Lake Taupo Launches At The Landing

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Lake Taupo Launches At The Landing
The above photo comes to us via NZ Vintage Postcard fb and is captioned – The Landing, Taupo and is possibly from the 1930>1940’s period.

A question for Paul Drake – is the boat ‘closest to the channel‘ your 1914 Bailey and Lowe launch – Romance  ? If so, that would date the photo post 1931.

Can we ID any of the other boats?

Input from Paul Drake – Yes the launch nearest the channel is ROMANCE, still at Taupo and owned by the Drake Brothers. She arrived ex Napier post 1931 earthquake as a flush decker, and had her cabin raised when acquired by Jack Taylor and put to work as a commercial boat, probably in 1932. The counter stern boat is KINGFISHER. Thomas Ryan ran the 60 foot steamer RMS TONGARIRO ( Bailey and Lowe 1899 and built at Taupo) until 1925. She eventually rotted away on the foreshore between the Boat Harbour and Acacia Bay – photo below at the Taupo Wharf, before the 2 storied cargo shed was built , so quite early on in the 1900’s.

Tongariro

Input from Nigel Drake – The boat between Romance and Kingfisher looks to be Waihora, about 23 feet in length and probably a Couthard built boat, (not to be confused with the Brin Wilson built Waihora). She was on the lake for a long period of time and ran for hire under local identity “Tabby” Tabernacle.
POHUTUKAWA 
Lock-down = less going out = more fires, so collected a load of firewood today, life is easy when there is an arborist in the family 🙂
While at his yard, I spotted this magnificent pile of Pohutukawa logs, the coffee cup is there to give you an indication of the size of the 12 logs . A huge tree came down in a recent storm, blocking a road so out with the big chainsaws. Not destined for firewood, I’m told a few coffee tables and bar tops.
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8 thoughts on “Lake Taupo Launches At The Landing

  1. Thomas (Darby) Ryan was one of the most remarkable New Zealanders who has ever lived.
    Not only the first point scorer for the All Blacks and the owner of a ferocious moustache he was a Mariner of considerable prowess.
    Born through the union of a well off Protestant family and a catholic maid , he was banished to New Zealand with his mother and her two brothers along with a healthy stipend.
    His life is well covered in a recently released book “ The Good Citizen “ by Denis Dwyer of Palmerston North. I recommend that all New Zealanders read it.
    Talk about an “Alpha male “ as well as Rugby ,his musical and sailing skills were renown and as an artist, his numerous watercolours were first rate.

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  2. Thomas Ryan was known as “Darby” Ryan. He was a particularly good artist and studied in Paris with C.F. Goldie. A Renaissance Man.

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  3. Thomas Ryan, captain of the SS TONGARIRO was an interesting guy. You can find quite a bit of info by googling his name, including a photograph of the steamer. Being old & confused I found it too difficult to download the image and post it here. Perhaps someone young and clever can fill out this line of comment on WW by posting the Tongariro image?

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  4. The boat between Romance and Kingfisher looks to be Waihora, about 23 feet in length and probably a Couthard built boat, (not to be confused with the Brin Wilson built Waihora). She was on the lake for a long period of time and ran for hire under local identity “Tabby” Tabernacle.

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  5. Yes the launch nearest the channel is ROMANCE, still at Taupo and owned by the Drake Brothers. She arrived ex Napier post 1931 earthquake as a flush decker, and had her cabin raised when acquired by Jack Taylor and put to work as a commercial boat, probably in 1932.
    The counter stern boat is KINGFISHER.
    Thomas Ryan ran the 60 foot steamer RMS TONGARIRO ( Bailey and Lowe 1899 and built at Taupo) until 1925. She eventually rotted away on the foreshore between the Boat Harbour and Acacia Bay.

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  6. Hi Vaughan,
    Papers Past gives many references to Taupo steamers. Your one was called “Tongariro” built by Bailey & Lowe according to the Auckland Star 13.11.1899 ….”for Messrs Ryan & Marshall…launched today by Mrs Gallagher. A trial trip takes place tomorrow.”
    The Waikato Argus of 21.11.1899 says…”the vessel on her trial trip ran from Taupo to Tokaanu a distance of 28 miles in 2 hours”
    I take from this that Bailey & Lowe built the steamer (or perhaps assembled) at Taupo.
    A newspaper article of 9.3.1925 records…” the well known lake steamer Tongariro has made her last voyage.”
    Other newspapers reveal that there were previous steamers on the Lake…..Bay of Plenty Times 6.4.1878 said the steamer “Victoria” belonging to Watt brothers foundered yesterday.
    A newspaper dated 4.3.1893 refers to the steamers SS Tauhara…leaves Taupo every Thursday for Tokaanu returning the following day.
    The above just a quick search.

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  7. A little bit off topic , but being a sawmiller and having an interest in trees , it never ceases to surprise me when looking at older photos , that exotic trees found their way into all parts of New Zealand at such pace. Across the Chanel in the background stand some Eucaluptus of considerable size, perhaps 70 or more years old then. If the photo is from 1940 say, then these trees as seedlings were in the ground around 1870.
    Back to boats.
    Some of you may be aware that the great entrepreneur Thomas Ryan, artist , original all black and steamer captain ran a ferry service on Lake Taupo between Taupo village and Tokaanu before roads were built around the lake.
    Does anyone know what happened to his little steamer? What was she called?

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