Our Newest Waka - Te Ao Mārama 

On Saturday 25th October our newest waka Te Ao Mārama joined our fleet. Te Ao Mārama is a Māori concept relating to wisdom and understanding, and the natural world of life and light. It derives from the Maori legend in which Tāne (Māori god of forest and birds) separated his Sky Father Ranginui and Earth Mother Papatūānuku to create a world of light and life.

The graphic design on the side of our waka represents this this natural world known as Te Ao Mārama. The first generation of Te Ao Mārama was with us for 16 years, joining our fleet in 2000 and departing in 2016. Upon it's departure, Whale Watch completed a process to remove the mauri (life force, essence) of the name and placed this into a rākau (piece of wood) for safe keeping. Now that the second generation of Te Ao Mārama has returned to us, we have now come full circle and can gift the mauri back to the new waka.


Te Ao Mārama 1st and 2nd generation

Overview of Te Ao Mārama:

  • Total Passenger Capacity: 116 Pax
  • Captain's Cabin (upstairs): 12 seats
  • Ocean Cabin (downstairs): 104 seats
  • Length: 24m, beam: 9.2m, draft: 0.9m
  • Engines: 4x Scania Marine Diesel Engines
  • Propulsion: 4x Hamilton Jets

Passenger comfort and safety is top of mind in the design of this vessel with the hope that all who join with us have an amazing and comfortable experience. Incorporating current and new technology to improve visitor experience, such as:

  • Sickle Bow hull design to improve sea keeping capabilities
  • Adjustable hydrofoil system to improve vessel performance and sea keeping capabilities
  • Naiad Dynamic Active Interceptor Ride Control System to improve sea keeping capabilities by reducing pitch and roll motions
  • All surround viewing decks with the addition of a grandstand area on the bow

We have two cabin classes on Te Ao Mārama:

Captain’s Cabin

Looking for greater comfort and exclusivity? The Captain’s Cabin is situated in the wheelhouse alongside the skipper and watch keeper. This cabin provides our guests with exclusive access to the skipper as they go about their duties as well as a dedicated guide for the duration of the tour. 

Capacity is 12 passenger’s maximum - this replicates the intimacy of our early days on 6.7m naiads but within a more comfortable and modern setting.


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Ocean Cabin

The main passenger cabin is enclosed and large outside decks offer great viewing and photo opportunities. Spacious air-conditioned interiors are fitted with comfortable seating while large plasma screens display our award-winning marine wildlife animations. Passenger numbers for each tour are kept well below our vessel carrying capacity to ensure your tour experience remains a personal one. Capacity is 104 passengers.


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For all our guests we ask that you maintain good hygiene by making use of hand sanitiser placed around our facilities. If you are experiencing any flu like symptoms, please stay at home. Contact us if you have any questions. Be safe and be kind. 


Child goes free with every full fare paying adult
Extended travel period between 26 June - 25 July 2021 
Discount automatically applied for direct website bookings only
Discount not applicable to the Captain's Cabin


On our vessel Te Ao Mārama

Book Now or Contact Us if you have any questions. 

Tours are available every day except Christmas Day.