Waitangi Tours
Bay of Islands Shore Excursion: Cultural Maori War Canoe Guided Tour
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Bay of Islands Shore Excursion: Cultural Maori War Canoe Guided Tour

By Taiamai Tours Heritage Journeys
Recommended by 100% of travellers
100% of reviewers gave this product a bubble rating of 4 or higher.
About

Ages 6-99, max of 32 per group
Duration: 3h
Start time: Check availability
Mobile ticket
Live guide: English
More


  • Professional, local guide
  • Sightseeing Waka Tour
What's not included
  • Bottled water


Start:
  • Waitangi River Boat Ramp, Te Karuwha Parade, Waitangi 0293, New Zealand
    It is an easy half hour walk from Paihia along the water front, cross the one lane bridge, on exiting turn left to the Waitangi boat ramp.
End:This activity ends back at the meeting point.

    • Not wheelchair accessible
    • Pushchair accessible
    If you have questions about accessibility, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 9577P3

    • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
    • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
    • Not recommended for travellers with back problems
    • Children must be accompanied by an adult
    • Children 5 years and under are unable to take this tour unless parents or guardians take full responsibility if their child is not safely restrained.
    • Travellers should have a moderate physical fitness level
    • This experience requires good weather. If it’s cancelled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
    • This experience requires a minimum number of travellers. If it’s cancelled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund
    • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 32 travellers

    • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

    If you have questions about this tour or need help making your booking, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 9577P3

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    Itinerary
    • Te Karuwha Parade, Waitangi 0293, New Zealand
      It is an easy half hour walk from Paihia along the water front, cross the one lane bridge, on exiting turn left to the Waitangi boat ramp.
    • 1
      We depart on our Waka paddling down and exploring our way through the peaceful, tranquil estuaries of the Waitangi river. This interactive Waka experience will provide you with a rare and unique insight into our ancient customs and rituals and traditions. We stop under the magnificent Haruru Falls where you will be able to be many magical photo opportunities that will last a life time.
    About the operator
    Don’t take it from us – here’s what people have to say about this operator:
    • Taiamai Tours Heritage Journeys
      105
      New Zealand
      Joined in June 2010
    • Patricia H
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Great organisation, glad to help the Māori culture
      Brilliant intro to the local Māori culture, the canoe ride gave us an opportunity to talk to the community which was fabulous. Enjoyed the Haka too.
      Written 1 February 2024
    • moira193
      0 contributions
      2.0 of 5 bubbles
      Buyer beware of false advertising
      This trip looked nothing like the photos.I booked it through Cunard and it was very expensive.It was billed as the"Maori Canoe Experience".We arrived at the venue and we're met by a group of people who only wore brown skirts and the occasional ankle bracelet,not a tiki.or meri or war club to be seen.After a lengthy sermon on colonialism and how pleased they were to get our money as it would put food on their table we were asked to don a rather grubby life jacket.We were shown how to paddle.In the middle.of the lake we stopped and a "Cox" arose told us that the ankle bracelets were not for tracking the canoe .if lost but rather they were personal ones .This person had served 17 years in gaol and was now trying to rehabilitate,another was a recovering alcoholic and drug addict etc.Whilst admiring the courage to confess to their crimes I felt I was sitting in the midst of a group therapy session. On the plus side the scenery was beautiful as only NZ can offer. The tour ended with a slice of orange and a small bottle of water. I would have preferred to have heard the history of the lake and waterfall rather than confessions.I admire the rehabilitation efforts but felt the cost was too expensive for an amateur operation.
      Written 29 January 2024
    • moira193
      0 contributions
      2.0 of 5 bubbles
      Maori Canoe experience Bay of Islands
      I was a passenger on the Queen Elizabeth. Cunard organised the tour called The Maori Canoe Experience. We were taken to a Bay and given very dirty life jackets,I have seen better Hakas at a Rugby match. The men were wearing ankle trackers and the welcomer thanked us for putting food on their table.Once we had paddled to the middle of the lake it was explained that the tracking devices were for remand prisoners,the first one to speak had just served 17 years and had been in a gang all his life, another was a drug/ addict and the other was a juvenile offender. Back on shore we all happily recovered our handbags etc and the refreshments were a slice of orange and a small bottle of water. This"experience"was very expensive. Over $200US
      Written 6 January 2024
    • vickil257
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Outdoor fun and traditional family values
      We had a fabulous few hours learning traditional knowledge with a lovely family company. We got onto a Waki and headed along the river. Ended up at a beautiful waterfall and backed right up for shots. Thank you for sushi an awesome experience and the knowledge we gained fantastic. Beats sitting on a cruise boat for sure.
      Written 11 November 2023
    • arizona3
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Awe inspiring!
      This tour made my whole trip worth it. The presentation by the chief on the oral history of the natives peoples was awe inspiring and the experience of almost traveling back in time to the regions place in history was magical. If you appreciate history and cultural experiences this is a must.
      Written 31 October 2023
    • 124maryannl
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      A profound and moving experience...
      My husband and I joined a group of thirty people over the age of fifty for this unforgettable experience. At 83, I took more paddling breaks than most, but was able to hold my own. Our guide was an incredible story teller who brought to life the Maori (and pre-Maori) heritage of profound respect and love of the earth and all her inhabitents. After a brief lesson on paddling in cadence (called in Maori), we were amazed to find ourselves at the stunning Haruru Falls. In my long, eventful life, I rate this experience among the top four.
      Written 20 October 2023
    • a3whd
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Lots of Fun
      This was a great trip, lots of info from our Mouri chief. You would paddle almost 10kms. But most of this is with an outboard motor. This makes it very enjoyable. You end up at a large waterfall and you get very close to it. Well worth a visit. You will get your feet wet so dress appropriately
      Written 11 June 2023
    • SW241975
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Epic Tour on the Waka!!!
      Took a group of akonga on this experience and what a fantastic time we had! The guides were knowledgeable, fun and explained everything so well. Can't wait to go back again with more akonga.
      Written 7 November 2022
    • tekura3
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Informative, physical and emotive
      The whole thing....very well-done excellent stories/korero beautiful waka, amazing being surrounded by nature and a little bit of a workout. The guides were really entertaining, well informed and put everyone at ease. Our entire group were buzzing.
      Written 7 November 2022
    • borongr
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Excellent tour.
      Rowing a Maori canoe is a thrilling experience. The guides were excellent, we get an interesting explanation of the history of the Maori of the region. The songs by the guides and their explanation were excellent. We reached a magnificent waterfall. We were about 30 rowers per boat (from the "Celebrity Éclipse " cruise ship).
      Written 18 October 2022
    • Tinakate
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Epic experience
      Our roopu was on a haerenga from all corners of Te Waipounamu to reconnect to their Māori culture and Judy and her whānau did just that. They took us back in time through purakau about all the surrounding maunga, whenua and the awa that we were paddling all the way to Haruru falls. It was definitely the highlight of our hīkoi and I could not thank the Mihaka whānau enough for such an amazing, interactive experience and one I know these young people will remember for a life time. Learning the tikanga and the whakapapa of Taiamai tours was presented in such an inspirational way by our guides. The only tip I would have for future travellers is YOU MUST DO THIS ITS AN AMAZING EXPERIENCE! And don’t be late like we were. Ngā mihi nui Mihaka whānau
      Written 15 October 2022
    • Gilby91
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Ka pai tō mahi - Awesome work!
      We had a group of 25 from a secondary school in Queenstown take part in the waka tour up the Waitangi River. Honi and Judy were amazing hosts with a fun, informative, and interactive experience (even adjusting our trip to cater to the weather). Would highly recommend! Kā mihi mō tō manaaki!
      Written 15 April 2021
    • Vmalae2020
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Awesome waka ride!
      Such a beautiful time spent on the waka! Loved all the knowledge of our tour guides- really fun and cheeky, kept us laughing. Was able to take my 5 month old and we felt safe and happy.
      Written 21 December 2020
    • Ngawha
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Ngawha Springs Community Waka Tour
      WOW, what a fantastic experience, from go to whoa our Ngawha Springs Community group were entertained, enlightened and captivated by the obvious passion Hone, Judy & their team have for their "mahi". Our group of mostly children and teens were fitted into life jackets and taken through the safety procedures before getting on the water. Hone and his team have perfected their product to suit all ages, gender and abilities. And your story telling, Hone, is educational, relevant and highly entertaining. I know our roopu were impressed with your depth of knowledge. Time seemingly stood still, despite my over 60 year old, under used, arm muscles telling me otherwise. The effort was rewarded by the cool cascading waters of Haruru Falls. It honestly didn't feel like nearly 3 hours. Nga mihi nui kia koutou ngā uri o Taiamai Heritage Waka Tours. We unreservedly recommend all New Zealanders come to the most beautiful part of our country, I'm a little biased of course, Bay of Islands, and experience this interactive, highly entertaining and fun filled tour, you will leave invigorated and have your kete filled with knowledge of our little part of paradise .
      Written 15 November 2020
    • marleykingsmith
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Will never forget it !
      Just an all-round amazing educational experience! Amazing tour guides each with beautiful and passionate stories that really inspired and gave me a new level of respect for the Maori culture.
      Written 21 October 2020
    See all 105 reviews
    These reviews are the subjective opinions of Tripadvisor members and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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    5.0
    5.0 of 5 bubbles11 reviews
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    Rochelle I
    Whangarei, New Zealand2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Dec 2020
    I felt very honoured by having the opportunity to carry out this waka experience. It was humbling to hear the stories of Maori in this area from such an esteemed rangatira, that shared many historical happenings in an open honest and light hearted way.
    If you want to experience and hear true history, as well as have many laughs, lots of camaraderie and fun then this is a must!
    Written 22 December 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Shona F
    Scotland18 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Feb 2020
    We had a group booking through P & O Arcadia in February and had an absolutely amazing experience. Very well organised and the Guides were brilliant, informative about the Maori culture, and very funny to boot. Apologies for late review but we thoroughly enjoyed every minute. It is our first visit to New Zealand and the NZ people are very friendly and welcoming.
    Written 13 June 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    carlie07
    Dallas, TX142 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Jan 2021
    Not as strenuous as we thought it would be! Excellent historical accounts from local Maori. Beautiful waterfall at the end. Good length so you have time in town for shopping and eating.
    Written 11 October 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Jennifer M
    8 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Mar 2020
    Paddling the war canoe and listening to the many Maori traditions- as well as how the indigenous folk operate in the modern world- was a unique and not to be missed experience for anyone visiting the Bay of Islands in New Zealand. Well done to all the crew and tribe who offer this activity- world class
    Written 18 March 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Leewyn P
    1 contribution
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Dec 2020
    Really nejoyed learning the paddling chants and history of the land - awesome people to be with and lots of fun
    Written 22 December 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Te Ora Hou Northland
    Whangarei, New Zealand1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Dec 2020
    We did the tour as our end of year staff Christmas function. Staff loved the tour, the stories, the history and the overall experience. Would highly recommend the tour as a team event!
    Written 21 December 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Cass
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Nov 2020
    What an awesome experience, from learning the history of the place to learning some awesome paddle chants. This was definitely the highlight of my time in Paihia

    Nga Mihi
    Written 28 November 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Abby Ross
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Jan 2020 • Couples
    Amazing trip with brilliant, charismatic guides and beautiful scenery. Loved every minute.

    Great cultural experience and just generally fun.
    Written 23 January 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Bay of Islands Shore Excursion: Cultural Maori War Canoe Guided Tour provided by Taiamai Tours Heritage Journeys

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