Learn to haka at Eden Park on New Zealand’s hallowed rugby ground

Watching the All Blacks perform the haka before a match at New Zealand’s Eden Park is a goose-bumps moment for many sports fans and now there’s a chance to try it yourself.

Watching the All Blacks perform the haka before a match at New Zealand’s Eden Park is a goose-bumps moment for many sports fans and now there’s a chance to try it yourself.

‘Haka at the Park’ is a new experience for people keen to learn the famous haka pre-match ritual and take a close-up look at New Zealand’s most famous sports ground.

With a Māori warrior guide, visitors are given a behind-the-scenes tour of the iconic Eden Park stadium before stepping onto the hallowed turf to learn and perform their own haka.

The thrill of walking in the footsteps of iconic sporting heroes and performing on the same field played by the mighty All Blacks and BLACK CAPS has already captured the imagination of international visitors and proving to be a popular Auckland experience.

Eden Park is just three kilometres from Auckland’s CBD and is New Zealand’s most famous playing field, steeped in sporting history and visited by sports fans from all over the world. The ‘Haka at the Park’ experience takes visitors on a tour of the home team’s changing rooms and visits the historic No.1 playing field giving fans a chance to explore sporting heroes’ off-camera territory and re-live great sporting moments.

A Māori warrior guide provides an insight into Eden Park’s fascinating 100+ year history before visitors experience first-hand the mana or power of the haka just as it’s performed on game day at Eden Park. With that inspiration people can then channel their own inner mana and take part in an interactive ‘learn the haka’ workshop.

The authentic Māori cultural experience has been developed in partnership with Te Wehi Haka a new performing arts troupe managed by Tāpeta and Annette Wehi one of New Zealand’s top kapa haka teams.

To top off the experience, a light afternoon tea is provided where there’s an opportunity to have photos taken with traditional Māori warriors.

Eden Park is piloting the ‘Haka at the Park’ experience with tours open to the public every fortnight through until January. Private group bookings are also available and with the popularity of the tours so far, Eden Park is looking at permanent arrangements for 2019.

About: The Haka

The All Black Haka has a proud history and is one of the most feared and respected pre-match rituals in the world. From the more traditional Ka mate, Ka mate – first performed before an international rugby fixture by the New Zealand Native Team in 1888 – to the recently composed Kapa o Pango, the haka plays an integral role in physically and mentally preparing All Black teams for battle.

The haka is an ancient posture dance of the New Zealand Māori that was traditionally used to prepare a war party for conflict. It was performed either on the battle field prior to engagement with the enemy, or as the war party was leaving their own village en route to a battle.

The History of The All Black Haka

About: Eden Park, Auckland

Eden Park is New Zealand’s largest stadium and has been a sports ground since 1900. Located in the heart of Auckland, it is New Zealand’s national stadium and seats 50,000 people. Eden Park hosted the inaugural 1987 Rugby World Cup (RWC), and the 2011 RWC final, and at both games New Zealand was crowned world champion.

Some of New Zealand’s proudest sporting moments have taken place on Eden Park, including the 1950 Empire Games, 1992 and 2015 Cricket World Cups. In 1981 during the now infamous Springbok Tour, a match was interrupted by a low flying Cessna aircraft that flour-bombed the Park.

Eden Park features a Hall of Legends which opened in 2002 with 2000 items of significant New Zealand sporting memorabilia.

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