Off the Beaten Track to... Driving Creek Railway
The Driving Creek Railway is a unique set of tracks - just slightly off well-beaten tracks - about three kilometres from the town of Coromandel on the beautiful, rugged and mysterious Coromandel Peninsula. The Peninsula has a host of attractions and activities, of which the Driving Creek Railway is just one.
Having established a pottery workshop in 1975, the railway was built by railway enthusiast Barry Brickell to help gain access yellow plastic clay (derived from the weathering of the old volcanic rock). Today, the railway has become an unique tourist attraction as New Zealand's only (and newly built) narrow-gauge mountain railway. The hour-long journey on these innovatively designed trains takes you through replanted native kauri forest and includes two spirals, three short tunnels, five reversing points and several large viaducts as it climbs up to the mountain-top terminus. At this terminus, the Eyefull Tower, you get a wonderful panoramic view of the Hauraki Gulf, weather permitting.
- A great day-out and destination for families (and railway enthusiasts)
- Visit the pottery and craft shop
- Find out more about the wildlife sanctuary
- Bookings are advised as the trains are very popular (and quite small!)
Explore the Coromandel
As you drive away from Driving Creek Railway and explore the rest of the peninsula, you will find a host of other attractions including:
- Broken Hills (19 kilometres south of Tairua) - The beautiful river gorge setting provides many opportunities for walking, swimming, canoeing, trout fishing, fossicking, rafting, bird watching, photography, picnicking and camping.
- Cathedral Cove (Hahei) – Accessible by foot or boat only is the majestic Cathedral Cove and the marine reserve.
- Coromandel Coastal Walkway (Coromandel) – Great views of the coast and islands (Great Barrier Island, Cuvier, Mercury Islands) punctuate this 7 kilometre track (about 6-8 hours return).
- Hot Water Beach (Whitianga) – Dig your own hot pool in the sands of Hot Water Beach (check tide times before you go!)
More Off the Beaten Track Suggestions
If you want to discover some of New Zealand's hidden treasures, travel to some out-of-the-way places and see sites that many travellers and tourists miss out on, look at more of our 'Off the Beaten Track' suggestions.