Fiercely competitive waka racing and the chance for festival-goers to paddle waka or sail on double-hulled waka hourua are all part of the 2017 Tāmaki Herenga Waka Festival.
Teams made up of Tāmaki Makaurau Mana Whenua (local tribes) and mataawaka (Māori living in the Auckland region who are not Mana Whenua) will battle for supremacy in waka races on Saturday, 28 January, in the Viaduct Basin, with good viewing from the Viaduct’s Market Square and from Te Wero Island.
Throughout the weekend, people will have a chance to go for a 60-minute ride on waka hourua (double-hulled, ocean-going sailing waka) or can also register for an opportunity to paddle in waka tangata (after a completing a dry-land paddle drill).
Festival-goers keen to paddle or sail in a waka are encouraged to get in early – the activities were so popular during the first Tāmaki Herenga Waka Festival in 2016 that the experiences booked out quickly.
Waka hourua experiences are open to anyone over the age of five (children eight years old and under must each be accompanied by an adult), while waka tangata experiences are open to everyone over the age of eight. People wanting to paddle a waka need to have a reasonable level of mobility and fitness, to both paddle and to get safely in and out of the waka. People with disabilities should check with information tent staff before enrolling.
Where to get your tickets
Waka tangata experiences are free, a koha is appreciated for the waka tauā experiences and waka hourua sailings cost $10 per adult and $5 per child.
Tickets and waka registrations are available at the festival information tent, outside the ANZ Viaduct Events Centre. Waka activity is subject to capacity and weather conditions.
NZ Maritime Museum
Visitors can also check out the nearby NZ Maritime Museum waka and ocean-going voyaging galleries.