Around the World - New Zealand
South Island
Gold mines, quarries, collieries and railways on the east Coast of South Island
plus old forts, tunnels and many other industrial remains.
Search the site here

The Transport and Industries of New Zealand

Click on the button to go to :-

Click on the thumbnail to enlarge a photo or map and read more about it.
Then click 'Full Size' on the toolbar to see it in all its glory.

Invercargill and Southland

Quick links to :-     Invercargill and Southland     Dunedin and Otago     Taieri Gorge
Christchurch and Canterbury     Ferrymead Museum, Christchurch     Marlborough

Invercargill and Ohai, Southland

The southern coalfields at Ohai were reached by a branch from Invercargill.

Riverton, Southland

'Black Maria' once transported logs from Longwoods through the Porakino Valley to sawmills at Riverton. It was built by J. Johnston & Sons foundry, their class 'A', in Invercargill in 1902, retired in 1954 and restored in 2013.

Tuatapere, Southland

The Tuatapere branch was opened to Riverton in 1879 and reached Tuatapere by 1909. It was extended from Tuatapere to Orawia from 1925 until 1970. In 1976 the Tuatapere Branch was truncated to Riverton.
The logging loco was one of 7 locos of this general design built by H A Melhop of Invercargill.

Waikawa Museum, Catlins

Waikawa Museum has this interesting logging loco parked up outside. Unfortunately I can find no reference to it or anyone who seems to know of it. It may have been built by A & T Burt of Dunedin who took over from Frank Trail, who built 35 locos in the 1920s to 1930s.

Tunnel Hill or Hunts Road Tunnel, Catlins

Tunnel Hill or Hunts Road Tunnel is near Owaka on the Balclutha to Tahakopa railway and was commenced in 1891 using bricks manufactured locally.

Dunedin, Queenstown and Otago

Quick links to :-     Invercargill and Southland     Dunedin and Otago     Taieri Gorge
Christchurch and Canterbury     Ferrymead Museum, Christchurch     Marlborough


Arrowtown was a vibrant gold-mining town with a population of c7000 in the 1860s. The Arrowtown Chinese Settlement was the home of the many Chinese labourers at that time. The Mace Valley ran up to the goldfields but I didn't have time to explore it very far.

Bluff Fort

Bluff Fort radar station was built in February 1941 and the turntable gear and frame are all that's left. The rangefinder in the observation post could plot the fall of shots within 13kms. A 6inch gun sat in front of the magazine, cleverly hidden inside what appeared to be a wooden bugalow. The camp for the gunners was further up the hill behind the magazine.

Bluff Maritime Museum and other kinds of transport

The Maritime Museum is the home to the oyster boat 'Monica', one of the oldest in the Bluff Oyster fleet, being built in 1909 for Lyttelton owners as the Monica II. She was one of many small steamers working the bays of Banks Peninsula and in 1930 was converted into a fishing boat. She came to Bluff in 1937 for Stewart Island canneries and her steam engines were removed and two 165 bhp diesel engines installed in December 1947.

On the way to Bluff, I passed a loco and some crumbling tramcars near Haywoods. Unfortunately I can find no details of the trams at all, I would have thought someone would know and recorded it.


In and around the station, some difficult-to-photo locomotives at the Settlers Museum and ships that pass in the daytime.

Fort Taiaroa, Otago Peninsular

Fort Taiaroa, at the far end of the Otago Peninsular, is now the home of the Royal Albatross Centre. The fort was built in the 1880's during the perceived threat from Tsarist Russia and features a series of underground tunnels leading to the Armstrong disappearing Gun and magazine area. The 6 inch Armstrong Disappearing Gun was installed in May 1889 and is the only one of its kind working and is still in its original gun pit.

Queenstown, Glenorchy and Lake Wakatipa

An official NZR railway Station but only a short length of hand-operated track. It was connected to the railhead at Kingston and served the gold and Scheelite mines in the hills around Lake Wakatipu. The Invincible Quartz Mining Co was just one of the goldmines, set up in 1879. Scheelite is used for hardening steel and invaluable in wartime so very busy during WW2.


The Kingston Flyer ran from Kingston to Fairlight from 1982 to 2012 since when it has not operated. Most of the stock is mothballed at Kingston


Oamaru is home to the Oamaru Steam and Rail Society who operate the Harbourside Railway, the Steampunk Museum and an incredible assortment of old loco ironmongery rescued from the sea when the seawall was rebuilt.

Sandymount Limekilns, Otago Peninsular

Limekilns seem very few and far between in New Zealand. These are the only ones I came across. They date from 1874 and were ultimately owned by the 'Milburn Lime and Cement Co Ltd' who donated them to the 'Otago Peninsular Trust' in 1976

The Taieri Gorge

Quick links to :-     Invercargill and Southland     Dunedin and Otago     Taieri Gorge
Christchurch and Canterbury     Ferrymead Museum, Christchurch     Marlborough

The Taieri Gorge Railway

From Dunedin to Middlemarch

Christchurch and Canterbury

Quick links to :-     Invercargill and Southland     Dunedin and Otago     Taieri Gorge
Christchurch and Canterbury     Ferrymead Museum, Christchurch     Marlborough

Arthurs Pass

Christchurch City

Around Canterbury

The Little River Branch

On my first visit to NZ in 2004 one of the family took my photo on the SIMT at Dunsandel as you do... I didn't know until much later that it was a junction of one of the Canterbury branchlines. Last year I found myself at Little River, the terminus of one of these branchlines, open from 1886 to 1962. It now forms part of 'the Little River Rail Trail', a great walking route.

Waipara and the Weka Pass Railway,

A fortuitous conducted tour in 2017 as when I stopped the yard was deserted, then suddenly one of the members arrived and very kindly showed me around. Followed by a fleeting glimpse while passing on the Picton-Christchurch train in 2004.

Ferrymead Museum, Christchurch

Quick links to :-     Invercargill and Southland     Dunedin and Otago     Taieri Gorge
Christchurch and Canterbury     Ferrymead Museum, Christchurch     Marlborough

Ferrymead Museum, Christchurch


Quick links to :-     Invercargill and Southland     Dunedin and Otago     Taieri Gorge
Christchurch and Canterbury     Ferrymead Museum, Christchurch     Marlborough

Picton - The terminus of the South Island Main Trunk line

Picton to Kaikoura by train - and back by road in 2004. The line was seriously closed in 2017.

A Guide to the Website

All rights reserved - Phil Jenkins