Te Au o Tonga ("the mist of the South")[1] is a reconstruction of a vaka moana, a double-hulled Polynesian voyaging canoe. It was built in 1994 by former Cook Islands Prime Minister Thomas Davis and the Cook Islands Voyaging Society.[2] It was used to teach polynesian navigation.

The vaka is made of laminated wood, 72 feet long, with a displacement of 10 to 12 tons, and a crew of 18.[1] It has inspired other designs,[3] being used by the Okeanos Foundation for the Sea as a model for a group of fibreglass-hulled replicas, including Marumaru Atua,[4] and later by the Te Aurere Voyaging Society in New Zealand as a model for their kauri-hulled Te Aurere.[5] It has also featured in the filmThe Legend of Johnny Lingo.[4]

Since 2002 the vaka has been based in Aitutaki.[4] In 2012 it completed a refit, with repairs to the hull and crossbeams.[3] In 2014 it completed a further refit, which replaced the hull, decks, and spars.[6] It is currently used for training and tourism trips in the Aitutaki lagoon.[6]



  1. ^ a b "Te Au O Tonga". Cook Islands Voyaging Society. Archived from the original on 29 July 2020.
  2. ^ "The Cook Islands Voyaging Society Strategic Plan 2018-2023" (PDF). Cook Islands Voyaging Society. p. 3. Retrieved 18 August 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Vaka Te Au O Tonga is back". Cook Islands News. 12 September 2012. Retrieved 13 November 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "History of Voyaging". Cook Islands Voyaging Society. Archived from the original on 4 August 2020. Retrieved 18 August 2020.
  5. ^ "NZ vaka modelled on Te Au O Tonga". Cook Islands News. 8 January 2018. Retrieved 13 November 2020.
  6. ^ a b "New chapter for much-loved vaka". Cook Islands News. 17 June 2014. Retrieved 13 November 2020.
  7. ^ Quintina Naime (30 August 2015). "Anti-nuclear 'dream team' reunite". Loop. Retrieved 13 November 2020.
  8. ^ CHRISTOPHE MARQUAND (1 September 1995). "Protest Vessels Ring Test Site, Awaiting Signs of First Blast". AP News. Retrieved 13 November 2020.
  9. ^ "America's Cup underway with vibrant Pasifika flavour". Pacific Islands Monthly. Vol. 69, no. 11. 1 November 1999. p. 53. Retrieved 13 November 2020 – via National Library of Australia.
  10. ^ Nick Perry (30 June 2000). "Sailing in the wake of early navigators". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 13 November 2020.
  11. ^ Jon Tikivanotau M. Jonassen. "Cook Islands". Project Muse. Retrieved 13 November 2020.