A Reflection of Taupo’s Rich Boating History
Waikare II is a 1973 Vietnam-era boat that has been restored and is now used for leisurely activities. The boat was supposed to be used in military service during the Vietnam War, but the war ended before it could be put into service.
Waikare II was then purchased and converted into a charter boat in the Bay of Islands. The boat’s first job was delivering mail and milk to residents of the multiple islands. Chris Jolly Outdoors has recently taken over Waikare II and has done an impressive job of restoration. The organisation has upgraded the boat with two new environmentally-friendly engines. Waikare II is a great example of how something that was once meant for violence can be transformed into something beautiful and peaceful. The boat is a reflection of Taupo’s rich history, and it is wonderful to see it back on the water again.
The Waikare II is a well-known boat in New Zealand, having been used for everything from transportation to entertainment. The boat was originally bought by Simon Dickey in the early 1980s and transported to Tauranga for a rebuild. In 1989, Chris Jolly Outdoors Owner, Simon Jolly, bought the boat and brought it to Taupō.
At the time, it was the biggest boat on Lake Taupō. Since then, skipper Henry Crust has entertained everyone from royalty to movie stars on board the Waikare II. This included Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, Michael J. Fox, and Robin Williams. Unfortunately, she was never able to take out Queen Elizabeth The Second due to illness.
Two new engines are now being installed in the boat, to make her more fuel efficient and environmentally friendly. The upgrade is expected to take a month. Eco-friendly engines wait until they’re put inside their new home inside the Waikare II.