7 May 2015

Pacific voyagers sail to join Cook Islands festival

9:39 am on 7 May 2015

The Cook Islands vaka, Marumaru Atua, has begun its journey home to Rarotonga, after leaving Auckland on Tuesday following a conservation congress in Australia.

Marumaru Atua departing Rarotonga

Marumaru Atua departing Rarotonga Photo: Cook Islands Voyaging Society

The voyagers are heading home for the inaugural 'Te Manava Vaka Festival' organised as part of the Cook Islands 50th anniversary celebrations.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature World Parks Congress saw a flotilla of sailing vessels sharing the Pacific nations' message about the critical need to respect and protect important natural places.

The Marumaru Atua's journey to the Cook Islands will be joined by five sister voyaging canoes from Fiji, Samoa and Tahiti and two canoes from Aotearoa.

They will attend events in Rarotonga before sailing to Aitutaki for a continuation of the festival there.