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Waka on Avon - Willowbank Wildlife Reserve & Restaurant

Waka on Avon

Ko Tāne was previously held at Willowbank but is not reopening 2022/2023.  For a new cultural experience in the city centre, enjoy Waka On Avon:


Waka on Avon – A completely new and active way to experience Christchurch’s 180 year history.

Leaving from the Margaret Mahy Playground in the city centre, this 45 minute waka paddling experience is an amazing historical and cultural trip on Ōtākaro Avon River.

Participate in the excitement of paddling a hand-crafted waka down the River Avon, and learn about the importance of the waka to Māori culture. Enjoy early stories of Canterbury’s Ngāi Tahu iwi, as well as other stories about the European settlers, understanding the positive things they achieved by building the city of Christchurch together.

This is not the first time waka have been seen on the Ōtākaro Avon River either.  Early Māori originally came to Aotearoa New Zealand by waka and 180 years later, waka remained an important part of the early building of Christchurch. Māori and early settlers used waka to assist with transport and trading, working together along the Avon River.

We are currently taking bookings on request (minimum group size applies).

For more information and to book Waka on Avon, click here –

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