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A fond farewell to the tall ships after Tuia 250

Media release: 26 November 2019

After being part of the Tuia 250 Voyage since early October, the Endeavour replica departs for her home base in Australia next week. The youth ship Spirit of New Zealand will also have her final public open days for Tuia 250 in Wellington.

Ngā waka will continue the Tuia 250 national commemoration in Whakaraupō / Lyttelton (6 – 10 December) and Te Māhia (15 – 19 December).

A special sail-by to open the Tuia 250 events in Wellington

Wellingtonians will be treated to the sight of the flotilla against a spectacular harbour backdrop as it performs a traditional sail-by around Wellington Harbour. A ‘sail-by salute’ is a maritime tradition dating back to ancient times.

Residents can expect to see the flotilla – comprising the Māori waka hourua Haunui and Ngahiraka Mai Tawhiti, the Tahitian va’a tipaerua Fa’afaite and the two tall ships – muster off Matiu/Somes Island during the morning.

From 1pm to 3pm approximately, the flotilla will perform a sail-by of Wellington Harbour from offshore in Eastbourne, passing the Petone foreshore, moving along the western side of the harbour and along the Wellington Waterfront. The vessels then berth at Queens Wharf on Jervois Quay in the CBD: the tall ships at around 3pm, and the waka around 4pm.

Note: The times and route above are approximate and subject to weather and maritime conditions and logistics on the day.

Tuia 250 Voyage events in Te Whanganui-a-Tara/Wellington

Sail-by of the Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla: 1.00 – 3.00pm around Whanganui-a-Tara/Wellington Harbour. With its many waterfront and hillside vantage points offering great harbour views, there’s no shortage of places to catch a great sight of the flotilla on the water.

Pōwhiri at Te Wharewaka: 7.30am on near Whairepo Lagoon. A formal welcome by local iwi Ngāti Toa and Te Atiawa for vessel crews and invited guests. Media are welcome to attend but you must register first (see accreditation section below). You must also observe cultural protocols when filming, which we can advise if needed.

Civic Welcome: 9.30am on Saturday 30 November under the sails at Queens Wharf Square. Event hosted by the Mayor of Wellington Andy Foster. See below for media stand-up details following this.

Vessels Open Day: 10am – 4pm on Queens Wharf, Jervois Quay. Thousands of Wellingtonians expected to go aboard the tall ships and ngā waka, as well as HMNZS Wellington. There will also be voyaging education workshops delivered by waka and va’a crews, and the pop-up planetarium ‘Stardome’ to learn more about celestial navigation.

Schools Open Day: 9am – 3pm on Monday 2 December on Queens Wharf, Jervois Quay. Around 1,300 school students are expected to visit the vessels during this schools-only engagement.


A media stand-up occurs immediately after the Civic Welcome at around 10.30am, providing an opportunity to interview the Mayor of Wellington, Tuia 250 spokespeople.

Interviews with spokespeople and filming aboard vessels: exclusive media access to the HMB Endeavour replica 8.30am - 9am on Sunday 1 and Monday 2 December. This includes ‘below decks’ access which will NOT be available during public Open Days.

Due to strong media interest expected, please pre-book your request for other onboard vessel access with the Tuia 250 Media Team on 027 556 0180 or [email protected].

You must get official permission to operate drones in and around Wellington Harbour due to regular helicopter activity.

Updated on 27th November 2019