The country's oldest ferry set to be restored in Northland

Helen Castles
Source: 1News

The country's most vintage and oldest running steamboat is set to attract attention from thousands after it’s restoration in Opua, Northland.

The Minerva was built in 1910 in Auckland and would transport passengers between Queens Street wharf, Howick and Whitford.

"She stopped being a ferry in the late 1920s and that was because of increased road transport," shipwright John Clode told 1 NEWS.

"She then went to the Kaipara and worked for the Helensville sawmill, towing logs on the Kaipara and did that right up until the 1940s."

The vessel was intended to be an America's Cup viewing boat but was gifted to the Kerikeri Steam Trust a decade ago under the condition they restored it to near original condition.

It was built by using "traditional techniques" and will be restored the same way "as a piece of living maritime history".

The Kerikeri Steam Trust need close to $1 million to complete the project and says the Minerva will be able to take passengers from Paihia to Opua.

A team of 12 volunteers have worked effortlessly to complete it.