- Poihākena is the Te Reo Māori word for Port Jackson – Sydney
- Māori have been coming to Australia since April 15th 1793
- Māori taonga (cultural treasures) have been found in The Rocks
- 1 in 5 Māori now live in Australia
Poihākena tours: stories of Māori in Sydney launches on the 221st anniversary of the first recorded arrival of Māori in Sydney.
Developed by Kotahi Tourism, Poihākena tours are based in the Rocks where Māori have lived, loved, traded, worked and died for over 200 years. Kotahi Tourism Director, Hohepa Ruhe says to expect a whole new perspective on The Rocks and Australian history, “Poihākena Tours give a voice to the stories of our (Māori) ancestors and whanau/family who came here before us. One in five Māori now live in Australia and these stories are a reminder of our strong connection to Australia and our history and heritage here.”
The tour launch takes place at The Big Dig Archaeology Education Center in The Rocks on a site of significance to Māori with rich links to the past including:
- Māori Lane
- The site of the former Whalers Arms – a favourite haunt of Māori in the 1840’s
- Māori taonga revealed in 1994 and 2012.
The launch of Poihākena Tours is a celebration of Koori and Māori culture and heritage. Ruhe: “We are not Tangata Whenua (the people of this land). Respect is utmost – we are the Manuhiri (visitors).”
Invited speakers and guests at the launch include Koori and Māori community leaders and Elders:
- Uncle Max Euilo who will perform a smoking ceremony on the site.
- Uncle Allen Madden, Metropolitan Aboriginal Land Council who will give the Welcome to Country.
- Aunty Margret Campbell, owner of The Rocks Dreaming Aboriginal Heritage Tour (also run in The Rocks)
- Shane Phillips, CEO Tribal Warrior Association
- Jo Kamira, author of Māori in Sydney – Dictionary of Sydney
- Brent Reihana, Māori Business Network
What to expect on Poihākena Tours
- Experience the Rocks from a Māori perspective, guided by local Māori passionate about their heritage and history – and who know how to tell a good story.
- Visit sites in The Rocks where Māori have lived, loved, visited, traded, worked and died since 1793
- See Māori taonga (‘cultural treasure’) found on a local archaeological dig site and now exhibited at The Rocks Discovery Museum
- Hear stories spanning 221 years:
- Visiting Māori chiefs; kidnappings; feeding a starving NSW colony…
- Wahine Toa – stories of Māori women
- Te Atahoe (the first Māori woman in Sydney)
- Maggie Papakura (well known Māori tour guide)
- ANZAC, Māori entertainers, sporting greats and more
Tours depart on Saturdays 11am – 1pm. Optional hāngi lunch. Group and school bookings at other times are available on request. Book Now
Media Enquiries: Hohepa Ruhe
T: 02 4456 4848