Te Wheke-a-Muturangi: The Adversary
Te Wheke-a-Muturangi: The Adversary
Past Event

Te Wheke-a-Muturangi: The Adversary


5 – 28 January 2024


Watermans Cove Barangaroo NSW 2000

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Map, showing Te Wheke-a-Muturangi: The Adversary

There are many stories lying deep in the Pacific Ocean. None is more amazing than that of Te Wheke-a-Muturangi.

In Māori mythology, Te Wheke is the giant octopus chased by Kupe, the legendary Polynesian fisherman and navigator who some say was the first to discover Aotearoa New Zealand. In the epic encounter, Kupe dealt many terrible blows to Te Wheke – eventually killing her – and from that moment on, a red sunset reflecting on the sea is thought to be the blood let during their legendary battle. Centuries later, the giant octopus in that story will travel across the Tasman Sea to share her tale for the very first time in Sydney. 

Created by the multi-disciplinary Māori artist Lisa Reihana and made from more than 1000 pieces, the floating, majestic Te Wheke-a-Muturangi sculpture will take up residence in Watermans Cove, gently animated by harbour breezes and shifting currents, bathed in sunlight and moonglow. 

Scan the QR code on-site to hear Te Wheke’s remarkable story. Or hit the harbour on a kayak tour for an up-close encounter.  

Opening day

The traditional Māori sounds of the Te Aranganui choir will mark the festival’s official opening, with a special performance and Welcome to Country from Muruwari man Matt Doyle by the waterfront on Friday 5 January at 11:15am. Sharing the stories of their ancestors, the choir will herald the arrival of Te Wheke-a-Muturangi: The Adversary.

Kayak Tours

Option 1 
Darling Harbour Explorer: Sea Kayaking Tour – 1 hour, 30 minutes

Option 2
Beautiful Sydney Harbour: Early Morning/Breakfast Tour – 2 hours, 30 minutes