Waimarie Paddle Steamer And Museum
The Only Operating Coal-Fired Paddlesteamer in New Zealand!
Experience river travel as it used to be on Whanganui’s iconic paddle steamer!
Salvaged from the bottom of the Whanganui River where she sat for around 50 years, the Paddle Steamer Waimaire was restored to her former glory and re-launched in 2000 to make her New Zealand’s last steam-powered and coal-fired passenger paddle steamer operating from the golden riverboat era of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Today, we can but dream of the hustle and bustle of the trading settlers and iwi who knew the Waimarie River Boat of old. Instead we can enjoy her resurrection with a leisurely river cruise more fitting to her stately grace. Loved by adults and children alike, a scheduled or private charter cruise on the Paddle Steamer Waimarie is undoubtedly the most authentic way to experience Whanganui River’s scenery and history.
Unique river cruises
Regular cruises run during warmer months (October-April) and private charter cruises can be made by arrangement anytime. Experience live and recorded commentary, homing pigeons and an original steam engine aboard every ‘Cruising at 11’ and special entertainment aboard one of our themed cruises. Eat and drink from ‘The Galley’ – our licensed bar serving a range of refreshments. To find out more, view our cruise timetable and prices and to book online visit www.waimarie.co.nz.
The Waimarie Centre is located on the banks of the Whanganui River in the heart of Whanganui city and is where you can make bookings, purchase cruise tickets and merchandise and marvel at a 134-year old architecturally designed building. It’s also home to our Waimarie Museum where you will discover artefacts and memorabilia from the river-boat era on the Whanganui River as well as the operations of the famous Hatrick & Co fleet.
The Waimarie Centre is open 10.00am-2.00pm Monday to Sunday (October-April) or by arrangement. We are also open from 10.00am-2.00pm every New Zealand public holiday Monday to coincide with cruises.
Did you know?
A little over 100 years ago the Whanganui River was developed to become a water highway for river steamers from Wanganui City on the coast to Taumarunui in the middle of the North Island.
This all began when Alexander Hatrick received, in 1891, a contract to carry mail and goods from Whanganui to Pipiriki some 60 miles upriver. In 1903 the river service was extended right through to Taumarunui. The service was not achieved without considerable difficulty and excitement, after all the vessels had to climb or descend some 239 rapids between Whanganui and Taumarunui. Hatrick & Company realising the attraction the great beauty of the forests of the river held for tourists, marketed the river as the Rhine of Maori Land and tourists came from all over the world to travel down river from Taumarunui and do one of the worlds greatest river journeys.
October – April:
Weekend sailings & selected Public Holidays.
January – March
As above and weekday sailings as well.
Paddle Steamer Waimarie
One Of A Kind
Built in 1899 and sent to New Zealand from England in a ‘Kit-Set’ form to assemble.
Stoke some coal and you will receive an ‘Honorary Stoker’ certificate!
Release a homing pigeon with your message from Upokongaro, and it will be back at the museum when you return!
Have a look at a brochure of this and many other heritage attractions in Whanganui! (8mb) Click here!