Five vintage tractors are trundling from Pukekohe to Cape Reinga.

The Franklin Vintage Machinery Club's 1000km round-trip Tractor Trek is nevertheless not without excitement.

"We battled our way through 154 sets of traffic lights through Auckland," says Duncan McLea, still marvelling at the feat when the Advocate caught up with the trekkies three days later.

They had to drive through Auckland's streets because tractors are only allowed to do 30km/h on the road, and vehicles unable to exceed 40km/h are not allowed on motorways.

Even on the northern leg of the journey, the little caravan- towing convoy tends to take the byways rather than highways.

Six keen men and five machines with vintages - the tractors, that is - between 1945 and 1955, are making the two-week trek.

They're setting a cracking pace at around 25km/h, depending how much sightseeing the drivers do on the way.

The convoy has been something of a sight in itself, and other road users have been polite in the main.

"But you get the odd belligerent driver who has to overtake you come what may," Mr McLea said.

Whangarei Vintage Machinery Club member Jim Gunson has joined the convoy in his trusty 1955 Fordson. Eddie Trinnough from Waiuku is riding shotgun.

The other four tractors are all Farmall machines from McCormick International.

They are driven by Mr McLea, Nigel Coghlan, Paul Christoffersen and Ernie Hull.