Thrilling 12-Tonne Digger Experience Beckons at New Chessco Digger Park in Taranaki


In the picturesque landscape of Taranaki, an extraordinary and captivating attraction has cropped to life – the Chessco Digger Park, where children and adults alike can experience the thrill of handling a full-sized 12-tonne Komatsu digger. According to Stan Chesswas, the visionary founder of this unique park nestled in Stratford, what could possibly fulfill a child’s dream more than settling themselves in the cab of such an impressive machine and taking firm control?

The park promises an exciting array of diggers for visitors to pilot, introducing an element of adventure and education. The intent is primarily to offer visitors unfamiliar experiences while ensuring they have absolute fun, says Stan.

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Before its grand official inauguration scheduled for early October, the park has orchestrated ‘sneaky dig’ sessions during the school holidays. The objective, in Stan’s own words, is to make certain that the park is in its full muddy glory by the time the formal ribbon-cutting ceremony takes place.

Rachel Johnson, Chessco Digger Park administration manager and affectionately referred to as the “camp mother” by Stan, emphasizes the need to book spaces for these ‘sneaky dig’ sessions which commence from Thursday, September 28. Ensuring that families secure their desired time slots is key to the park staff. For a sum of $50, visitors can book 20-minute sessions that can be enjoyed individually or be shared among a group of up to four individuals.

Rachel further informs that Kairo, the canine mascot for RATS (Riders against Teen Suicide), to whom the park makes regular donations, can also be seen around the park, adding a delightful charm to the visitor’s experience.

Before hopping onto the 20-minute fun-filled digger sessions, there’s a substantial 10-minute safety briefing and introduction to the vehicle’s controls. A supervisor stands by throughout, ready to halt the hydraulics of the digger if a situation calls for it. For Stan, opening the park was a realization of his personal dream. With years of comprehensive experience handling construction machinery and training others, he firmly believes that learning is more effective when it’s hands-on and fun.

In addition to the ‘sneaky digs’, the park will also offer operator courses, featuring a digger usage competence certificate. It’s an attractive prospect, particularly for individuals considering a career in the construction industry or related fields.

Rachel expresses her belief in the potential of the construction industry as a promising career for both men and women. She thinks the Chessco Digger Park could sensitize people to this prospect. Moreover, with the festive season around the corner, a voucher for the park’s digger competency course could be an unconventional and inspiring gift.

Stan further shares that businesses can book ‘sneaky dig’ sessions as a novel twist on team building activities, stepping away from the usual golfing or gaming sessions. According to him, these sessions could be an exciting addition to a school’s activity day itinerary, combining a visit to the park with a trip to the local pools, bike park, or cinema for a delightful day out in Stratford.