Tauranga has kayak trips aplenty, but an up-river cruise is a first for the district – at least in this century (there may have been a few running in the 1900’s). Waimarino Adventure Park has launched the Wairoa River Boat cruise from its idyllic base on the slow-moving river near Bethlehem.
Director Blair Anderson had the idea of an up river cruise in his head for some years, and now it’s become a reality. He describes the cruise on board an 11 metre long, aluminium pontoon boat, as a “nice way to get away from the hustle and bustle of life – and relax.” Blair enthuses about the low-speed chug up river through an un-peopled area of farms, native bush and wild life. The occasional row boat cruises past but otherwise there are just peaceful riverside scenes unfolding.
Waimarino is running two weekend trips, a two-hour standard trip ($35 per person) leaving at 2pm, and a dinner cruise departing at 6pm. Blair says their aim is to provide informative commentaries covering the history of the river – when it was used for transport and trade in the early days – and the Maori legends that surround it (Wairoa translates as ‘long waters’). Blair says the twin-hull boat which was built locally, is wide and stable, and can comfortably carry up to 40 passengers.
BoTCom will be trying out the river cruise, but we also invite feedback from anyone who wants a very different local water experience. Blair Anderson sees the river cruise as nicely complementing Waimarino’s blend of waterborne adventures – that include the much-applauded night-time kayak paddle into a glow worm canyon on Lake McLaren. More information: Phone Blair Anderson on 576 4233 or email email@example.com