Iconic Rotorua tourist attraction Te Puia has cooked up a unique new experience that is giving visitors a real taste of the past.
The Steambox experience utilises a favourite ngawha (steam vent) Puapua, which is in Te Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley.
Visitors choose what they want for lunch which is then cooked in the steam vent, while they have a guided tour of Te Puia and the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute.
After an interactive weaving session and a tour of the carving and weaving schools, visitors then head down into the geothermal valley to the Kiwi house, mud pools and hot springs, and finally, to watch their lunch being lifted from the ngawha. The guests then enjoy their picnic lunch on the geyser terrace.
Te Puia sales and marketing manager Kiri Atkinson-Crean said the Steambox offered a unique insight into the past, utilising traditional cooking practices and tools that had been used by Te Arawa people for hundreds of years.
"Since earliest settlement within Te Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley, our people have cooked using the steam and hot water naturally available within the thermally active landscape.
We still use these steam vents and techniques today.
"The Steambox quite literally gives visitors a taste of our culture and heritage in the valley and the feedback we have received to date indicates that people love being part of something so different and so very unique to New Zealand. It's quite special."
Ms Atkinson-Crean said the Steambox was available for group bookings, and was proving particularly popular with backpacker tours.
For further information or to book online, go to www.tepuia.com or call 0800 TE PUIA.