'Special lady' boasts class
The old Waipa Delta paddle-steamer is preparing to open for business in Taupo later this year, as a venue for weddings, corporate events and private parties.
The replica paddle-steamer, previously based in Hamilton and then in Auckland, was relocated to Taupo earlier this year and renamed the Delta, Lake Taupo.
New owner Cliff Jones said he hoped to make the Delta different from other boats on the lake.
"We've got a special lady here," he said.
"We want it to be a special venue which has got a touch of class . . . a little bit more exclusivity.
"We don't want to be having another tourist boat."
Mr Jones said there was a lot of work still to be done before it could open, including installing two new bars and wooden flooring.
"We've put a bit of class back into her, she had got a bit tired."
Mr Jones does not yet have a date for the opening but hopes it will be before Christmas.
And the Delta has already had a lot of interest.
Mr Jones said about 10 projected bookings had been made for December through to March, particularly for weddings and birthday parties.
All weekends in March were already booked, he said.