Eight 9G Chamberlain tractors ready for the New Zealand
adventure. Photo supplied.
Ten big orange tractors have been shipped across the
Tasman to take part in a classic Aussie adventure around the
South Island to raise money for children with cancer in New
The restored tractors, most manufactured in the 1960s, will
be the mode of transport for an unusual trek around the
entire South Island, organised by a group from the
Chamberlain 9G Tractor Club of Western Australia.
The tractors have come from Sydney and Fremantle and arrived
in Lyttelton last week. The trek will loop around the South
Island, starting in Christchurch on February 19 and heading
up the east coast to Havelock then down the West Coast. The
trek finishes 25 days and 2500km later in Methven on March
Tractor Trek organiser Ron Bywaters said he had visited New
Zealand before and was most impressed.
''We decided that it would be an ideal location to hold a
''The scenery is spectacular, the people friendly and as our
speed will be 30 to 40kmh, we will have time to 'smell the
''Our club has been raising funds for charitable
organisations since its inception and over that time some
$140,000 has been raised.
''Our beneficiaries include the Royal Flying Doctor Service
and children's hospitals.
''As our children, grand-children and great-grand-children
are our future, we concentrate mainly in providing help in
''With cancer being such a diverse problem area, the Child
Cancer Foundation ticked all the boxes for us.''
Most of the group has previous trekking experience around
Mainland Australia and Tasmania. Eight also trekked across
the USA in 2009, a three-month trip from Los Angeles to
Maryland. The Aussies will also be joined by North and South
Island Chamberlain 9G owners.
The 9G (named because of its nine-speed gear box), is an icon
in the Australian tractor world. The 9G made a name for
itself outside the tractor world in 1957 when it took part in
an international car rally around Australia and earned the
nickname of ''Tail End Charlie''.
Capable of speeds of up to 100kmh, the particular tractor
helped broken down and stranded competitors. The rally
covered 18,000km in just 19 days. The 9G easily converts from
a farm tractor into a recreational vehicle.
The trekkers will stay mainly at holiday parks and will be
hosted by Child Cancer Foundation branch members and children
along the way.
Other highlights will include breakfast with the McLeans
Island Vintage and Machinery Club in Christchurch, a trip to
the Westland Industrial Heritage Park and attending the
Methven A&P Show. Members of the public can support the
tractor trekkers at http://childcancerfundraising.org.nz/event/TractorTrek.
Or, to give $3, text ''tractor'' to 206.
TRACTOR TREK ITINERARY
• February 19 Christchurch-Amberley
• February 20 Amberly to Hanmer Springs
• February 21 Hanmer Springs to Blenheim
• February 23 Blenheim to Havelock
• February 24 Havelock to Nelson
• February 25 Nelson to Murchison
• February 26 Murchison to Greymouth
• February 27 Greymouth to Franz Josef
• February 28 Franz Josef to Haast
• March 1Haast to Wanaka
• March 2Wanaka to Cromwell
• March 3Cromwell to Kingston
• March 4 Kingston to Te Anau
• March 6 Te Anau to Tuatapere
• March 7 Tuatepere to Invercargill
• March 8 Invercargill to Millers Flat
• March 9 Millers Flat to Ranfurly
• March 10 Ranfurly to Kurow
• March 11 Kurow to Fairlie
• March 13 Fairlie to Methven
• March 14 Methven
• March 15 Methven A&P Show