About Us

Karitāne Māori Tours is located on the beautiful east coast of New Zealand's South Island, only a 30-minute drive from Otago's largest city, Dunedin.

Our tours are owned and operated by Kāti Huirapa ki Puketeraki, the local Maori iwi (people) of the area who wanted to share their passion for waka (canoes) and cultural practices with people from all over the world.

Our waka are a combination of old and new, double-hulled and outrigger. The revitalisation of waka on our river follows the strong cultural traditions of the past on the Waikouaiti River and links the people of Kāti Huirapa to the landscape.

Ecology and our environment

Karitāne Māori Tours is proud to involve visitors in the restoration of our natural environment.
Our waka tours take our visitors to Ohinepouwera (the Split), where Kati Huirapa has developed a 200-year planting plan, replacing exotic species with native plants.
Our whenua tours explore the Huriawa peninsula, where the native plant species are also being reintroduced, restoring the landscape back to nature.

Kāti Huirapa History

The earliest people of this area, formerly known as Waikouaiti, were Rapuwai, Hâwea, and Waitaha, followed by Kati Māmoe and more recently, Kai Tāhu. They had many settlements along the eastern Otago Coast, some of which endure to today as the Kaika or villages of this area. On a seasonal basis, our tupuna traversed Otago and Murihiku, gathering food and other resources. Our shared interest in those inland areas continues to this day.

The takiwa of Kāti Huirapa ki Puketeraki centres on Karitane and extends from Waihemo to Purehurehu and includes and interest in Otepoti and the greater harbour of Ōtākou. The takiwa extends inland to the Main Divide sharing an interest in the lakes and mountains to Whakatipu-Waitai with Rūnanga in the South.

  • Karitane Testimonial
    A well-rounded experience - Alex brought the landscape alive with stories and local history, great laughs in the waka and I enjoyed visiting the different natural environments


  • Karitane Testimonial
    Alex was a fantastic guide, he made it fun and interesting for the whole family! Great to hear about the stories of the past and be contributing back to the land by planting trees too