Biking around Rotorua’s heritage
Learn more about Rotorua heritage and Ma¯ ori culture while getting active on two wheels.
Three free Heritage Rides are being held as part of the Rotorua Bike Festival. A Lakefront Heritage Ride is on Tuesday October 23 and Thursday October 25, 5.30pm to 7pm, starting at the Soundshell.
It is an easy ride, suitable for children of all ages, exploring significant sites around O¯ hinemutu and Lakefront area. Tuesday’s ride is in English and Thursday’s is in te reo Ma¯ ori.
There will also be a Forest Heritage Ride on Wednesday October 24 exploring sites around the Waipa¯ /Whakarewarewa Forest. It runs from 5.30pm to 7pm, starting at Waipa¯ Carpark, and is a grade two to three ride.
Te Papa Ta¯ karo O Te Arawa chief executive Paora Te Hurihanganui says Bike Festival organisers approached them wanting to engage more Ma¯ ori in biking. They considered what would make Ma¯ ori want to get involved, and came up with the heritage rides to share information about sites of significance and promote te reo.
“I think heritage events like these are important because they show some of the unique features of our city and its history, and is promotion of the culture and how Te Arawa see the world.”
Paora says it is important to get people active, and Rotorua has a huge natural resource with its environment.
“I think any opportunity to engage with our local environment is really important. It’s one of the crown jewels of our city . . . I think that is something we should showcase and something special about our area.”
The rides are a unique opportunity to promote te reo Ma¯ ori and support Rotorua as a bilingual city.
“There’s a wealth of information I believe needs to be shared — ancestry, history, relationships — that have progressed over time.” The rides are the organisation’s first attempt to partner with the Rotorua Bike Festival .
“It’s a doorway to many possibilities in the future.”
A family enjoys cycling around Lake Rotorua.