The ATAMIRA Māori in the City festival was going on this weekend down on Queens Wharf a few minutes from our hotel. It is a festival celebrating the native Māori culture with musical performances, art galleries, exhibits and food stands all along the beautiful Auckland waterfront.

As we strolled around the exhibits, we saw the beautiful handmade sculptures made from Jade, bone and wood. We took in some of the native cuisine with a delicious steak fried bread, a mussel fritter on a fry bread and icecream in a pineapple! All were delicious!

Steak Fried Bread Mussel Fritter on a Fry Bread Pineapple Icecream 

The musical performances were beautiful as well. We showed up early Saturday morning to catch the main act M’Girl, expecting to witness some Māori cultural music, however were pleasantly surprised when the group of 5 women announced they were from the British Columbia and Ontario native tribes in Canada!

M’Girl from Canada 

The highlight of the day was definitely witnessing the performance of The Haka. It is a traditional ancestral war cry, dance or challenge from the Māori people of New Zealand. The power behind the performance gave me goosebumps watching it.

The New Zealand rugby team, the All Blacks, has made this dance famous as they perform it at the beginning of every match. Last night we were able to take in an All Blacks game at The House of Rugby which had a great atmosphere with a mock rugby field and stands for fans to watch the game on the big screen. It was easy to feel the energy of the fans with each play. Although the game was closer than expected, The All Blacks won by a good margin, maintaining their reputation as one of the best in the world.

Watching the game at The House of Rugby