Tuesday, 9 April 2013
Driving Creek Railway and Hot Springs
I left Auckland this morning by bus and went as far as Waitakaruru. It was hard to ask for a ticket to this place! From there it was only a four mile ride to the Miranda Hot Springs. I lazed in the pool for a few hours before retiring early. Tough life!
The next day I rode to Tapu and camped beside a small river as it entered the Firth of Thames. I spent all afternoon lying in the sun and reading. After that it was a ride up the coast to Amodeo Bay in a slight drizzle. After lunch at the Coramandel Township I visited the Driving Creek Railway, a fifteen inch gauge light railway built by enthusiasts from old mining rails. The locomotives were hand built and the track was originally laid up the hillside to fetch down clay and wood for his pottery. Now he runs a tourist train in the afternoon. The tracks climb up the hills for several kilometres backing up on itself with several bridges and a viaduct (including a double-decker) before reaching the top.
From here it was a short twelve mile ride up the coast to the camp-site and another long soak in the spa-pool. In the evening I took a stroll along the beach and watched the sun go down over Northland.