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New Zealand prepares for Waitangi Day

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26 January 2010

The impending celebration of Waitangi Day in New Zealand offers an unrivalled opportunity to travellers.

Tourism New Zealand explains that this is because a record-breaking fleet of waka - canoe-like vessels which vary in size and can be up to 40 metres long - is due to be assembled for the event.

With 2010 named the Year of the Waka, the recently restored 76-man Ngatoki-mata-whao-rua is due to lead the fleet.

Ngatoki-mata-whao-rua is the largest waka in New Zealand and is believed to be the largest in the world.

Tourism New Zealand adds that the fleet is taking to the water on 6 February, when Waitangi Day is due to be celebrated, with over 50,000 people expected to see the spectacle.

A fleet of waka is just one of the rare sights to be seen while on a holiday in New Zealand.

Daily Telegraph columnist Sue Attwood recently described the Kapita Island bird sanctuary as "like arriving at Jurassic Park".

Once the engine of the ferry is switched off, she said that the birdsong is the next sound to hit visitors.

Posted by Dave TrimbleADNFCR-2704-ID-19578464-ADNFCR

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