Awa iti Tour

Be restored in body, mind, and spirit as you spend time with the whānau of Kāti Huirapa, sharing in their world, customs, and history on a journey to the edge of the sea.

This experience is focused around the river with manuhiri (guests) learning the customs and traditions of our ancestors before paddling the Waikouaiti River in a modern waka-ama.

While paddling on the river you will learn about our place and also have the opportunity to see wildlife and sea birds in their natural environment.

Included in your tour

  • All waka and water safety equipment and coaching
  • Life jackets and spray jackets for the duration of the tour
  • Cultural knowledge and insight
  • Native tree to plant

Need to know!

  • Wear warm clothing, suitable for a range of weather conditions.
  • This is an outdoor guided experience which takes place in most weather conditions – we recommend bringing a change of clothes for comfort.
  • Tour commentary is in English.
  • Waka experience may not be suitable children under the age of 3 – please contact us to confirm prior to booking.
  • Please let us know if you have a disability so we can cater for you.

Booking information

  • Tours are perfect for families and small groups; fully customised cultural experiences are available – please contact us for a comprehensive planning and pricing options.
  • We recommend contacting us at least two weeks prior to avoid missing out on your preferred date and time.
  • Tours can be arranged all year round and we offer flexibility to fit in with your travel plans.
  • Tour time is dependent on tides. Confirmation will be given at least one month in advance.
  • Tour length is approximate and varies according to weather conditions on the day. If you have specific time constraints please let us know.
  • Full refunds will be offered if the operator deems the weather conditions unsafe.
  • Prices are in New Zealand dollars and include all taxes.
  • Karitāne Māori Tours is closed on 25-27 December, 6 February (Waitangi Day), Good Friday, and 25 April (ANZAC Day).

Meet your guides

Kāti Huirapa whānau
Kāti Huirapa whānau

Karitāne Māori Tours is owned and operated by the Kāti Huirapa whānau, the local Maori iwi (people) of the Puketeraki/Huriawa.

Their passion for the environment sees them taking an active role in habitat restoration, both on the land and in the water. Through Karitāne Māori Tours, whānau are able to share their love of being on the water with their passion for people and the environment.

The fleet of waka is a combination of old and new, double-hulled and outrigger. The revitalisation of waka on the river follows the strong cultural traditions of the past on the Waikouaiti River and links the people of Kāti Huirapa to the landscape.

"When people leave this place we hope they will look at their own environment with new eyes and remember our special place. We love sharing our stories and the tranquillity and slower pace of life that you find here, where the ocean meets the land."

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