Full waka to view Matariki star cluster from Auckland Harbour

All seats on board a traditional waka to view the Matariki star cluster from Auckland Harbour have been snapped up.

Auckland Council says it's a sign of the growing interest in Māori culture.

But if you missed out on a spot on the waka, there's still more festivities on offer.

"So according to Waikato-Tainui traditions there are seven stars in the cluster, seven main stars in the cluster, Matariki is the main star her six daughters," Matariki Festival director Ataahua Papa told Newshub.

Matariki - the pleiades star cluster, is set to reappear in the sky on Monday, marking the start of the Maori New Year.

There will be plenty of public events around the city including kite flying, kapa haka, story-telling and sailing on a double-hulled waka.

"We'll have a navigator on board to talk about the stars and how the stars guided our tupuna from Hawaiki through the Pacific Islands to Aotearoa," Papa said.

Matariki is a time of reflection, and there isn't a better way to do it than coming out to the harbour before dawn

It's hoped some might be inspired to learn the ropes and join the waka crew - like Sonny Natanielu.

"I'd rather do it in Samoa because it's a lot warmer yeah the island boy in me is finding the cold hard but it's worth coming out for," he told Newshub.

The rise of Matariki is also a time to remember those who have passed, and prepare for the year ahead.

"Just take some time and take a few breaths and recharge the batteries," Papa said.