Engagement honeymoon travel blog


Up early once again! And on the road making our way from Auckland to coromandel. We stopped off in a old gold mining town called Thames (pronounced "tames"). We had a tour of the old gold mining plant from the 1800's. it was quite amazing to see how many techniques are still used in today's gold mining, but on a more sophisticated scale. We were guided through the old underground tunnels, this was quite neat because they were all dug by hand with chisels and pick axes. At the end of our tour we got to try our hand at panning for gold, no such luck for us, as all we were able to collect were a bunch of cool looking rocks. Once finished at the mine we continued down the road to the coromandel town. We checked into our hostel/campsite called The Top 10 Holiday Park. Once unloaded we headed just outside of town to Driving creek railroad. This was an inspiring tour. A man purchased a piece of property, and with his interest in trains, decided to make a rail road track that goes up the mountain. The train goes up the mountain on switchbacks, and slowly climbs on the track that he laid all by hand on his own. It took Barry Birknell 35 years to build the entire track up the mountain, almost 3km of track. The 2 tracks only lay about 20" apart, but each track, tie, bridge, tunnel, and bend was all done by this one man. Along with him building this masterpiece, he planted thousands upon thousands of trees there and has his own bird sanctuary there. Quite the feat for a man who only had a teaching degree, not an engineering degree. Oh and on top of that he hand built all his train cars.

It was back into town after the long day. We treated ourselves to a highly recommended restaurant called peppertree. It was delicious! A absolute must if you visit this little town! Back to the hostel and to bed!

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