Earlier this week we were in Kawakawa where we decided to finally have a ride on the old vintage train at the railway station.
The Bay of Islands Vintage Railway Trust is a heritage railway. It is the only working railway in New Zealand where the trains travel down a state highway and through the main street in town.
The railway is a volunteer run not for profit charity and the most northern railway in New Zealand. It is now celebrating 150 years of rail in the north island. This station was built in 1911 to replace the first one that was destroyed by fire and is recognized by the Rail Heritage Trust and Far North District Council as being of heritage significance.
This plaque says "To commemorate the centenary of this, the first use of railway transport on any part of the New Zealand Railways North Island System". Erected by The railway enthusiasts society (Inc) and unveiled on 2nd March 1968 by Hon JB Gordon, minister of railways.
We sat in the front carriage just behind the engine and this is our guide Dennis. He travels 5 days a week from his home in Whangarei to Kawakawa just so he can tell people all about the railway and trains. All of the people who work here are volunteers.
The above 3 photos show some of the scenery we drove past and through.
At one point we had to stop and get off the train so that the main engine could turn around on the tracks and join up to the opposite end so we could go back the way we came.
And this is why. This is the Opua bridge - normally in the old days the train would've travelled across this all the way to Opua with coal and passengers but now the bridge is classed as being unsafe so the railway society has been trying for the last few years to get council approval and funding so that it can be fixed and made safe. The bridge is believed to be the oldest surviving curved rail bridge in the Southern Hemisphere.
The back carriage which then became the front on the way back.
This is the middle cart which connected the front and back carriages which was built in the 1950s.
And back through the main street of Kawakawa to the station again.
Linking up with Our World Tuesday, Through my lens, Tuesday Treasures, Travel Tuesday, My corner of the world and Wordless Wednesday.