Having been described as the largest garage sale in New Zealand, the McLeans Island Swap Meet and Display is a must-do for anyone who has even the slightest interest in anything automotive.

This year, close to 30,000 people filed through the gates hoping to pick up a bargain, or find that hard-to-get or missing part to complete their project parked in the garage. With more than 650 stalls, plenty of time was needed to get around and look at what traders had on offer. Thankfully many regulars occupy the same site year after year, making it easier to find your favourite stall to see what parts they have for sale this time around.

Not all sites are automotive-focused though, with all manner of things available for purchase. Everything from crafts, toys, and books to clothes, old furniture, and plants. If there is something that you want, chances are you will find it at one of the stalls.

One of the other attractions at the swap meet has to be the automotive display area. Many clubs make a weekend of it by setting up great displays, with some camping on-site for the weekend. A large area is also set aside for individuals who wish to show off their pride and joy. Whether you are a Ford, Holden, Citroën, Morris, or Lotus lover, there was enough to whet the appetite. The vintage-machinery display is always a popular area to visit with many working examples on show from yesteryear. This year’s display also included two working traction engines, giving the younger generation the chance to see how things were done back in the early days.

If you have never managed to make it to the McLeans Island Swap Meet, put it on your to-do list for next year, as, you never know, you may just find that missing part you need to finish your project.

Rod Dunn

Born and bred in Central Otago, I moved to Christchurch in 1995. I’ve had several different jobs over the years, from being a kiln operator, to running my own handyman business, and currently I'm the Maintenance Manager at the Wigram Airforce Museum. I'm happily married to my wife Anne-Marie, and between us we have six children — all living away from home now. Photography has been a consistent interest throughout my life, and I've always had a passion for cars, so it was just natural that I would end up photographing them. I also love to do landscape photography whenever I get the chance. I began contributing to NZV8 magazine in 2012 and have gone on to become NZV8's South Island correspondent, photographing and writing both feature car and event articles. I love meeting people and shooting their cars, as well as covering shows for the mag. Long may it continue.