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Charles Royal Maorifood Trails

Taumarunui S/H 41
Taumarunui Aotearoa New Zealand

These are exclusive soft adventures for the discerning and sophisticated travelers. The ones who can put up with a short break away from the hotels, porters and restaurants to savour at its best. from Papatuanuku mother earth.

Maori food – Maori wine – Maori people

Drive through native rain forest via go bush Maori food tour Taumarunui New Zealand.

Just follow the map along State Highway 41 to the horse shoe bend just before you reach the summit, there is a blue plastic container, turn right follow the road through the gate and we’ll meet you there.

All you do is arrive at the entrance, we’ll give you a personalised Maori wild food tour that you will not experience any where else in the World.

Cooking Fish
Cooking Breakfast
Feeding the Eels
Go bush accommodation
Fishing Lessons

Master Maori Chef Charles Royal and Craftsman Maori bush guide Danny Hemopo will drive, talk and teach you on how to sustainably harvest & forage for food from the bush or rain forest here in New Zealand.

Learn its medicinal value and how the old Maori people used the plants for healing externally and certain plants for eating or taken internally.

Cooking Classes
Open Fire Cooking
Open kitchen
Bush Views
Taumarunui Bush Tour
In the Kitchen
Huhu Grub in Log
Huhu Grubs on plate
Minako looking at Huhu Grub
Huhu Grubs with Pikopiko

Get to learn knowledge, like “there are no snakes or scorpions here in New Zealand, but we do have poisonous plants and a couple of spiders that bite”…….. Charles & Dan know these spiders do not reside in Taumarunui, one lives in wood by the sea and it’s too cold for the other here, they like the bush up North where it’s warmer.

Ever tried huhu grubs, a delicacy of the old Maori. Huhu grubs live in tree trunks that are old & soft, they burrow and eat the rotting wood which is high in protein and taste something like peanut butter when cooked and served with pikopiko or the Maori fiddlehead fern. Tried cooking on the open fire, spend the day relaxing with either Charles & Dan, learn how to get back to the basics when the old people use to cook like this all the time.

Food in oven

Do you know that most of the top Chefs in the World can’t cook on the open fire. They are so use too switching the oven on and letting the fan oven bake a bread a meal or banquet. They’ve lost the skills of the past, the old crooks (sic) & chefs had to not only gather the food, but also the hard labour of chopping the fire wood, knowing the best type of wood to use and then what if it rains, the list goes on……

Learn the skills on how to make a traditional hangi or earth oven this will give you a few ideas & tips on how you could make one when you get home.

Horopito Tree
Komata Cabbage Tree
Taste the peppery flavours of the horopito or the Maori pepper tree, which only grows in the alpine area’s of New Zealand. Mix it with hummus and taste the light cumin flavour it changes the hummus too.
Know that the komata or the Maori cabbage tree can be harvested sustainably. It has a radish flavour when eaten raw and has a sharp nutty flavour when cooked. Did you know the britz took seedlings back to England during the last century. You will know more than that before the end of the tour.
Outside Dining

When dinner is served, we eat our kai (food) outside, listen to the sounds change from the beginnings of the mighty Wanganui river and the changing sounds from the day birds to the night owls and the crackle of the horopito as the embers glow in the dark and we toast to another day somewhere in between here & Taumarunui.

After dinner it’s the history & true stories of old talked about around the open fire. Play the “drum or guitar” if not, we’ll have it waiting anyway. The night drifts on and the tired drift off, the old cooks stories lives on for another day as we then pack up and prepare to have fresh trout for breakfast or a hangi pie fit for a king, queen with there family or friends for ever & ever “good night”.

As a new day arrives, the guests are asleep, the home fire is still burning the billy’s on & the Chef has fresh pancakes on the griddle with wild pork sausages, eggs of your choice on toasted Maori bread.

Danny has gone for a quick fish to see if we’ll have fresh smoked trout with our hangi pie for lunch today.

All arise to the waffling smells of freshly cooked kai (food) mixed with the smoky aroma of the native wood drifting in the air. As we pack and continue on our journey somewhere between here and Taumarunui.

Tour includes

Hot & cold beverages
Return transport from entrance to cabin.


Cooking classes
Fishing lessons
Horse back tours
Harvesting pikopiko horopito
Hunting for huhu grubs - you name it.

Min 2 pax - max 6 pax

  Not suitable for children under 5
  • 50% deposit is required on confirmation of booking.
  • 50% balance will be paid on completion of Maorifood Trail.


Credit will be refunded if a cancellation has been received by "e mail" only, no more than 2 days prior to the confirmed booking of Kinaki Maorifood Trails.

Best months for a tour is usually November to March, this is our summer.

Tours can be cancelled by Charles or Danny and alternative arrangements will be organised if weather conditions are deemed unsuitable due to safety reasons.

For bookings and more info e mail kinaki@xtra.co.nz

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