Bushtown Steam Up Day 2018

Steam enthusiasts will be in their element at the Bushtown Steam Up Day on Sunday!  Showcasing a fabulous experience of the old Waimate saw milling era come to life!  

It's also the weekend we celebrate our Edwardian heritage.  Just as Napier can credit it's stunning Art Deco streetscapes to the great earthquake of 1931, Waimate's main street is the perfect example of an Edwardian streetscape, in part thanks to a period of rebuilding after the great fires in the 1880's.

So what is Bushtown's Steam up day about?

Watch traditional milling of native timber through the re-constructed Bill O’Donnell sawmill powered by a local steam traction engine. The mill will be surrounded by a display of exquisite vintage steam driven machinery.   

Step back in time and immerse yourself in the billowing clouds of steam, whirring belts and the zing and buzz of the sawmill as native timber slices smoothly through the jagged blades. Young and old can be quite mesmerised by the sound and sights of the unique demonstration, evoking many memories for some.  It has been an amazing mission to recreate this mill and operate it.  Originally from Southland, it was moved to Waimate and run by local Bill O’Donnell for many years.  He never believed he would see it in action once  more.

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    If steam and noise aren't your thing there is plenty more happening within the grounds of Bushtown. 

    • Visit Lanes Cottage to see how early settlers lived, courtesy of the Waimate Edwardian Heritage Group.   
    • View a display of traditional crafts: lace making, spinning and weaving plus old fashioned laundry.  How did they manage laundry back then? Come and find out.....
    • Be wowed by a fabulous display of vintage toys and dolls.
    • For the kids we have miniature train rides, trailer rides, a tug of war, rock painting and more.
    • Walk through the native bush  with guides to talk through the local school involvements in plantings
    • Stop by the Bushtown Story Teller who can tell you about the history of Waimate and the families who settled here.
    • We also have a Bushtown taxi to assist anyone that needs a ride home.
    • Browse the market stalls ranging from white elephant stalls to model matchbox toy cars and tractors
    • Feeling hungry?  We have a range of options from the good old sausage sizzle to schnitzel sandwiches and salmon patties, Mr Whippy, One Smart Coffee + lots more.


    Sunday March 11
    10am - 4pm


    $5   Adults  
    Kids and students FREE


    Bushtown Waimate
    20 Dobson St, Waimate

    More info:


    Edwardian Heritage Group Facebook Page