Farming relics and family fun at Kawerau

An array of vintage farm machinery will be on show at this month’s Farming like Grandad’ event at Kawerau.

The Bay of Plenty has a rich farming history, often with generations of families working the same land.

But it isn’t only farming families who will enjoy the annual Farming Like Grandad event on January 26 – anyone who is interested in New Zealand life in days gone by will be delighted by the pieces on display.

In its fourth year, the Farming Like Grandad event, presented by the Waterwheel Historic Trust, is a ‘live’ day showcasing the way our ancestors lived and farmed.


The cornerstone of the Farming Like Grandad event is the display of vintage farm machinery and vehicles from the Waterwheel Collection – including tractors, milking machines and cars – with some running on the day.

And Clydesdale horses will be giving demonstrations of ploughing and mowing.

Waterwheel Historic Trust co-chair Stephanie Johnson Bull says this year will see a strong focus on haymaking, with demonstrations running throughout the day, plus butter making and shearing demonstrations. “There will also be several competitions on the day, from vegetable growing to sawing, flax weaving and best hat of the day.

“For the more adventurous, a Cowboy Challenge will have contestants being judged on their horse-riding skills throughout an obstacle course; and a Tractor Pull, where teams-of-four can show their strength and teamwork by gunning their engines and pulling a sledge tractor the farthest and the fastest.”

But Stephanie says Farming Like Grandad is not all machinery and competitions – there is a number of traditional craft demonstrations and displays including spinning and weaving, flax weaving, knitting, and sewing on an old Singer sewing machine. “There are plenty of family-friendly activities including an animal corner, hands-on fun and games for kids and adults, wagon rides and music. There are food stalls a-plenty – or visitors are welcome to bring a picnic. And if you dress up in your best vintage summer hat and join the parade, you will be in to win a prize.”

Market square

This year the market square will feature local businesses showcasing their products and services. “There is something for everyone,” says Stephanie. “It’s a great family day out so put it in your calendar now!”

Farming Like Grandad is on Sunday, January 26, from 10am-4.30pm, located on SH30, near Kawerau, opposite Military Rd.

Adult entry is $10 and children gain free entry, and there is plenty of free carparking on-site.

To enter any of the competitions mentioned, to become a market stallholder, or for more information please email Stephanie at:



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