Waitomo is gearing up to celebrate Matariki with 'Matariki ki Waitomo', a week-long festival featuring an underground concert, workshops, art exhibitions and twilight tours to be held in the Waitomo Caves area from July 3-10.
Centred around the theme of rebirth, the festival hopes to provide a unique way for visitors to learn and experience the Matariki story through a series of paid and free events.
Throughout the week, local artists, weavers and carvers will have their works on display, and visitors can listen to speakers including guests from Te Waka o Matariki, a traditional Māori healing group based in Ngāti Maniapoto.
There will also be a rare underground performance from local singers within the 'cathedral', a cavern within the caves known for its acoustic properties.
"Matariki is a celebration of people, culture, and nature; and as we celebrate the Matariki stars high in the sky above, visitors to Waitomo can also enjoy the starry skies beneath the ground, as glowworms illuminate and guide the way for manuhiri in the caves," said Discover Waitomo's general manager Tim Loxton.
"With themed kai, korero, music performances and local art displays running throughout, we are looking forward to hosting guests in Waitomo, a very special place to celebrate Matariki."
More information on Matariki ki Waitomo can be found on the official Waitomo website.