While Whanganui learned that new Covid-19 restrictions would begin on Sunday, a group of happy campers up the Whanganui River were blissfully unaware.
The group had headed off from the Top 10 Holiday Park in their pint-sized steamboats on Saturday morning with the larger Wairua riverboat keeping them company and carrying their supplies.
"We only heard the news when the Waimarie arrived to join us at Hipango Park on Sunday," Steve McClune said.
"We had such a good time on the trip up and the camping conditions were perfect."
The trip upriver was part of a small steamboat regatta organised annually by the Auckland Steam Engine Club and held for the first time in Whanganui.
McClune sailed his 5.2m kauri launch, the Mary Rose, and he was joined by seven similar-sized boats which travelled with their owners from locations as far north as Warkworth and as far south as Christchurch.
He said the gathering at Hipango Park represented the largest gathering of steamboats on that part of the river in more than 100 years.
Waimarie paddlesteamer manager Phil Pollero captured drone photographs of the little boats clustered beside the Waimarie and the Wairua at Hipango Park.
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The gathering coincided with the Waimarie's annual picnic cruise to Hipango Park and Pollero said it was a great occasion.
"We were looking at a very full passenger list but fortunately there had been some cancellations so we were still able to sail under level 2 conditions," he said.
"We did have to cancel the old school games at the park but no one minded too much and they were just pleased to be there."
Auckland-based steamboat owners had to head home after they returned to Whanganui on Sunday while four others from out-of-town stayed on to join McClune and the Mary Rose for a trip downriver to the port on Monday.
They were joined by former Whanganui harbour master and Waimarie skipper Trevor Gibson, who provided some expert guidance.