Our New Zealand Steam Tour

With a side trip to Australia

December 25th, 2003 thru February 7th, 2004

By: Chuck Hackett with help from wife Joan and traveling companions Larry and Elaine Blecha
Last site update: January 28th New Zealand time.

This travelogue describes our trip to New Zealand for a bus tour of steam related venues in New Zealand and a short trip to Australia on the way back to Omaha.  The trip will be some six weeks in length.  Most of the sites in New Zealand are steam railroad related but some of our activities are oriented towards just taking in what New Zealand has to offer in general (yes, we may even get to see some of the sights where scenes the Lord of The Ring films were shot).

Traveling with us ('us' being Joan and Chuck Hackett) are our friends Larry and Elaine Blecha from Council Bluffs, Iowa as well as others live steam enthusiasts.  Most of us on the trip are from the USA.

We will attempt to update this travelogue every couple of days where time, energy and the availability of Internet connections permit.  Check the "Last site update" above.  I will update it when I update the web site.



In general, you can click on any photo for a larger, more detailed version.  Unless otherwise noted, the photos are a combination of those taken by Larry and I and all rights are reserved.


This web site is addressed to both our family and friends as well as model engineering friends of Larry Blecha and myself.  Some of the items will be of interest to both groups.  Family might want to skip some of the more detailed railroad and model engineering stuff and our model engineering friends might want to skip some of the 'tourist' stuff.  I had considered doing two separate web sites but I barely have time to keep up with one! 


We will be updating this page as the trip progresses.  You may have to press 'Refresh' on your browser to reload the most current version of a page you have viewed previously


Family members click here for emergency contact phone numbers, etc.

bulletYou can contact us at ChuckH@WhiteTrout.net



bulletNorth Island
bulletSouth Island

Full Itinerary: 

    Click Here (Microsoft Word format)



December 25th  Travel to New Zealand
December 26th  Lost to the gods of the jet age and westward travel (i.e.: We never saw December 26th !!!)
December 27th  A day of general rest and relaxation to recover from jet lag.
December 28th  A visit to John Olsen and the Manukau Live Steamers
December 29th More exploring of Auckland and the 'getting acquainted' get-together
December 30th Heading North from Auckland to the Bay of Islands
December 31st Waitangi and the Bay of Islands
January 1st Matakohe Kauri timber Museum
January 2nd A free day in Auckland
January 3rd Mainline Steam & Manukau Live Steamers
January 4th Glenbrook Vintage Railway, Piako Ostrich Farm & Thames Small Gauge Railway Society
January 5th Driving Creek Railway
January 6th Goldfields Railroad, Open Pit Gold Mine, Rainbow Springs Nature Center, Government Gardens
January 7th Maori Arts Institute, Rotorua, Rotorua Society of Model Engineers
January 8th Agrodome, Dave Watt's Workshop


Site Update History:

Jan 6, initial creation

Jan 7, added Dec. 29th

Jan 11, added Dec. 30th & 31st

Jan 14, added Jan 1st & 2nd

Jan 20, added Jan 3rd & 4th

Jan 23, added Jan 5th & 6th

Jan 27, added Jan 7th

Jan 28, added Jan 8th



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