Trains are fun, right, a major thrill for young and old. (Except maybe commuter trains, which fit more into the category of ‘chore’, but we’re holidaying here, so let’s not labour the day-to-day.)
The train at Driving Creek is like none you’ve probably ever travelled on. And anywhere that has a viewing platform called The Eyefull Tower gets points for ingenuity.
The trip takes an hour return, wending your way on narrow-gauge rails through a broad swathe of beautiful native kauri forest, up steep climbs, across a bunch of trestle bridges and through three short tunnels.
Adding a layer of intrigue and inspiration are the artworks and sculptures that pepper the panorama, created by the railway’s late owner, Barry Brickell. Barry also laid the railway (with a little help from his friends), the first piece of track hitting the dirt 40-plus years ago. He had a vision and you can now share the full expression of that pioneering idea.
Barry was also a renowned potter — which in an area (Coromandel) renowned for its pottery is saying something. Very Coromandel, uniquely New Zealand and a fine day out. Just out of Coromandel township, too, so easy as pie to get to, too. Ding-ding.