Matariki Dawn Cruise

  • Duration
    4 hours
  • Category
  • Location
    Bay of Islands
  • Operating Season
    Friday 28 June 2024
  • Price
    FROM $119
    FROM $59.50

Matariki Dawn Cruise

Head out into the sheltered Bay of Islands to experience Matariki rising at dawn!

Our on-board guides and tohunga will tell you about 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.

Matariki Dawn Cruise
$119 Adult
Adults 16 years and over
$59.50 Child
Children 5 - 15 years

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 Maori New Year, Te Tau Hou Māori.

Karakia – ‘incantations’ – are said to honour the rising of Matariki and to celebrate the New Year. The various stars in the Matariki cluster are associated with different environmental domains: earth, sky, fresh water, salt water, rain and wind. There is also a star that is connected to those who have passed during the year and another that is connected to our wishes.

After time out on the water, we will head to Urupukapuka Island where you will enjoy a delicious light breakfast at Otehei Bay Café. 

The boat will return from Otehei Bay at 8:30am and will have you back to the mainland at approximately 9:15am. If you would like to extend your time on the island, there is also an option of returning on a later ferry at 1:45pm - bookings are essential


  • Cruise through the inner islands of the Bay to experience Matariki rising at dawn
  • Stargazing with informative commentary from our on board guides and tohunga
  • Complimentary coffee, tea or hot chocolate
  • Island stop at Otehei Bay Café on Urupukapuka Island for breakfast, with  your choice of either a continental breakfast (including Granola, Toast, Fruit Salad) or a Cooked Breakfast (including Bacon, Eggs, Beans and Toast) served with tea and coffee