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Forgotten films and iconic speakers to feature at the Auckland Wooden Boat Festival

by Zoe Hawkins 7 Feb 23:55 NZDT
Classics yachts will feature at one of the sessions at the Auckland Wooden Boat Festival © Ivor Wilkins - Ocean Press

The Auckland Wooden Boat Festival has announced a stunning maritime Festival of Film and Speaker program will be part of its inaugural event this March.

Te Toki Voyaging Trust, the Whiting family, modern-day oceanic explorers, star gazers, and veteran restorers of famous vessels will feature in the speaker line-up of the inaugural Auckland Wooden Boat Festival, along with a range of short films.

Eleven speakers, and eight films feature during the event.

“The Auckland Wooden Boat Festival celebrates Auckland’s maritime heritage and we are so fortunate to have people who willingly share their knowledge and tell their stories,” says festival co-director Michelle Khan.

“We especially acknowledge those who are providing insight into celestial navigation before instruments were invented, and indigenous craft, which is still an area we are learning more about. Our daring Maori explorers and navigators, and early-European sailors, were remarkable.”

    Highlights of the speaker program are:
  • Penny and Tony Whiting share stories of their offshore adventures spanning more than 55years, most continents and well-over over 200,000nm between them
  • Te Toki Voyaging Trust speaks about regaining and perpetuating skills of early Pacific voyagers
  • Historians speak about the restoration of the Ngataki, featured in the South Seas Vagabonds book by Johnny Wray
  • Author Lin Pardey talks of sailing 200,000nm in wooden boats, without an engine
  • Learn about the latest on the preservation of the Daring, (1863) discovered and recovered from the Kaipara Harbour in 2021
  • Is there a sustainable future for Classic Boats? Panel discussions and more

The Festival of Film is 180 minutes of short films about celestial navigation, waka building, wayfinding, famous Auckland boats and the art of maintaining wooden boats and heritage vessels.

Full program details can be viewed at

All talks will be shown at the New Zealand Maritime Museum, and bookings are recommended, but the events are free to attend.

The film festival will be shown throughout the day in the Museum theatre, no bookings required.

The inaugural Auckland Wooden Boat Festival part of Moana Auckland – New Zealand’s Ocean Festival. It is organised by members of the Tino Rawa Trust and the Classic Yacht Association with the support of Tataki Unlimited, the New Zealand Maritime Museum and Eke Panuku to tell the story of Tamaki Makaurau / Auckland’s maritime history from the early days of settlement through to today.

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