The focus of these voyages is to highlight the power of story telling. Psychology tells us we are far more likely to remember a fact when it's tied up in story telling as it draws on empathy, imagination and the emotions.
Taniwha are ferocious creatures or guardians, representing the life force (mauri) of a place in physical form. The role of legendary 'taniwha' stories is to instill respect, often for something potentially dangerous.
So it is that Opotiki harbour has its taniwha ' Whanaunga-kore (the taniwha with no relations) who required visitors to be respectful if they were to navigate the sand bar safely.
The local rivers also had many taniwha. If watchful you can even discover taniwha lairs as you paddle serenely down river. But beware of the ensnaring claws of the taniwha or you will have your own story to tell!
Albert Einstein declared "Imagination is more important than knowledge."
10 km by road is beautiful deep pool area DOC reserve Hine Rae Domain
Stones and plant life wedge themselves along the river banks
Taniwha claws are often ready to ensnare you along the way
Glide over awesome legendary taniwha lairs.
Clear waters let you view amazing underwater scenes
Voyages end with The Wharf Hub and water park in sight
The Opotiki Harbour and estuary area offers a semi sheltered area very suited to beginner kayakers to gain skills and confidence. (1-2 hours)
There's also great places to visit, like exploring around the wharf or new 'golden gate' swing bridge. Alternatively kayaking 2km out to the sandy spit beach at the harbour's entrance and observing sea birds diving for their lunch. The areas rich in history and ecology too. Imagine the battles fiercely fought in the area. (2 hours)
($30 first hour, $40 for 2 hours and $50 half day. Includes life jackets, basic tuition, and local guide knowledge.)
Having some basic kayaking skills and adventurous attitude you'll be ready to take on the 10km downstream Waioeka River run. ( About 3-4 hours )
From the bush clad Hine Rae domain, down many shallows and a few small rapids to add excitement, there's taniwha claws to be wary of and then on to discover their holed lair.
At your voyage end the river widens out and The Wharf Hub comes into view.
Pull out your kayaks at the rope swings steps and recount your adventures. Theres hot showers and towels here too if you need them.
$100 per person includes transport, river shoes, kayaks and life jacket, water proof container for smart phones. Minimum 2 people. River conditions permitting.