05 August 2011

Coromandel Town to Auckland Ferry

This finally concludes my posts about this first trip I took when I first came to Auckland. FINALLY. I took this trip in the tail end of January and I'm only finishing it now. Phew.

Instead of taking a bus back to Auckland, I decided to take a ferry which would be faster and afford me different views. We sailed through the Hauraki Gulf, which is pretty sheltered and so had a smooth journey. The photos say it all:

One of my favourite photos from this trip

Beverages for your refreshment

Ample space to move and stretch

The engine is so loud, you wouldn't hear it playing anyway

Bikes travel free

Outgoing cruise ship, with the Auckland Harbour Bridge in the background

City skyline

Hmm how much do these apartments cost?
Thanks to PC and his flatmate who picked me up from the wharf and saved me another bus trip back.

03 August 2011

Driving Creek Railway, Coromandel Town

Driving Creek Railway is definitely the tourism gem of the Coromandel. It's a single man's labour of love over 30 years as he built the railway by himself (mostly) section by section. Rather than repeating the same words, read the excellent history from their website.

The 1 hour ride was enjoyable even if I felt cramped in the small seats. I was sitting across from a New Caledonian couple with their toddler so I amused myself looking at them teach the daughter how to apply sunscreen. The breathtaking parts were when we emerged from bush into a clearing and we could see across the Hauraki Gulf to all the islands nearby.

Pottery on display, presumably made on site

Previous tour group coming in

Brick kiln

Tour guide explaining do's and don'ts

At certain points during the trip, the driver has to come down and switch tracks as it's going to go up the other way

There are 2 trains on every tour

The original final stop

Final stop

The Eyefull Tower

Observation deck offering wide views - notice the pollution free sky bursting with unparalleled levels of UV rays

One of the tunnels we drove through
It's just amazing how one person has the vision and the dedication to take this through to the end.

01 August 2011

Coromandel Town, Coromandel

On the last day of my trip I journeyed to Coromandel Town via Tairua Bus Company. The plan is to catch the afternoon ferry back to Auckland instead of returning by bus. I had quite a few hours to kill so I took a short stroll around. It's a quaint town with lots of old buildings that make you feel like you're back in the past century...

i-Site Information Center
 I kept my main luggage at the i-Site while I went exploring on foot with my day bag.

The main street

Even the flag is frayed. WTH?

I like seeing how architects try to make their church stand out from others while maintaining the basic motifs
I was done with the town itself in about an hour, so I took a long walk to Driving Creek Railway set outside the town. There are no buses, and I'm not keen to call a taxi (not that I saw one), so it was either hitchhike or walk.

Next post: Driving Creek Railway