EXPERIENCE STEAM ON THE GVR
A journey on the former Waiuku railway branch line on vintage steam hauled trains is a must to do. The railway operates scheduled services most Sundays during their season which starts on Labour Weekend in October until Queen’s Birthday weekend in June.
The GVR, as Glenbrook Vintage Railway is affectionately known, also hosts special
events which include Thomas the Tank Engine weekends, Easter egg hunt, Christmas trips with Santa Claus and a dining car – parlour carriage – is presently being developed so visitors can ride and dine.
There is a children’s playground at the Glenbrook main terminus and visitors can ride a hand propelled jigger.
Passengers can hop off the train at the Victoria Avenue station in Waiuku. If they take a short walk into the town they can experience the heritage walk or have a coffee at any of the numerous local cafes, then rejoin the train on a later return trip.
Trains leave Glenbrook on the hour and a half from 11am and the last train from Waiuku is at 4pm. Go to www.gvr.co.nz to check operating dates and times.
MAORI AND COLONIAL HISTORY AT MUSEUM
One of the oldest established local museums in Auckland can be found in Waiuku. The Waiuku Museum at 13 King Street was established in 1967. Next door to the Fire Station, the museum is, in fact, housed in the former fire station after it was gifted to the community to house the huge collection of memorabilia.
The Museum Society also owns several colonial buildings which are located on the historic Tamakae Reserve, named after a Maori rangitira who was presented to a visiting princess. The meeting resulted in a marriage between the two.
The buildings include Hartmann House which houses a craft outlet, the pioneer Pollok Cottage, the Maioro creamery building and the old Maioro school. A barn has been recently built at the Museum to house a collection of agricultural equipment, and a replica of several businesses on a Waiuku street is being developed. Part of this work has been completed by woodworking students from Waiuku College. The museum also has a collection of historic
boats which will, one day, be housed in a nautical museum.
The museum is open Sundays from 1.30pm to 4pm.
HERITAGE POLES TELL THE STORY
Visitors can experience the historic story of Waiuku by taking a leisurely stroll around the town, looking at pictures of days gone by and reading interesting facts on poles which were installed several years back as part of the main street redevelopment.
A good place to start from is the information once, located at the northern end of Queen
Street opposite the Kentish Hotel. Heritage trail brochures which will guide you around the town can be collected from there.
The photos and captions on the poles were prepared by Bill Deed, a former chairman of the
Waiuku-Awhitu Community Board and a member of council’s redevelopment programme of the old town.