Head out into the sheltered Bay of Islands to experience Matariki rising! Matariki, also known as Pleiades, is a cluster of stars which is visible in the Eastern sky from mid-Winter. Iwi in parts of our Far North rohe (region) celebrate Puanga, which is the star Rigel in the Orion constellation, as it was difficult to see Matariki from their locality. Traditionally the reappearance of Puanga followed by Matariki heralded the Māori New Year.

This is a unique opportunity to experience Matariki in the Bay of Islands. Our on-board guide will explain the science and the traditions behind this significant event in Aotearoa, what it means to Te Ao Māori and how to identify Puanga and the Matariki cluster rising in the Eastern sky. 

Important Event Info

  • This cruise departs before dawn! Departure times are 5.30am from Paihia Wharf and at 5.40am from Russell Wharf. Please be at the wharf 10mins before your stated departure time
  • It will be dark when we depart, please take care on the wharf and keep children safe
  • It is Winter, wear warm clothing 
  • Boat returns at dawn to Russell and Paihia Wharves, arriving approx. 7.50am Russell and 8am Paihia.
  • There are several restaurants and cafes just a short walk from each wharf where you can enjoy a great Bay of Islands breakfast. 
  • We can’t control the weather and visibility. In the case of weather preventing the cruise operating ticket-holders will be offered an alternative date
  • Suitable for families
  • Boat numbers strictly limited

Cruise includes 

  • 2.5hr boat trip to the inner islands of the Bay
  • On board guide 
  • One complimentary coffee, tea or hot chocolate
  • Option to pre-purchase a delicious locally made muffin or a yummy breakfast pack (GF options available, book prior to 2pm evening before departure)