We are a nation of voyagers. Our ancestors crossed oceans to find this place we call home. Join us as we rediscover our voyaging past, our place in the Pacific and a way to a better future. 

Haere mai, come on board A Waka Odyssey.

From November, join a fleet of Pacific sailing waka and a fearless crew of voyaging heroes on an adventure of a lifetime, as the stars guide them from far across the Pacific Ocean and around Aotearoa towards Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Wellington. 

Then be a part of history in the making, as a majestic waka fleet takes centre-stage in the extraordinary 2018 New Zealand Festival opening night spectacle Kupe, on Friday 23 February 2018.

Inspired by the great explorer and navigator Kupe’s arrival in Aotearoa, this free, whānau-friendly spectacular is a landmark celebration of our shared voyaging history. 

Join a cast of thousands on Wellington’s stunning waterfront at dusk as the sounds of the Pacific surround us in a theatrical extravaganza featuring performers, mass choir, a thousand-strong haka, a musical score by Warren Maxwell (Trinity Roots, Little Bushman) and you.

A must-do for Moana fans, Kupe sparks a week-long celebration of our place in the Pacific, including a Petone beach party for all the family and more.

Come on board – sign up for Festival updates today and follow the journey. Because whatever way we travelled here, we all belong. 



A Waka Odyssey

A project by Anna Marbrook, Hoturoa Barclay-Kerr & Kasia Pol

Created & written by Anna Marbrook, Hoturoa Barclay-Kerr & Kasia Pol

Project Navigator and Waka Expert Hoturoa Barclay-Kerr

Project Director Anna Marbrook

Project Designer Kasia Pol


This project is made possible with the support of Wellington Regional Amenities Fund – a partnership between Wellington City Council, Hutt City Council, Upper Hutt City Council, Kāpiti Coast District Council and Porirua City Council. 

Discover more

"Waka fleet welcomes NZ Arts Festival in Wellington" - Hear New Zealand Festival Director Shelagh Magadza share details on RNZ Morning Report