Experience the ancient customs, rituals and traditions of the Maori Culture whilst paddling a Maori Canoe through beautiful scenery.
The Bay of Islands is home to the Ngapuhi, New Zealand’s largest tribal Maori group. This eco, spiritual and educational experience will provide a rare and unique insight into the ancient customs, rituals and traditions of this fascinating Polynesian culture.
Your Maori Warrior host will welcome you at Waitangi Wharf, where a safety briefing will be given before boarding your ornate 50 foot Waka Taua (Maori War Canoe). The tribal members will show you traditional paddling techniques, Waka manoeuvres and chants, whilst you absorb the breathtaking beauty of the Waitangi River eco-systems and the passing flora and fauna.
As you glide up the peaceful and tranquil tidal estuaries of the Waitangi River, your Maori host will share personal tribal and family histories from an ancient past. The Ngapuhi tribe have a traditional knowledge and their storytelling skills are legendary.
With the splendour of panoramic views, vibrant and stunning colours from the native forest stretching the length of the river banks and beyond, the voyage culminates with the arrival in the pool of the sacred and spiritual waterfall of Haruru Falls. The magic of this place is brought to life by the skilful oratory of the Maori storytellers.
As you paddle back along the river, you’ll see the family Marae, a sacred shrine of worship, where some of the local tribal members will greet you as you pass. You’ll return to port with a deeper understanding of the Maori culture and an experience that will leave a lasting impression.
Note: Each canoe takes between 16 and 30 people. Before you book this excursion, you must refer to the ‘Activity Excursion’ and ‘Beach / Water Related’ paragraphs under the Guide to Symbols in this brochure. Please wear soft soles shoes that you don’t mind getting wet as you may need to step into the water to board the canoes.