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Ngatangiia Harbour is historically believed to be the departure point for Polynesian voyagers who discovered Aotearoa from about 900 BC onwards. A circle of stones and mounted plaque depict the famous Maori canoe yoyages which reached New Zealand. Ngatangiia CICC church which is both historic and of heritage value (coral rock construction) is an important community focus for the surrounding villagers. Avana harbour is popular with local fishermen and as a mooring for sea-craft.
The immediate area was used as the base for the 1992 South Pacific Arts Festival. Construction of sea-voyaging vaka using ancient sailing techniques to provide authenticity to their design have been completed on the shores of Ngatangiia harbour during the close of the previous millenia. These vaka have helped resurge interest in celestial navigation for Cook Islands vaka voyagers. Several fishing and diving charters depart from Avana. A fish cafe has opened at Avana serving fresh fish meals and cold drinks. A village store is located before you reach Avana Harbour on the town side of the main road. A little known track leads to the seafront by driving down the side road that indicates Avana Apartments. Stunning seascape views and a closer look at the harbour entrance can be viewed from this point. BEWARE: the harbour is not safe to swim!