Hokulea and Hikianalia leave Tonga, heading to New Zealand next

Hokulea and Hikianalia are almost at the end of the latest leg of their journey.

The voyaging canoes left Tonga and are now on their way to New Zealand.

The crews were given a warm send off from Nukualofa in Tonga on Monday complete with an exchanging of gifts between crew members and government officials.

The crews spent the last several days in the capital city and major port where they provided educational outreach programs to students and the public.

Now, they head to the Bay of Islands and moor at Te Tii Beach.

The canoes are expected to reach New Zealand on Nov. 15.

It will be the first time Hokulea has returned there since first arriving in 1985.

“We go to the significance of this voyage to learn, to bring home priorities of our values and make sure they’re in schools,” said Nainoa Thompson, president, Polynesian Voyaging Society.

In all, the Malama Honua worldwide voyage lasts through 2017.

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