MV Wairua Whanganui

Motor Vessel Wairua

Mr Hatrick's Motor Vessel Wairua - A genuine vintage riverboat

Built at Poplar London UK by Yarrow & Company, the Motor Vessel Wairua (Spirit) joined the famous Hatrick & Co Whanganui River Steamer fleet in November 1904 and was a pioneer of river travel above Pipiriki.

The Motor Vessel Wairua has a unique form of propulsion that is known as tunnel drive or raised propeller boat. That is the propeller is located in a tunnel above the bottom of the vessel and the water is drawn up into this and then thrust out of the stern past the vessels rudders. Avery early fore runner of today’s jet boats. This enabled the Motor Vessel Wairua to work in very shallow water.

The Motor Vessel Wairua was one of the vessels most used to carry settlers and supplies to the Mangapurua Landing, gate way to the famed Bridge to Nowhere settlement. We call the vessel Mr Hatrick’s Motor Vessel Wairua because the Wairua is the only vessel operating on the Whanganui River that was actually built for Alexander Hatrick founder of the Riverboat Service.

Now faithfully restored to first class condition, The Motor Vessel Wairua offers Day Picnic Trips to Hipango Park, Cruises to Upokongaro and Personalised Cruises for all occasions.


  • Hipango Park Picnic

    Here you can discover bush walks, the earth works of the old fighting par Potakataka, native birds and a large picnic ground!

  • Personalised Cruises

    The Motor Vessel Wairua is available for all types of social events (Birthdays, Weddings etc).

  • Combined Charters

    Tour packages may include heritage weekends, bus/boat excursions, museum tours, or just guided tours of our beautiful Whanganui RIver and surrounds.

  • Still curious?

    Check out our range of brochures, itineraries and other info on this and many other things to do in Whanganui! Click here!

Moutoa Gardens,
Whanganui, 4500,
New Zealand

Tues-Thurs during Summer

(special charters/group bookings)

0800 WAIRUA (924782)
3 hours or more
Adult: $38p/p, Children 5-15years: $12p/p, Childern Under 5: Free
Parking Available, BBQ Facilities, Bushwalks, Kayaking Or Canoing, Toilets, Playground, Wildlife, Picnic Facilities, Family Friendly

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