KO TĀNE WAKA
NZ's Ultimate Māori Culture Experience
Paddle a Waka on the
Ōtākaro Avon River
After 160 years waka are back on the Ōtākaro Avon River.
Join our inner-city river tour on board our waka and discover the history of our city, region, hapū, and iwi with local kaiārahi (guides)
Leaving from 794 Colombo Street opposite Victoria Square this 45-minute waka paddling experience is an amazing cultural journey of the Ōtākaro Avon River by waka.
Experience the team and skill building of paddling a hand-crafted waka down the ŌtākaroRiver Avon, and learn about the importance of the waka to the early Māori culture. Enjoy early stories of Canterbury's Ngāi Tahu Iwi and the earliest European settlers, and the positive things they achieved building the city of Christchurch together.
Waka have been paddled on the Ōtākaro Avon River as far back as the 1700 century. Māori sailed to Aotearoa New Zealand on Waka Hourua (double-hull sailing waka). Single-hull waka became an important part of the early transport days of Christchurch city with no roads and nothing but swamp, Māori and early settlers collaborated regularly to transport trading goods and equipment up and down the Ōtākaro Avon River.