You don’t need to be a sailor to have a great day out at the Auckland Wooden Boat Festival – it is free to attend and promises fun for all ages, centred on the traditional approaches to boats and boating.

As well as a display of more than 160 boats, a maritime film festival and speaker series, there will be dozens of activities for all Aucklanders to try.

That includes getting afloat: try sailing, paddling, rowing and even radio yacht racing – all in classic style boats of course, from a sailing yacht, St Ayles Skiff and steamboats. There is also the opportunity to take a tour on the classic steam boat PUKE.

Visitors will love learning how to tie knots, discover traditional boat building techniques, learn how to read the stars like early Pacific navigators, and watch sails being made by hand.  A  stunning collection of historical yachting trophies, and a wide range of boating technology including working steam engines and the first outboard engines will all be on display.

“The Auckland Wooden Boat Festival promises fun and learning, all centred around Auckland’s early maritime history,” says festival co-director Michelle Khan of the event that this week also announced that Perpetual Guardian was onboard as a presenting sponsor.

“We encourage you to make a day of it – explore the boats, take in a speaker or two, join in the fun at the Kids Zone including storytelling with Capt. Jen and visit the Moana Auckland festival village and education hub. The Z Manu World Champs are on next door too.”


The festival is on Friday 1 March – Sunday 3 March from 10am-6pm at Viaduct Events Centre and Jellicoe Harbour.

The inaugural Auckland Wooden Boat Festival is 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 Tātaki Auckland Unlimited, the New Zealand Maritime Museum and Eke Panuku to tell the story of Auckland’s maritime history from the early days of settlement through to today.

Get full programme details at and on Facebook.

Main image: Ariki. Photo: Live Sail Die.