Thursday, 13 October 2011

Lake Maraetai.

Lake Maraetai camp site at Mangakino overlooking Lake Maraetai.Lake Maraetai camp site at Mangakino overlooking the Lake.

Thursday morning arrived wet and miserable as we set off for our next destination, Mangakino which is an old town originally set up to house workers on the Waikato River Hydro Power scheme. When the hydro scheme was completed the population of the town dropped from 6000 to 2000 but the town refused to die and forty odd years later is making a comeback. Houses and sections are very cheap, under $100K for an old Ministry of Works house, not big but well built.

A pause in a torrential rain storm.A pause in a torrential rain storm.

We arrived amid showers and grey skies. A small parking area alongside the lake is set aside for motorhome/caravan parking with a toilet block. For those not wishing to cook, they can take advantage of the “Bus Stop Cafe” which is right alongside.  A very nice campsite well worth a return visit.

Parked up on the opposite side of the park was an old Paddle steamer which was built in London by Yarrow & Co in 1907. These days it’s powered by a modern diesel.  Having been hauled out of the water on 2 Heath Robinson trailers hitched together the owner had planned to paint the hull but the weather was against him. As he had a booking for the boat the next day he had to return it to the water untouched and naturally the event drew a crowd.

Launching the paddle boat Launching the paddle boat "Otunui" onto Lake Maraetai.

Paddle boat Paddle boat "Otunui" Built by Yarrow of London in 1907. Was probably a steam boat originally.

Gently does it. It only weighs 16 tonnes but it's a Heath Robinson sort of trailer.Gently does it. It only weighs 16 tonnes but it's a Heath Robinson sort of trailer.

Paddle Boat "Otunui" at anchor on Lake Maraetai.Paddle Boat "Otunui" at anchor on Lake Maraetai.


Peter Koole said...

Where did you keep Gypsy Rover in the UK? My inspiration (and training) for bringing the Otunui to Mangakino was running MV Farnworth, a Leeds and Liverpool wideboat, at Uxbridge, UK for two seasons. Peter.

Derek and Dot said...

Hi Peter,
Except for the odd occasion we cruised the canal network constantly never mooring in any marina unless forced to by circumstance.