of the Glenbrook Vintage Railway
to stay in Auckland
to do in Auckland
of the really interesting things about touring around New Zealand
is the fact that you come across all sorts of cool things to do
and see tucked away in out-of-the way places.
on a drive through the countryside to the south of Auckland we came
across an amazing vintage railway society at Glenbrook (about 9
kilometres from Waiuku), where you hop aboard lovingly restored
rolling stock for a journey into yesteryear.
dressed in 1890s' costumes man the rebuilt station and buildings,
or dealing out cups of tea and snacks, while others prepare a grand
collection of engines and carriages for your 12-kilometre journey.
have a marvelous choice of places to sit - from luxurious leather
seating, to carriages with pressed metal ceilings and antique lamps.
you want more adventure and to get the real smells and sounds of
steam engines then hop aboard an open car positioned right behind
get the delightful smell of burning coal, followed by cinders and
soot - but it should be mentioned that it's best to avoid wearing
thing that amazed us was the sound of the steam whooshing out of
the mechanics - it really is loud and comes out at high velocity.
The No.1 engine we were on - a former New Zealand Railways unit
Ww480 - had us going along the rails at a very creditable 30 kilometres
railway travels all the way in to Waiuku nowadays, with a 15-minute
stopover at the workshops that used to be the finishing point for
the workshops engines and rolling stock are restored to operational
status and you can also watch as the fireman refills the coal load,
or water levels are topped up.
is intended that the railway line will eventually extend from the
current interim terminus at Victoria Avenue, Waiuku to the Tamakae
reserve on the shores of the Manukau Harbour.
you are really lucky you may get an opportunity to take the ride
in the engine cab and see how the driver and firemen have to work
the vintage set-up.
is slightly cramped - and can get pretty hot - and you do need to
be mindful there is an open door at your side - but what an adventure!
the fireman, scooped shovels full of South Island coal into the
furnace at very regular intervals and made sure the steam pressure
never rose above 180 pounds per square inch (psi).
driver, Robert, who's also the society's accountant, easily worked
the levers and brakes and moved the heavy machine as if it was a
Mini Cooper - we barely felt it as the engine recoupled with the
carriages for the return journey.
The Glenbrook Vintage Railway was built in 1970 - construction began
only three years after the Waiuku line was closed by the Government
- and has been operating since 1977.
if you've got youngsters or grandchildren who are into Thomas the
Tank Engine and friends then the Glenbrook Vintage Railway does
put on special Thomas days. Now that has got to be heaven for them!
if you really want to go back in time then there are jigger rides
available. You have a choice between motorised ones that go for
4km, or hand-operated ones around the station.
Vintage Railway Details: Glenbrook Station Rd, Glenbook. Tel: (+64)
9 236 3546 (operating days only)
Schedule: The regular operating season starts on New Zealand Labour
Weekend (late October) and continues until Queen's Birthday (early
June). During this season trains operate Sundays and most public
holiday weekends. Trains run on the hour from 11.00a.m. to 4.00p.m.
Child $9 (5 to 14 years)
Child under 4 years - free
Family ticket $48 (2 adults plus up to 4 school age children)
Group discounts available for parties with 15 or more fare-paying
passengers when paying in one lump sum.
fares may apply to special event days such as the Day Out With
more check out www.railfan.org.nz.