Welcome to Discovery Houseboats

Auckland, New Zealand


The lower region of the Waikato River, played a large part in the early history of New Zealand. In 1863-64 is was used by British as a passage for their gun boats to get close enough to shell the local Maori fortifications (Pa's) during the land wars.

The British built a number of Redoubts on high points down the river and most can be seen or visited from the luxury of Discovery as you glide down the river.

In the late 1800's through to 1950 a large number of commercial shipping use the river for freight and passengers between Port Waikato, Hamilton and Cambridge. Two of the larger examples of these vessels can been seen on the banks of the river at Mercer. The "Rawhiti 11" at 120 feet and the "Freetrader" both had stern paddle wheels.

Places of interest include:


# Te Whero's Redoubt/Pa - Over 400m long and now broken by the main highway to Hamilton
# Historical Settlers Museum at Rangiriri


# Meremere Pa
# Meremere Redoubt


# Mercer Gun Turret off the Steamer "Pioneer" used by General Cameron in the 1863 campaign.
# Remains of the ole Ceasar Rooser "Rawhiti 11" and "Freetrader"
# The Old Flax Mill


# Tuakau Districts Museum
# Alexander Redoubt - of the 1863 Land Wars . Named after King Edwards VII's bride. The trenches can still be clearly seen and are a good example of this type of fortification. Built in 1863 by solider's of the 65th regiment. The bush was cleared for a good view of craft on the river.


# Anglican Church was used as a fort in the 1863 wars.
# Pioneer Memorial Cottage built in 1859 for British Troops in the 1863 war.
# Old Whitebait Factory


# Waiuku Pioneer Folk Museum - Comprehensive collection of memorabilia of the pioneers
# Waiuku Heritage Walk

Awhitu Peninsula;

# South head signal station - see the shifting shoals and turbulent waters of the Manukau Heads and the site of the HMS Orpheus which ran around in 1863
# Awhitu light house

Discovery Houseboats Ltd, Auckland, New Zealand