PS Waimarie

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PS Waimarie on the Whanganui River

The PS Waimarie (known as Waimarie Paddle Steamer) is a historic riverboat based on the Whanganui River in New Zealand.

Looking down on the Whanganui River and the Waimarie paddle steamer, rowers and the Union Boat Club, from Durie Hill War Memorial Tower.


This paddle steamer was built as a kitset by Yarrow & Co in London in 1899. Assembled at Wanganui, and named PS Aotea, she began service with the Wanganui Settlers River Steamship Co.[1]

In 1892 Alexander Hatrick was contracted by Thomas Cook to carry tourists to Pipiriki on the paddle-steamer; the journey was "The Rhine of Maoriland" tourist route into the interior of New Zealand.[2] Hatrick's company purchased the Aotea in 1902 and she was renamed Waimarie, a Māori-language word meaning "peaceful waters".

The Waimarie operated a regular service between Wanganui and Pipiriki, carrying cargo, mail and passengers. The opening of the Whanganui River Road in 1935 reduced the demand for river transport, and the Waimarie, needing her boiler replaced, ceased running in 1949. In 1952, she sank at her moorings in Wanganui.[1]


After being buried in the river mud for nearly 40 years, the Waimarie was salvaged by volunteers in 1993. After a six-year restoration project, the PS Waimarie commenced tourist cruises on 1 January 2000.[1] During the summer season she operates on the lower stretches of the river, and is also available for charter.


  1. ^ a b c "Funding crisis could sink Waimarie". Retrieved 25 November 2015.
  2. ^ "Hatrick, Alexander 1857–1918: Merchant, shipowner, tourism entrepreneur, mayor". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography Volume Two (1870-1900), 1993. 1993. Retrieved 19 June 2010.

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