Motor Vessel Wairua

Motor Vessel Wairua


From last year #We_love_WAIRUA
Just wanted to say a huge thank you.

Not only for the awesome boat ride today, but for the wonderful captain acknowledging my son's hypersensitivity to loud noises. He kept telling his father how the captain only did two quiet t***s on the boat and it wasn't scary!
Sam Mordey owns and operates his vessel the Motor Vessel Wairua to Hipango Park contact his web site for trip details

Motor Vessel Wairua
Heritage River Cruises and Personalised Charters

Temporarily closed


Probably an additional 12 inches of water compared to last weekend. We don’t expect it to get any higher or lower before mid-morning tomorrow.

If you are out for a look at the river, please don’t approach the boat as you may not be able to see where the land ends and the river begins.


Not anticipating any problems with the river overnight. Levels at Pipiriki are falling but a large amount of local rain and the atmospheric conditions are making things look worse than they are.

Although it’s nice to get messages of support and to see folks worried about us, Keep calm. If’s it’s going to flood, we will be sure to let you know.


There will be no Heritage River Cruise today due to the weather.


Late afternoon charter today. Warm but a little breezy out there.

Photos from Motor Vessel Wairua's post 02/06/2022

Happy boat riding out a moderate fresh tonight.

Quite a bit of driftwood under the pontoon but that should clear itself as the river rises and speed increases until the local peak at 0300 tomorrow.


There certainly has been some significant rain but there’s no cause for alarm.

The river will peak at about 9 meters at Pipiriki overnight, unless there is unexpected rainfall in the catchment.

Saturday’s cruise is a little up in the air at this stage however Sunday will proceed as planned.


Sunday selling out fast, only 11 seats left.
Saturday is currently at 50%, 18 seats left.

Book at


Book at

Photos from Air Chathams's post 20/05/2022

Photos from Air Chathams's post


Much better condition for the bilges after a clean.

What is the name and purpose of the white, square box on the right?


Engine service and bilge clean today. Everything running just as it should.

Engine pipework will get a polish later in the week.

Can anybody guess the horsepower?


First Heritage River Cruise of the Winter Season today.

Join us on Mother’s Day tomorrow at 11:00am.

Book at

FareHarbor | Online Activity & Tour Operator Booking Software 04/05/2022

FareHarbor | Online Activity & Tour Operator Booking Software

We will be closed on Sunday 12 June to see this amazing event for ourselves.

You can book tickets for the experience by contacting Steam Incorporated, these guys are awesome operators and we thoroughly recommend their excursions.

Go Diesels Go!

FareHarbor | Online Activity & Tour Operator Booking Software As industry leaders, we provide the best online booking software & services to help your tour, rental, or activity business succeed! Schedule a demo today!


The next Riverboat History Night has been announced.

4:00pm Saturday 25 June

Book Now at

Join us onboard the vessel for a comprehensive talk by Captain Sam with video accompaniments about the origins, history and revival of our unique maritime heritage with a focus on restoration and preservation.

Q & A plus 60 minute twilight cruise to follow.

Nibbles and drinks included.
Approximately 3 hours in duration


Where are we?

Comment your answer.


Beautiful day for our last Upokongaro Village Cruise for the summer and we were really busy.

Our 1.5 hour Heritage River Cruise starts on Sunday 1 May and will sail at 11:00am every weekend (Saturday and Sunday) until the end of July.

Book at


This weekend we change to our winter programme with the first sailing on Sunday 1 May.

For the winter, we operate a 1.5 hour cruise to the edge of the city on Saturday and Sunday at 11:00am.

Book at

Adults $41.00
Children (5-15) $16.00
Family (2+2) $98.00
Under 5’s FREE


Only 6 seats left on tomorrow’s Upokongaro Village Cruise. Book now or miss out!


Beautiful time out on our Riverboat History Night yesterday.

The weather was perfect, catering magnificent and the presentation engaging.

Hopefully we will run more of these nights soon.


11:30am morning is full
18 seats at 1:30pm

Book today’s special by messaging our page.


10 seats remaining at 11:30am
20 seats remaining at 1:30pm

Book our 1 hour specials by messaging our page.


The 11:30am special tomorrow is now 50% full. 15 seats remaining.

Plenty of space on the 1:30pm special.

Book via messenger.


This could be you.

1 hour cruises at 11:30am and 1:30pm on Saturday.
Message us to book.

Adults $20 Children $10


Still places left on our overnight cruise departing 28 May.

Information, itinerary and Pricing at


Discounted Fares Available - See Below

We still have space left on our Riverboat History Night experience on Saturday. Starting 5pm.

Use promo code: hullofatime for a $10pp discount.

This experience features a comprehensive history talk with historic video footage and pictures. Q&A session, tour of the boat, dessert canapés, hot drinks and a 45 minute night cruise through the city. Approximately three hours in duration.

Book at


Sunday afternoon, we took a ride on SS Puke, a beautiful little harbour steamer. The cruise included passing under the main span of the Auckland Harbour Bridge.


Our next Survey will take place between 12 and 31 August this year.

This will involve removing the vessel from the water for a general inspection and repainting the hull.

Given that pretty much EVERYTHING was done last time, we are only expecting to be doing cosmetic work. Generally Wairua is an easy vessel to care for, except for the 2612 square miles of timberwork. (Or at least it feels like that much!)

Motor Vessel Wairua | MV Wairua 11/04/2022

Motor Vessel Wairua | MV Wairua

We are fast running out of available dates for our Upokongaro Village Cruise. We have added a couple of extra dates next week for the school holidays. We will be sailing to Upokongaro on the 14th, 19th, 20th, 21st, 22nd, 26th and 28th.

From 1st May, we will be switching to a 1.5 hour Heritage River Cruise at 11:00am Saturday and Sunday. This will be our only regular public cruise available until Labour Weekend.

The vessel will be out of service from 12th August to 31st August for our out-of-water survey.

All available trips can be viewed and booked on our website,

Motor Vessel Wairua | MV Wairua Cruise on a historic riverboat through the Whanganui river. Public Sailings weekly and private charters by request


Special 1 hour cruises running this Saturday ONLY.

Bookings Essential.

Bookings by messaging our page and follow the prompts. Not available on our website or through our re-sellers.
Masks required within indoor spaces. No Vaccine Pass required.

Photos from Motor Vessel Wairua's post 10/04/2022

Visiting Brigantine “Breeze” at NNew Zealand Maritime Museumyesterday. Really look forward to sailing on her in the future.


Boating of a different kind today.


Riverboat History Night - Saturday 16 April

Join us onboard for a comprehensive history of the Whanganui Riverboat Service, Motor Vessel Wairua and the pioneering personalities of early Whanganui.

Hot drinks, nibbles and short cruise to conclude.

Book at


Don’t hesitate, book your charter today!

Minimum numbers, deposit and terms & conditions apply.

Our Story

Motor Vessel Wairua
Heritage River Cruises and Personalised Charters

Motor Vessel Wairua was built over in London by Yarrow & Co. Shipbuilders back in 1904 and was sent out here as a kit-set, to be assembled on the riverbank just opposite our mooring at Moutoa Gardens.

She was launched and commissioned into service in November 1904 and ran on the middle section of the Whanganui River between Pipiriki (about 60 Miles upstream of Whanganui) and Whakahoro (a further 55 Miles above Pipiriki).

Wairua carried passengers and cargo along that section of the river until about 1938 before being withdrawn from service and brought back down to Whanganui to be used as a pontoon for some of the larger riverboats that were still operating.

Videos (show all)

Motor Vessel Wairua Celebrates 115 Years


Upokongaro Village Cruise 11:30am Tuesday and Thursday



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