Rotorua

In the cultural heart of New Zealand, discover the Māori legends and stories which breathe life into pounamu.

Every day, you can join a free 15-minute guided tour of our jade carving workshop in Rotorua. You’ll get to meet our revered artists James and Tamaora and see how they transform raw stone into carved art, discovering the different tools and techniques used to craft jade by hand. 

Take a journey into the important role pounamu plays in Māori culture.

Pounamu is the traditional Māori name for greenstone or New Zealand jade. It is found only in New Zealand's South Island, on the West Coast, created under our mountains and concealed in our rivers. We’ll take you on a journey into the important role pounamu plays in Māori culture, exploring its traditional uses and values and uncovering the legends and stories which breathe life into the stone. Pounamu is regarded by Māori as a taonga – a treasure – and is renowned for its strength, as well as its beauty. Being a strong and practical material, pounamu was traditionally used for making tools and weapons. However, it was also imbued with mythological and spiritual beliefs and was adorned to protect the wearer and connect them to their ancestors and the natural world. While you explore our workshop, your guide will delve into this rich and fascinating cultural history.

Tour times Rotorua

  • Monday - Sunday
  • Between 10am - 5pm

Tours are free

  • No bookings are required, tours run on-request.
Our Rotorua tour is an authentic jade carving experience, which takes place inside our workshop. If you’re looking for a cultural experience or things to do in Rotorua, we’d love to introduce you to our passion and the traditional craft of carving jade.