04.03.2014 - 04.03.2014 19 °C
What an ocean view we had in the morning! We had to leave the parking lot at 9:00am so a quick coffee and we took off towards Whitianga, a small but old town on the western shore of the peninsula. The road there was again rainy but once parked our camper, the sun on the blues sky (!) started to dry off the streets :-)
We indulged ourselves and enjoyed a tasty breakfast at the Fig Café. The wind didn't let us to enjoy the local nice beach too long so we jumped in the car and drove the highway 25 to Coromandel Town. As opposed to road 309, the Hwy 25 is another beautiful scenic ocean road during our journey. And it is indeed great, the views are in some spots simply breathtaking.
We arrived at Coromandel on time for quite an unusual adventure: an hour ride with a mountain slim railway train. The whole idea of this one of the main touristic attractions of the town came actually as a side effect of something totally different. Local artist, a sculpturer and potterer, Barry Brickell was using clay for his works. He discovered that the hill on which the attraction now is located, offered clay with good properties so he invested in the land (he bought 60 acres property with the hill) and in the railway infrastructure. Consequently a slim railway was laid up the hill to enable logistics. You can find this story with more details on the Internet but this is worth adding that the attraction called Driving Creek Railway drew 1 million tourists 2 years ago. We liked this too.
A quick glance in the town centre and we took off to Auckland, certainly following most scenic coastline highway. Considering the fact that we were now moving southwards on the eastern side of the peninsula, we were accompanied by the sunset all along the journey.
Auckland welcomed us warm - once parked on campsite we started to prepare the last days of our stay in NZ. And indeed, we are looking forward to a real highlight :-)