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Haruru Falls and Waitangi River Tour on a Traditional Maori Waka with Guide

  • 3-hour tour with traditional canoe (waka) cruise and Maori cultural experience
  • Paddle through the Waitangi River estuary in a sturdy waka
  • Learn about native customs from the Ngapuhi guide
Haruru Falls and Waitangi River Tour on a Traditional Maori Waka with Guide
From $93.88
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  • Overview
  • What to Expect
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Haruru Falls and Waitangi River Tour on a Traditional Maori Waka with Guide
From $93.88
Discover the beauty of the Waitangi River estuary and experience Maori traditions during a 3-hour cruise in a traditional canoe (waka) with a local Maori guide. Learn traditional paddling techniques in the calm waters of the estuary and make your way to Haruru Falls. Your guide shares informative commentary about Ngapuhi customs and history, and points out wildlife as you glide along. Disembark to visit a Ngapuhi meeting house and perhaps meet people from this Maori community. You'll also learn the moves of a 'haka' — an ancient Maori war dance.
What to Expect
Make your way to the Waitangi boat ramp where you meet your Ngapuhi guide. The Ngapuhi are the largest Maori tribe in New Zealand, and their ancestral home includes the Bay of Islands.

After a safety briefing, receive a life jacket and paddling lesson before stepping on board the 40-foot (12-meter) waka taua, a traditional-style canoe that is stable and sturdy. Set off on your tour through the tidal estuaries of the Waitangi River, traveling through a scenic landscape as you learn paddle techniques and how to maneuver your vessel. Your guide teaches you some Ngapuhi chants and a haka — a war dance that incorporates rhythmic foot-stomping, body slapping and chanting.

Your tour also includes an all-inclusive day pass to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds.

In about one hour, you'll arrive at Haruru Falls. Pause in front of the large waterfall to hear about the site’s spiritual significance, and then continue along the river to a marae on the riverside. A marae is the central meeting place of a Maori community and generally encompasses a meeting house decorated with intricate carvings, an open outdoor space, and cooking and eating areas. If you’re lucky, you might meet some of the local people before continuing your canoe tour.

Throughout your experience, you’ll hear stories of the Ngapuhi people, learn about age-old customs and look for local wildlife. After a fascinating three hours, your tour ends back at the starting point.
Reviews (10)
1 - 5 of 7 reviews
Reviewed 1 week ago
Something a bit different

The trip began with us being given instructions as to how we board the canoe therefore avoiding it wobbling. Then with the help of a chant to enable us all to paddle in time, we set off towards the Haruru Falls. It was hard work...More

Date of experience: November 2018
Thank Judy186220
Reviewed April 10, 2018
Fun tour

A enjoyable if somewhat touristy tour, but well worth it. The guides were personable and very well informed. A good time.

Date of experience: December 2017
Thank kmtravel06
Reviewed March 10, 2018
Best tour on our two week cruise

Fun and informative from the start to the finish. Paddling up the river with 35 other folks was just the right pace as we observed the flora and fauna in the area. By far the presentation by the Chief (Hoeni) was enthralling. Past history from...More

Date of experience: February 2018
1  Thank skybum73
Reviewed January 3, 2018
Excellent Cultural Experience

Dec 20th, we were in Bay of Islands only one day, on the HA Maasdam cruise ship. We wanted an authentic Maori experience and got it. The Maori guides instructed us on paddling, native chants and war-greetings. The day was damp and blustery, but the...More

Date of experience: December 2017
Thank tsseb82
Reviewed December 17, 2017
Best part of our trip

We were on a cruise ship recently when (11/26/17) we took this trip. We were fortunate to have the Chief (pictured above) as our guide and historian. Not only was it great fun to learn the chant to paddle but he gave an amazing insight...More

Date of experience: November 2017
Thank 3Muscateers41
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