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Otunui Paddleboat - CLOSED
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River Cruising

The "Otunui" Paddleboat is now cruising on the Wairoa River at Bethlehem near Tauranga, Peter took... read more

Reviewed 26 February 2015
Helen C
,
Katikati, New Zealand
Once we found it this was a great cruise!

As we were travelling outside a weekend we pre-booked on this trip to make sure it was sailing on... read more

Reviewed 22 January 2014
silverthreads101
,
Palmerston North, New Zealand
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Reviewed 26 February 2015

The "Otunui" Paddleboat is now cruising on the Wairoa River at Bethlehem near Tauranga,
Peter took us on a cruise up the Wairoa River nearly as far as the Ruahihi Power Station.
We stopped for a picnic lunch on the riverbank & were lucky to have fine weather for a most interesting trip for our Travel Club Group of 32 people.
Our Group had previously been on the Otunui when it was based at Mangakino.

Date of experience: February 2015
2  Thank Helen C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 January 2014

As we were travelling outside a weekend we pre-booked on this trip to make sure it was sailing on the day we were in the area. Based on the pamphlet we had showing Lake Maraetai and the paddle steamer Otunui we duly headed to Mangakino with the idea we would have time for a picnic lunch before the two hour cruise at 1pm. Although we had an address we could not find such a place at Mangakino and a visit to the lake front did not reveal a likely vessel for our trip! A frantic phone call and some assistance from a local shop keeper saw us obeying speed limits and reaching Lake Whakamaru where the boat now sails from (near the Christian Camp)with just moments to spare of departure time-the owner did say he would wait for us!
Fortunately we were able to take our picnic on board although snacks and drinks are for sale so we got lunch and a fantastic and informative trip on Lake Whakamaru for 2 hours. The history of this boat is amazing and it is a real credit that it has been so well restored and maintained for tourist trips.
We were amused to experience having to move sides to keep this narrow boat on an even keel throughout the journey as people moved around and upset the fine balance.
We had previously only viewed Lake Whakamaru by road as" yet another dammed lake on the mighty Waikato" but seeing it from the water has made us really appreciate the beauty of this man-made lake in a natural setting. There are some great campsites where a number of people were enjoying their summer holiday. There is a hot water beach (only reached by boat)-reminding us of the volcanic nature of the region.
We'd like to suggest the following ideas to enhance a fantastic trip and open it up to more locals and international visitors-
a bit more marketing around the country-we didn't see any pamphlets in Rotorua for example; improved signage near the launch place; ensuring up to date pamphlets/website information when you change venues

Date of experience: January 2014
1  Thank silverthreads101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 May 2013

I had no expectations (or any knowledge) of this attraction, but it is highly deserving of a great deal more exposure.
Having just read the other reviews, I have nothing further to add, except to unreservedly recommend to anyone interested in maritime history, natural beauty, tranquility, gently emerging gorgeous vistas, and personable hosts.
I could include some great images, but I would rather visitors experience as I did - without spoilers.
Good luck to Peter Koole. What a great (inexpensive) gift to local and international visitors!
Thanks Peter, we really enjoyed the experience!

Date of experience: May 2013
3  Thank KiwiWithWings80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 November 2012 via mobile

Honoured to review the Otunui, a 1907 paddle boat operating on Lake MAraetai and Waikato river ,NZ.
39 of us were in our group of Taupo Junior Golfers and the owners had donated this large group trip as a prize for a golf auction. The juniors were lucky to be given this and for most this trip was a first. Even as a local Taupo resident I did not know if such a beautiful spot and attraction.
The cruise, normally 2 hours long passes beautiful river rock sheer cliff faces and lush ferns. We saw trout swimming and a sweet waterfall. The owner operator was professional and helpful and I will certainly be back with family to do this again. Instead of a return trip we choose to walk the hour and half river walk which was a steady hike but well worth it with a large suspension bridge to cross. The kids had a ball. The youngest was 5years and managed walk. A steady walk with some uphill but good track.
Great playground in reserve whilst waiting to board and quaint wee caravan cafe. No EFTPOS but great coffee. Well worth it and can't wait to return Thankyou Otunui, The Paddleboat Company, Mangakino. You were awesome.

Thank taupoTaupo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 February 2012

We were staying at Rotorua for our 48th wedding anniversary & travelled to Mangakino (about 45 minutes - And a lovely drive.)

We went on the 2 hour afternoon trip - left at 1pm and back around 3pm.

Departed from the wharf at Lake Maraetai & enjoyed views of native and exotic forests and wildlife.

The journey up Mangakino Stream and bridges was absolutely superb. Spotted plenty of trout.

The cliffs on either side of the Paddleboat were fantastic. Can't speak highly enough...

Lake Maraetai reserve is a wonderful, unspoilt paradise.

Truly a little New Zealand treasure@

Date of experience: February 2012
Thank TerrySenior
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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