Ferry goes with the flow


The his­toric Clutha Dis­trict Coun­cilowned Tuapeka Mouth Ferry is run­ning reg­u­larly once more.

It was vir­tu­ally out of op­er­a­tion for most of an ex­cep­tion­ally dry Jan­uary be­cause the river flow was too low, mak­ing the exit and en­try to the ferry too steep and dan­ger­ous to ne­go­ti­ate, op­er­a­tor Terry Stride said. Then fol­low­ing the heavy rain last week and with the let down of wa­ter from the Roxburgh Hy­dro Dam, the river was too high for the ferry to op­er­ate on Fri­day.

The ferry was moored at the Cly­de­vale side of the Clutha River, to avoid en­tan­gle­ment with veg­e­ta­tion and the odd dead sheep car­cass float- ing down in the de­bris.

How­ever, the river’s ups and downs had started to level out this week to a more ideal flow of about 500 cumecs, much to the re­lief of Clutha dis­trict farm­ers who re­lied on the cross­ing point, he said.

It was also good to be able to of­fer the ser­vice to tourists again. ‘‘I en­joy do­ing it, and it’s an­noy­ing when I can’t, when you’ve got to turn peo­ple away who have come for miles. They see all this wa­ter and don’t un­der­stand why the ferry can’t run, and I like to be able to ex­plain why.’’

As to whether or not it would keep op­er­at­ing reg­u­larly this sum­mer was in the lap of the weather gods - and the Roxburgh dam. ‘‘We just have to go with the flow.’’


Tuapeka Mouth Ferry op­er­a­tor Terry Stride.

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