NZ Today - - LETTERS -

one can’t se­ri­ously visit Coro­man­del with­out climb­ing aboard the Driv­ing Creek Rail­way. The­brain child of Barry

Brick­ell, who thank­fully quit teach­ing in favour of pot­tery, ini­tially the track was laid as a means of sourc­ing clay for his artis­tic en­deav­ours.

Theride it­self pow­ered by Brick­ell’s s hand built, diesel, twenty horse power r lo­co­mo­tives is amaz­ing. This­must have been my tenth visit to Driv­ing Creek and I’m yet to be dis­ap­pointed. It would have to be the best sixty minute, value for money at­trac­tion

to be found any­where in God­zone.

Thedrivers pro­vided hu­mor­ous yet in­for­ma­tive run­ning com­men­taries ex­plain­ing lo­cal his­tory and iden­ti­fy­ing na­tive fauna as we pro­gressed to the Eye­full Tower plat­form, 173 me­tres above sea level. The ob­ser­va­tion deck of­fers mag­nif­i­cent panoramic views of rugged moun­tain

tops and coast­line. Through­out the jour­ney, quirky sculp­tures pop up, brick tun­nels are passed through and re­tain­ing walls made from lit­er­ally thou­sands of wine bot­tles are ad­mired. I bet they had some fun pre­par­ing those build­ing ma­te­ri­als; con­ser­va­tion at its best! The­lit­tle stop en route af­fec­tion­ately named Rav­ing­ton, has been per­haps un­sur­pris­ingly the venue of many a rau­cous shindig over the years.

It turns out the driver of our lo­co­mo­tive Paul, was a for­mer po­lice­man. Once a CID de­tec­tive in Ro­torua, he later trans­ferred

to the Coro­man­del sta­tion. While there were still many things he en­joyed about polic­ing, Paul ad­mits the job grad­u­ally took its toll. He grew tired of rolling around on the ground with drunks twice his size.

He was in­creas­ingly be­ing sum­moned at unso­cia­ble hours to the most re­mote parts of his beat in the mid­dle of the

night for triv­ial mat­ters. Hav­ing to con­tin­u­ally don the uni­form and drive vast dis­tances on windy metal made him re­con­sider his op­tions.

Driv­ing Creek tun­nel. Above Driv­ing Creek HQ.

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