Jump to content

Auckland Maritime Museum: A floating exhibit


Recommended Posts

Riekies' post on the ZigZag rail reminded me of our recent visit to the Auckland Maritime Museum.


It's one of those places that I pass everyday but never actually entered. A few months ago we took the little one on a nice day trip into the city to the Viaduct Harbour. Many fun filled activities were available but we also included a trip to the museum.

There are a number of floating exhibits moored alongside, but included in the admission ticket was a short ride in the oldest steamboat in New Zealand, the SS Puke.

(That is Maori for 'hill' and. If one can speak Afrikaans one is generally safe in the Maori pronunciation eg 'Puke' is pronounced (Afr) Poe-kê, NOT English 'puke' although that is entirely possible if the seas are rough :( ). English: Pronounced 'Poo-Kee', although the Afrikaans one is closer.

As you can see in the pics I attached the boat is exceptionally small, but it is a steamboat. The chap in the blue shirt doing the 'shoveling' gave me a good rundown on where the engine comes from, how he rebuilt it, what pressure is required, how many runs they can do per day, maximum load, popularity, the works. All in all he was very informative. I think he liked the questions I asked because our trip was further and longer than the others'. post-54-1144533840.jpg

Because the link to this page on the Maritime site is not particularly easy I include some of the info but you'll notice that she's even done a short stint in Brisbane:

SS Puke "is reputed to have been a tender in the Kaipara logging trade, built by E. Thompson and Son at Aratapu towards the end of the 19th century. She is typical of the small craft used for local transport on the Kaipara and other Northland harbours and rivers.

In 1977 she was salvaged from the Tamaki river and had a steam engine and boiler installed. She worked for several years on the Waihou and Ohinemuri rivers from Paeroa and on the Mahurangi from Warkworth. In 1988 she carried passengers across the Brisbane river for the six months of the Brisbane World Expo.

The PUKE was built of kauri, planked in two skins, the inner diagonal and the outer fore-&-aft. The plumb stem and counter stern and large propeller are typical of launches of the period.

In 1993 a major rebuild was carried out by the Boat Yard at Hobson Wharf.

PUKE was purchased by the Union Steam Ship Company in 1989 and donated to the New Zealand National Maritime Museum.

Puke can be seen steaming around the Viaduct Harbour on regular weekend trips as part of the museum fleet. She is available for charter for special occasions and has attended many wedding parties as an alternative to modern transport."


No that is not us on the boat.

Edited by NZHigh
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We booked our flights to NZ for October (rainy season I heard, but we have to go school holidays, and a bit of rain won't hurt....I hope!!) - I cant wait to get to NZ!! I've realised we would need at least 3 trips to NZ to cover the best of all of it. I'll definitely go check out the Maritime museum! If you have any other ideas for that area, please tell me!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...