As dusk falls, join a cast of thousands on Wellington’s stunning waterfront for the once-in-a-lifetime 2018 New Zealand Festival opening night event, Kupe.

Inspired by the arrival in Aotearoa of great navigator and explorer Kupe, this free, whānau-friendly spectacular is part one of A Waka Odyssey and a landmark celebration of our shared voyaging history. Be a part of history in the making, welcoming a majestic fleet of waka hourua (traditional double-hulled sailing canoes) and their fearless crew, as they sail across the waters of Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Wellington Harbour – a moving finale to their months-long journey from Samoa, the Cook Islands and around New Zealand.

Then let the sounds of the Pacific surround you in this theatrical extravaganza featuring performers, a mass choir, a thousand-strong haka and a musical score by Warren Maxwell (Trinity Roots, Little Bushman).

Kupe sparks a week-long celebration of our place in the Pacific, including Kupe Landing: Petone Family Day, a fun beach party for all the whānau, and the Kupe Dreaming series of waka-themed community events and activities. 


Acknowledgements: The Wellington Regional Amenities Fund is a partnership between Wellington City Council, Hutt City Council, Upper Hutt City Council, Kāpiti Coast District Council and Porirua City Council

Thanks to Te Puni Kōkiri


Haere mai – Come on Board

Follow A Waka Odyssey online. Join our fleet of Pacific sailing waka and their heroic crew on an adventure of a lifetime, across the Pacific Ocean and around Aotearoa. Sign up for Festival email updates and become part of the story. 

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