Paddling with pods of dolphins, passing through the iconic Hole in the Rock and battling testing sea conditions and tiring muscles was all part of a 270km waka ama voyage along Northland's east coast.
Twelve young paddlers along with a contingent of more experienced ocean paddlers from Kaihoe o Ngati Rehia waka ama began their voyage last Thursday and launched two six-man waka from Maitai Bay on the Karikari Peninsula.
On Sunday three double hull waka were lashed up and the crews began their last 23km leg to Whangarei's Town Basin.
Supporters lined the Canopy Bridge and cheered the determined paddlers across the line.
Photographer John Stone was part of the crowd to welcome the crews home.