Have a look for the 105-year-old former Waitemata ferry MV Kestrel recently relocated to a berth near Silo Park in Wynyard Quarter. An investigation is underway to assess what needs to be done for the vessel to become fully operative. Generations of Aucklanders hold fond memories of travelling on the double-ended Kestrel and the Kestrel Preservation Society is drumming up support to continue the restoration.
At times Kestel carried more than 20,000 people daily, transporting them across and around Waitemata Harbour prior to the opening of the Auckland harbour bridge.
Some years ago I met Sally Fodie, a Waitemata Ferry master with fond memories of Kestrel. In 1983 she became the first woman mate on the Waitemata when she signed on the veteran ferry. ‘Even then it was technology from the past, with engine-room telegraph and the huge wheel requiring the heavy weight of a foot to assist steering,’ she told me. She had written her own amusing book Waitemata Ferry Tales. The veteran ferry will be an excellent companion for the Wynyard Quarter heritage trams. Hopefully, the opportunity to sail the Waitemata again aboard Kestrel will be part of the foreseeable future.
Being eccentric is not a prerequisite for a trammie. But it helps. Take, for example, Dockline Tram motorman, Hugh. Having to leave his bicycle for an extended time at the team shed, he attached a sign. BRAKES AND GEARS NOT WORKING. Predictably, his bicycle was still where he had left it when he returned.
Dockline Tram has a winner for residents of retirement and senior citizen homes, looking for that outing with a difference.
Billed as ‘A Trip Down Memory Lane,’ the event kicks off with a 10 minute video presented in the special atmosphere of the Tram Depot, identified by the tram photo-murals, in Pakenham Street.
Partakers will be taken back in time to when tramcars ruled Auckland’s Queen Street. They will remember the buildings and department stores, the cars, the fashions and, of course, the quaint tramcars of a bygone era they once knew.
Then it will be time to hop aboard one of two heritage trams for a 15 minute jaunt around Wynyard Quarter. The motorman will point out items of interest along with exciting plans for the Auckland Waterfront. An additional circuit can be enjoyed if requested.
Price is $5.00 per person. Bus drivers and caregivers are free.
Morning or afternoon tea can be arranged at a great café situated on the tram route. The tram will drop-off and pick-up from the café door.
For bookings (essential to save disappoint) email email@example.com
or phone (09) 377-7701