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


Gerald (Ackworth born) said...

Round the cape would be a long voyage for a paddle steamer. I remember having a trip on a small paddleboat down the Mahinapua River near Hokitika in 2001

Tumblewords: said...

What a fun cruise that would be. Paddle boats are surely special.

Jay said...

I'd like a cruise on her! If only because it would mean coming back to New Zealand. Beautiful country!

Judi said...

Paddle boats remind me of the song 'Old Man River....keep on rolling along'. Interesting post.

Roger Owen Green said...

Definitely think of the Mississippi River rather than a place half a world away.

Jama said...

Sentosa used to have a similar boat, used as a restaurant near the old ferry pier, don't know where it is now as the place was already taken over by the building of the integrated resorts.

Elaine Yim said...

This Waipa Delta is certainly worth replicating and preserving. Have a blessed and wonderful Christmas!