DRIVING CREEK RAILWAY
Art, sanctuary, ride and fun.
Winding our way through replanted native forest, with placards nailed to trunks variously spelling out names like kauri, rimu, and tanekaha, the
driver abruptly leaves his seat – we are at one of the 5 reversing points on New Zealand‘s only narrow- gauge mountain railway. The brainchild of the late potter Barry Brickell, Driving Creek railway was initially constructed to transport clay for his kiln. Over the years the operation grew to include bridges, tunnels, and a viaduct, transporting tourists in railcars and locomotives. Today, Brickell’s work and that of guest artists line the track, workshop and garden. The payoff is the view from Eyefull Tower.
380 Driving Creek Road, Coromandel; +64 7 866 8703;
MERCURY BAY ESTATE WINERY
Vineyard, coastal views, Italian cuisine.
Simon and Veronica Ward have created the sort of idyllic vineyard surrounded by views of the bay that is made for languid, sunny days. The theme at Mercury Bay is sharing – whether with the delicious Italian inspired food, conversation with its friendly owners or simply partaking of the enchanting views. When I arrive, I am given a list of wines from which to make a selection. My flight includes local offerings as well as a few Italian wines. Paired with a cheese and meat platter, Neapolitan pizza (the dough is handmade) and tiramisu, it is the perfect way to spend an afternoon.
761A Purangi Road Cooks Beach, RD1, Whitianga; 07 866 4066;
This original travel article first appeared in the Spring 2017 issue of City Style and Living Magazine.