Sunday, Feb 7, 2016
I had a bit of trouble sleeping because it rained off-and-an and there were some significant rain gusts but the temperature was warm.
After packing up the tent and eating a simple breakfast, Cheryl and I went to a local church for the 10 am service. Afterwards we went to the iSite to find out about a few possible activities and for me to use the excuse to have a Cappuccino and a Cajun Chicken Filo for lunch at a nearby cafe to discuss our options.
We decided to drive towards Coromandel while Cheryl would call a company about an off-road jeep excursion around the peninsula to cape Corville. It was a short drive to Coromandel and we couldn’t get a definite answer about our excursion until 2 pm, so we headed to a Top 10 campground, where we had pre-arranged lodging. We set up the tent and waited for a call from the company. We were informed that there would be no openings but there would be one tomorrow. As we were planning on heading south to get closer to Aukland on Monday, we decided not to make any arrangements. We discussed our options and we decided to book a train ride in the area and call back the other company, book the excursion for Monday afternoon and stay in Coromandel a second night. This would mean that we would have a 4 hr drive to Auckland on Tuesday to return the van and get Cheryl to the airport for her return flight home.
The weather cleared and it got very hot every time the sun broke through the clouds.
The Driving Creek Railway is a 1 hour train ride that takes you through replanted native kauri forest and includes 2 spirals, 3 short tunnels, 5 reversing points and several large viaducts as it climbs up to the mountain-top terminus.
It is narrow-gauge mountain railway along with a working pottery and wild life sanctuary.
This shows the narrow tracks and the switch-gear he installed for reversing the train to go up the steep angles.
It was originally put together by Barry Brickell who used this train to get the clay from the mountain for his pottery. When he ran into financial difficulty, he used the train to give rides to tourists in order to help finance his work.
This one of the tunnels along the track.
The views along the way are great, but not as good as the views from the top.
After we returned from our train ride we enjoyed a relaxing evening.