Welcome to Tokomaru - the little engine town that could video

MURRAY WILSON/STUFF

Miri Schroeter finds old trains and quality watering holes hold plenty of allure in Tokomaru.

For this Welcome to Town sojourn, Miri Schroeter and Murray Wilson make tracks in Tokomaru. 

Tokomaru holds  sun-kissed memories for many who venture out of the city in summer to visit its watering hole. 

Its waterway, Horseshoe Bend, is a little slice of heaven on a hot day. 

Taipara Hurinui, 14, and Tahaafe Kilisimasi, 13, leap into inviting waters at Horseshoe Bend.
DAVID UNWIN/STUFF

Taipara Hurinui, 14, and Tahaafe Kilisimasi, 13, leap into inviting waters at Horseshoe Bend.

Children splash in the water while parents set up a picnic as the scorching sun beams down. 

The small town of about 550 residents is about 20 kilometres from Palmerston North. 

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Esma Stevenson among the big units at the Tokomaru Steam Engine Museum.
MURRAY WILSON/STUFF

Esma Stevenson among the big units at the Tokomaru Steam Engine Museum.

The naturally-made pool removes you from the stress of fighting for the slide at the swimming pool as a small cliff awaits children who want to feel the thrill of diving into the deep blue water. 

Afterwards, a barefooted scramble to the diary is a must, as you race friends to the freezer to grab today's favourite icecream. 

A day trip to Tokomaru will not only leave you refreshed, it will also leave you knowing more about trains if a visit to the steam engine museum is on the cards. 

Tokomaru's museum is a hidden gem that lets young and old discover the world of machinery dating back more than 100 years ago. 

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Esma Stevenson and her late husband Colin opened the Tokomaru Steam Engine Museum in 1970, collecting an array of heavy machinery displayed for visitors near and far. 

It has hidden tressures and fascinating facts. 

Stevenson said one winch was so heavy each link weighed 36 kilograms.

The museum was always popular with school groups who were intrigued to learn a bit of locomotive history, she said.

Since putting the museum on the market in 2015, Stevenson only opens it for bookings.

 

BREAKDOWN:

Population: About 550

District: Horowhenua District Council

Claim to fame: Steam engine museum

 

FIVE THINGS TO DO: 

Cool off at Tokomaru's watering hole – Horseshoe Bend.

Take a stroll along the river.

Grab an ice-block at the only dairy in town.

Visit Tokomaru Steam Engine Museum.

Kick a ball around at the Tokomaru Hall reserve.

 - Stuff

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