rests while you listen.
Awesome tour Poihakena Tours!

Truly enriched my understanding of Sydney & The Rocks
TeePeeH, 12-11-2014
Ive lived in Sydney for 11 years and the Poihakena Tour brought to light how little I knew. I learned about the Maori who helped build Sydney into the city it is today.
The telling of their stories and exploring the streets and alleys they once walked really help the experience to stick. The 2 hours guided walk seemed to fly by as we journeyed from 1700s to today.
If you are looking to delve into a new layer of the The Rocks then I would highly recommend this tour. Be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes and a hat if you are going on a nice day! There are stairs to climb but nothing to taxing.
And you thought you knew Sydney!
Bernie H, 17-08-2014
Kotahi Tours wonderful Poihakena adventure takes you deep into a Sydney you probably didn't even know existed. I've grown up in Sydney and spent my life exploring its nooks and crannies, and these two hours opened my eyes even further. You are guided through Maori Sydney with such care, passion and knowledge it makes for a totally unique experience. My guide was Hohepa, and he had so much knowledge and enthusiasm to share. A gifted storyteller with a wealth of experience, he really did bring Maori Sydney alive.

Maori have been travelling to Sydney since 1793, which places them at the absolute forefront of post-European Australian history. The stories of their experiences, travels, and entrepreneurial spirit make a major contribution to Australian history, as well as making The Rocks come alive. This tour is perfect for both tourists in Sydney and locals who think they know their city. It will give you an insight into the city from the very earliest days of settlement, and you'll never look at it quite the same way again. You hope that a tour like this will transport you into another time and place, and as you travel back into Poihakena, you do feel transported. Fascinating, captivating, and inspiring, I cannot recommend this tour highly enough.

And yes - the hangi lunch is well worth adding on to your tour!
Stays with you
JudeMaich, 16-07-2014
For me a 'meaningful experience' is one that stays with you, one that pops into your head so much that you can ignore it no longer and you find yourself on the internet looking for more information! The Poihakena tour has indeed provided me with all this and more. What an enlightening and wonderful 2 hours of stories, warmth and laughter. The walking tour had me looking at The Rocks and the role of Maori in early Sydney in a whole new light. I urge all visitors to Sydney to take the walking tour experience. Thank you Kotahi Tourism.
A Genuinely Meaningful Experience
RohanNSW, 08-07-2014
Kotahi Tourism promises 'meaningful experiences' on their website, and the Poihakena Tour certainly provides that. The tour consists of a two hour guided walking tour of The Rocks, interwoven with stories of Maori in Sydney. These stories cover the period from 1793 to the present , but have a strong emphasis on the pre-1840 era. Even for those familiar with Sydney's Maori history, these stories are told with a passion that brings them to life. I would highly recommend the Poihakena Tour to both locals and visitors to Sydney who want to see a different side of the city and understand its past a little better. The walking part of the tour is not strenuous and would be suitable for most fitness levels, though being The Rocks there are a lot of stairs to navigate. I would definitely recommend this tour as a cost-effective way to see a wonderful part of Sydney, better understand Australia's complex history, and enjoy a meaningful tourist experience.

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