Story: Shipping

Whanganui river steamer

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.

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Archives New Zealand – Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga
Reference: Using our Rivers. National Film Unit, 1955

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How to cite this page:

Gavin McLean, 'Shipping - Sailing ships and inland vessels in the steam era', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/video/5788/whanganui-river-steamer (accessed 12 November 2019)

Story by Gavin McLean, published 12 Jun 2006, updated 1 Jan 2016