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Gold Coast welcomes the Mua

Gold Coast welcomes the Mua

Mua Voyage – By Roselle Tenefrancia


In a generation of automation and hi-tech navigation, we can still find the customs and “old world” technology of peoples who have, for centuries, maintained their traditional knowledge of sailing and navigation.


Enter the MUA voyage. “Mua” means the bow of a canoe, and also means to journey or travel in a certain direction. Four vaka canoes are sailing with crew from five Pacific Islands: Samoa (Samoa Voyaging Society), Tonga (Kalauni ‘O Tonga, Tonga Voyaging Society), New Zealand (Haunui Waka), Cook Islands (Marumaru Atua – Pacific Voyagers Cook Islands) and Fiji (Uto ni Yalu Trust). The canoes, built in the traditional design, are heading to Sydney for the IUCN World Parks Congress 2014.

Using the art of celestial navigation learned from their ancestors, they bring with them a message, A Pacific Call to Global Action. Their efforts as a group to send this message to the world have been brought about by climate change and the need for global action on the ocean, issues that affect all Pacific Islands. “Our drums are the voices of our People. Our sails are flags of hope. Our vakas (canoes) are symbols of our communities who have lived as one with nature. We have adapted to the vast expanses of the Pacific – harnessing the energy of the wind, the sun and the currents and, guided by nature we travel with our message to the world.”


The canoes use wind and solar energy to power them, and the crew members are not using modern technology to navigate the ocean. Mr Mario, one of the crew members of the Fiji canoe, Uto ni Yalu, says that they are encouraging people to use nature as their navigational guide, and to use solar and wind power to sail our oceans.

With almost 50 members on board the canoes, they have come to visit the Gold Coast to continue to spread their message across Australia. They will bring with them to Sydney their Pacific Promise: “Join us to protect and nurture our environment in harmony with our cultures. Nature, in turn, will help restore our planet.”


The Gold Coast City welcomed them with a traditional aboriginal welcome ceremony. An open day is planned for 1 November, Saturday. Three of the four vacas are currently on the Broadwater, and leaving the Gold Coast on Sunday, 2 November.

View more information about the Mua Voyage #muavoyage