Luggate Community Association chairman Geoff Taylor with
the old wagon from the Wanaka Department of Conservation
grounds which is to be restored. Photo by Lucy Ibbotson.
An Upper Clutha wooden wagon believed to be more than a
century old is set to get a new lease of life, in a nod to its
modern-day transport counterparts.
The Luggate Community Association will soon begin restoring
the wagon, which has spent many years sitting in the grounds
of the Wanaka Department of Conservation offices.
The purpose of the project is to establish a permanent
tribute to long-standing business Upper Clutha Transport,
formerly Reid's Transport, which has a depot in Luggate.
"The community association were looking for a project to
recognise the contribution Upper Clutha Transport had made to
the area ... they were the first transport company to operate
in the area," association chairman Geoff Taylor said.
"It's long overdue that something was done to recognise their
Once restoration of the wagon is complete, it will be given a
more prominent home on Queenstown Lakes District Council
reserve land opposite the Luggate Domain, in the centre of
the village, complete with a plaque acknowledging Upper
Mr Taylor said a "team of handymen" would rebuild the
framework and put a new deck in the wagon, which he estimated
was "at least 100 years old".
Plenty of the original structure would be retained, though.
"I don't think we'll renew the sides, because they've got
that historic look about them.
"Long term, we would like to get a couple of horses -
permanent ones of course - and put them in front of it."
The wagon was given to Doc about 25 years ago by Wanaka man
Bill Macdonald. It had come with the Eely Point property
bought by Mr Macdonald's family in 1957. Shortly after moving
to the property himself in 1986, Mr Macdonald grew tired of
shifting the wagon each time he mowed the lawns, so he
offered it to Doc.
Mr Taylor said it was believed the wagon was once used to
cart wool from Upper Clutha stations to the railhead at
Cromwell, but he did not know anything more about its
history. He said it was "terrific" it was being restored to
its former glory and put on public display.
The Luggate Community Association had approached Doc with its
proposal for the wagon, which was now awaiting its makeover
on Mr Taylor's property.
"We were lucky to get hold of it because there's not many of
these old things left," Mr Taylor said.