Train Ride in Coromandel, New Zealand
0800 327 245
+64 7 866 8703
Address:380 Driving Creek
Driving Creek Railways & Potteries Introduction
Driving Creek Railways & Potteries is New Zealand's only narrow-gauge train ride in the Coromandel along with a working pottery and wild life sanctuary.
The one-hour return Coromandel train ride on our 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.
The Eyefull Tower, our handsome new building also offers great panoramic views out over the island-studded Hauraki Gulf with the forested valley and mountains behind.
Taking the train ride is very popular, with over 30,000 visitors every year. It is well worth booking ahead of time during the busy summer season. Open daily during summer: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and whenever the trains are running.
Coromandel Train Ride
The especially designed passenger trains were built at the Driving Creek Railway's own engineering workshop located beside the potteries. The latest is the Linx a fully diesel-hydraulic articulated railcar carrying up to 34 adults, similar to the Snake, designed and built in the railway's own workshop in 2004 and 1992 respectively.
There are two older diesel locomotives and various wagons used for conveying clay, wood, native plants for the extensive forest replanting project up the line, and others for construction purposes. A steam locomotive for occasional non-fire season use is on the drawing board.
Coromandel Pottery Complex
The railway and pottery complex blends into the natural bush setting. As well as touring the pottery complex you may also want to spend some time in the craft shop viewing the finished works. You can also find well-researched material on local history and ecology.
Creation of the Coromandel Train Ride
Track laying began in 1975 by Barry Brickell shortly after he established the pottery workshop. As a railway enthusiast he saw the practical and environmental advantages of having a narrow-gauge railway system through his rugged scrub-covered land to give all-weather access to clay and pine wood kiln fuel.
Dieselmouse was the very first passenger train Brickell worked on. For 15 years he poured a considerable amount of money into railway construction before it was licensed to carry fare-paying public in 1990. This huge gamble has now paid off, while returns from the pottery have been steadily diminishing. A recent move into the tile and brick-making industry is an exciting new development.
Today, the railway carries more passengers than raw materials because it has become a major and unique tourist attraction. Unlike most other tourist railways, the DCR is newly built rather than being an old line that has been restored. It is New Zealand's only narrow-gauge mountain railway. All earlier such railways built to convey minerals have been demolished.
Coromandel Kauri Forest Conservation
At Driving Creek Railway we are driven by the need to restore the land and its uniquely magnificent indigenous kauri forests. As exotic, fast growing, invasive pines are removed and transported as kiln fuel down the railway; we use the railway to deliver young native trees back up into the hills.
Thus we are restoring the magnificent kauri forests that grew here before their exploitation for timber and subsequent elimination by fire.
We will run trips for 2 adults or more at the following times: (please ensure that you arrive 20 minutes prior to these departure times)
- 10.15am, 11.30am, 12.45pm, 2.00pm and 3.15pm
- For a group of 5 or more adults we will can also run charter trains at the following times 9.00am, 4.30pm and 5.45. However, you will need to call us to check tour availability for these times.
- When there is interest in a charter train and there are less than 5 adults for the tour, you may choose to charter the train for your group - at the cost of 5 adults.