A Waka Odyssey




  • Mass assembly of waka
  • Cultural performances and a mass choir
  • 1,000-strong haka


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Join a cast of thousands on Wellington’s waterfront as A Waka Odyssey kicks off the 2018 New Zealand Festival.

Waka arrive in Okahu Bay, Auckland

By Rawhitiroa Photography

Samoa Voyaging Society, Wellington

By NZ Festival

NY Philharmonic, NZ Festival, Wellington

By Chris Lee

Wellington Harbour, Wellington

By Gouldy99

Hop on the famous cable car, sip a craft brew or climb Mt Victoria. One thing's for sure, you'll never be bored in New Zealand's cool little capital.

As dusk falls on 23 February, head along to Wellington’s waterfront for a night of culture as A Waka Odyssey kicks off the 2018 New Zealand Festival.

The theatrical spectacle will see a mass assembly of waka hourua (twin-hulled canoes) descend on the capital’s harbour, ending a lengthy journey from as far away as Samoa. The waka and their crews will be welcomed with cultural performances, a mass choir, a 1,000-strong haka and a musical score by Warren Maxwell (Trinity Roots, Little Bushman), flooding the city with sounds of the Pacific.

The New Zealand Festival (23 February – 18 March, 2018)

Held in Wellington every two years across February and March, the New Zealand Festival is New Zealand’s largest celebration of cutting-edge culture. Over the past 30 years, the Festival has brought some of the world’s greatest cultural performers to New Zealand’s capital city and provided a platform to showcase local artists.

Want to be part of the action? Check out the official website for more information.

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