Sail Taupo’s Māori Rock Carvings sustainably

Take to the water on Lake Taupo and explore the scenic Western Bays of Lake Taupō to see the huge Māori rock carvings at Mine Bay. Step aboard the electric yacht with Sail Barbary, and not only experience sailing on the crystal-blue waters of Lake Taupō, but do so sustainably with minimal impact on the environment.

Your day begins as you sit back and relax for the journey across the crystal-clear waters of Lake Taupo, before investigating the hidden bays and dramatic coastline that tell the story of Taupō’s volcanic past. Take in the stunning vistas that spread out along the shoreline and the distant peaks of majestic mountains rising high above the lake.

Whether you want to sit back and just enjoy the peace on the quiet, zero-emissions yachts or want to get more hands-on and take the wheel or help hoist the sails, you’re set for an amazing experience.

The carvings

With Sail Barbary, you get up close and experience the cultural significance of the Māori Rock Carvings at Mine Bay. As the guide tells the story of the masterful artistry of Matahi Whakataka-Brightwell, years in the making, guests onboard can marvel at his magical creations as they stretch 14 metres above you.

In the late 1970s master carver Matahi Whakataka-Brightwell had completed his 10-year training period with Māori elders and the story goes, he came to his grandmother’s land at Lake Taupō to mark the occasion with a significant carving.

Matahi decided to carve a likeness of Ngatoroirangi, a visionary Māori navigator who guided the Tūwharetoa and Te Arawa tribes to the Taupō area over a thousand years ago. In recognition of the cross-cultural nature of New Zealand, Matahi carved two smaller figures of Celtic design, which depict the south wind and Ngatoroirangi stopping the south wind from freezing him.

Only accessible by boat, discover the history and significance of this world-renowned site as our experienced storytellers and guides weave a vibrant tapestry that takes you back to days gone past. Listen and become enmeshed in the story as you join the artist on a mystical journey, calling his ancestor’s home.

Day cruises sail at 10:30am, 2:00pm 5.00pm and 7.30pm sunset cruise in Summer. The cruise includes complimentary hot chocolate, tea, or coffee. BYO and Licenced.

Sailing sustainably

Truly the sustainable choice, Sail Barbary is dedicated to preserving the resources and natural beauty of the very place they sail. Every yacht in the fleet is 100% emission-free and lets you immerse yourself in the experience without the distracting rumble of a motor or the smell of noxious fumes.

Their commitment to sustainability doesn’t end with the fleet but carries into reducing packaging waste to employing environmentally friendly cleaning products to using recycled and bio-degradable goods on board.

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Kate Webster is a world traveller, ocean lover and conservation warrior who is determined to make every moment count for not only herself but the world around her. This has inspired Kate to translate those moments and share them through her storytelling. A dedicated David Attenborough and Jane Goodall fan, Kate has delved into the world of wildlife and conservation travel to bring awareness.