JOIN THE JOURNEY – Each day, starting  1 February 2018, we will share new videos and stories online so you too can join the waka hourua journey in the lead up to the start of A Waka Odyssey, 23 Feb – 4 March 2018.  Be part of the story via our website, on the New Zealand Festival’s Facebook and Instagram pages, or using the hashtag #NZWaka

KUPE: Festival Opening Event

7pm, 23 February, Wellington Harbour and Taranaki Wharf – FREE
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. 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 LANDING: Petone Family Day
12.30-6.30pm, 24 February, Hīkoikoi, Petone Foreshore – FREE

Stand on the beach where the great Pacific explorer Kupe stood more than 700 years ago.  Watch a magnificent fleet of waka hourua (traditional double-hulled sailing canoes) and waka taua (war canoes) sail up to shore, as we continue the celebration of waka voyaging and our place in the Pacific.  With the waka landing on the beach, Moana fans and their families can get up close and climb on board.  Meet the navigators and their crew and find out more about their journeys, and about star navigation.  The party continues all afternoon with live music, DJs, cultural performances, food stalls and more.

KUPE DREAMING: Explore Waka Up-Close
21 February – 4 March, Wellington Harbour and other locations around the city & region – FREE & TICKETED EVENTS

Waka are at the heart of the Pacific, and in their voyaging they weave together people and cultures, arts and science, the past and the future. Dive in and explore navigation, astronomy, sailing, waka arts and live performances across the Wellington region with free and ticketed events. Check out the website for full event details:

2018 New Zealand Festival

23 February – 18 March

Discover art for everyone, everywhere over three short weeks in Wellington.

View the NZ Festival VIDEO TRAILER