Wednesday, December 23, 2009
ABC Wednesday, Letter W: Waipa Delta
The original paddle-steamer, the Waipa, transported settlers to the fertile heartland of the Waikato as far back as 1876. People took a pleasure journey up and down this beautiful and longest river of New Zealand.
The "Waipa Delta" is a replica paddle steamer which operates pleasure cruises on the Waikato River at Hamilton on the North Island of New Zealand. She was built in Tauranga in 1985 and is operated by Delta Tours Ltd of Hamilton. Since 1985 the Waipa Delta has carried over 600,000 passengers.
This year, the owner Mark Goudie and Hamilton City Council couldn't agree on a deal to keep it in Hamilton.
What was a loss to Hamilton became a gain to Auckland. The voyage is one that needs three days of suitable weather and will be a large logistical effort. At this stage the boat will sail for 42-hours non-stop north along the Waikato River, up the west coast, and around Cape Reinga before docking at Mangonui in Northland.
The epic journey took at least two skippers and the Delta traveled at a top speed of about 10 knots.
The Waipa Delta now sails in the Auckland Harbour and is available for Lunch and Dinner Cruises, Thursday to Sunday, for public bookings and is also available for charter cruises 7 days a week