Saturday - Day 5
Up early to head out to hang out with Robyn and Ian from New Zealand. They are going to drive my brother and I up the coastal highway for some views to Coromandel and drink some brews along the way.
The drive from Auckland to Coromandel is about 3 hours. Once you hit the highway and get out of the city is when you really get to see the beauty that New Zealand is known for. What you see posted on the internet, Instagram, and from the Lords of the Rings movies. The lands are filled with such breathtaking views of the ocean, trees, plants, and amazing country side.
We stopped at an old town along the way which is at the Southwestern end of the Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand's North Island.
Grabbed some coffee which was so delicious and much needed considering it was so freaking early and I am not an early riser by any means. If you happen to stop here to order a cup of joe know that if your preference is black like my soul than order "Black coffee" but if you do not like it that way. You should order you coffee as "White Coffee". After we had coffee we went to a food truck that sells pancakes with oysters. I know that it sounds weird but this is what you eat when you come to New Zealand. I have to say that these Oyster pancakes were really quite tasty considering the contents. They also have a sauce that goes on them and me being a fan of condiments was all over that. I recommend getting the spicy chili sauce with the oyster pancakes. Trust me that you will thank me for this later. This little town is really quite small but it does have enough to entertain you with the various shops, antique places, museums, and eateries.
We then left to have some real lunch at a local joint for the first beer on the tour. I ordered the local brew of Monteith's which I found very satisfying to my taste buds alongside with a pulled pork burger.
Then we were off on the road again headed to Driving Creek Railway and Potteries for a train ride. This is New Zealand's only narrow gauge mountain railway. The train ride is about 1 hour in duration and it takes you through a lot of brush and rain forest parts. If you have ever ridden the mini mine train at Six Flags in Dallas Texas then think that of mixed with views like Jurassic Park minus all the dinosaurs. I chose to sit in the very front so that I had the better chance of getting some good photographs and having the best views without peoples heads being in my way. Throughout the train ride I saw some pretty cool art in the pottery aspect. The main attraction on this ride is the "Eyefull Tower". A play on words obviously but it is New Zealand's way of taking an eyeful in of all the gorgeous landscape views from high up 360 degrees around. (More photo ops) You see the brush views I told you about from up here and also the ocean. You can also see Auckland in a distance from up top.
- Book in Advance
- Tickets: $35 NZ for Adults
- Arrive at least 20 minutes early as the train fills up fast
The next stop was to watch the sunset over the ocean at Luke's Kitchen (www.lukeskitchen.co.nz). We had some more brews here and this time I tried another one of New Zealand's local beers Lion Red. Not a bad brew either.
Our final stop was at the Coroglen Tavern (www.coroglentavern.co.nz) which is an iconic pub known to many of the Kiwi's in this rural town. I decided to go with fish and chips ($15NZ). We had more beers here and good conversation. The place is small and quaint. There are some interesting images and things on the walls but please know this is not a fancy place by any means. The place has good service and very easy on the wallet but it is very rustic.
Now that the belly was full it was time to make the trek back to my home away from home at the Hilton Auckland. I took in the amazing night sky on the drive back which very relaxing considering I did not have to drive.