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Sideshows & Attractions

Prideaux Park will have a range of attractions to keep all ages happy, with the Waterwheel Zone, Gypsy Fair, Thrill rides, Kiddies rides and plenty of food!

The Waterwheel Zone

One of the Woodfest attractions which will appeal to young and old alike will be the Waterwheel Zone, with a collection of restored historical farm machinery and live demonstrations it will be well worth stepping back in time into the lives of our pioneering fore fathers.

The Waterwheel project began in 1990 by people in the Eastern Bay of Plenty keen to preserve a vanishing history – the industrial archaeology of New Zealand.

A community company was registered, the Whakatane Heritage and Recreation Co. Ltd.

For 21 years, volunteers have saved or restored donated machinery, vehicles and equipment in excess of $2 million assets worth, several to working order. Daily diaries reflect this endeavor and protect the knowledge of volunteers, some retired tradesmen who have since passed away.

The project has a second aim, to provide opportunities to young and old in the surrounding community. At present the Trust is operating with a 6 month employment scheme which offers six local young people the opportunity to learn and gain valuable trade based skills, whilst restoring items in the Trusts extensive collection. The older volunteers are able to pass on trade, workshop and life skills to unskilled younger people, in many instances providing confidence and direction.

In 2006, the community company became a charitable trust, Waterwheel Historic Trust.

The project is now in its second phase. In 2009 a six metre replica waterwheel was constructed and made its way to Kawerau and its new home at the proposed Heritage Park in Spencer Ave. The Trust is presently seeking funding to establish and operate a live historic village and heritage park which can home the collection of restored items. It is aimed be a tourist attraction, a place to learn and a place that protects the skills and heritage of times past. Other groups will be able to use the project to display their history and culture.

The heritage park is named The Waterwheel Heritage Park. The Trust and heritage park project are commonly referred to as The Waterwheel and you can get a taste of some of the historical collection this year at Woodfest.

Thrill Rides, Gypsy Fair & more....

This year at Woodfest we have plenty of attractions with Mahon’s Amusements bringing thrill rides to keep the teenagers happy and the Little Entertainment Company providing fun for the smaller children with a range of bouncy castles, chairoplane and much more.

There will be some new additions with an awesome bungee trampoline and giant Water Walking balls provided by Outdoor amusements from Taupo.

The travelling Gypsy Fair will be in full attendance with their first festival of the year and plenty of good old festival food will be available throughout the weekend.

Another real treat will be the Woodfest Classic Truck Convoy which will see 30 restored heitage trucks from all over the North Island roll into Kawerau and park up on display.