Few New Zealand rivers were extensively used for commercial shipping, but from the 1890s Alexander Hatrick developed a fleet of river steamers to take tourists up the Whanganui River. The steamers had to negotiate many rapids, and in the shallower upper reaches they were hauled along by a hook and pulley system. The system is shown in action in this National Film Unit production of 1955. Soon after, the service died as roads developed in the Whanganui back country.
Using this item
Archives New Zealand – Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga
Reference: Using our Rivers. National Film Unit, 1955
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