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Sydney Festival

Te Wheke-a-Muturangi: The Adversary

Where
Watermans Quay
Barangaroo NSW 2000
Australia
When

Every day, 12pm to 12pm Friday 5 January to Sunday 28 January

Rising to the surface

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 1,000 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

On Friday 5 January at 10am, join us for a Welcome to Country and short performance by Sydney's Māori Choir to celebrate the unveiling of Te Wheke-a-Muturangi.

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