The ingenious Driving Creek Railway is the country’s only narrow-gauge hill railway. It was built mostly by hand and is the brainchild of Barry Brickell, an eccentric local potter and rail enthusiast who wanted to access the clay-bearing hills.

The track is only 381mm wide and climbs 120m over a distance of about 3km, rewarding you with spectacular views, extraordinary feats of engineering and quirky design; at the end of the line panoramas extend from a specially constructed wooden lodge, the Eyefull Tower. The journey starts and ends at the workshops, where you can see various types of pottery: stoneware, bricks and earthenware items, and sculptures made from terracotta. There’s also a video about Brickell and a sculpture garden in a wildlife sanctuary designed to protect the local and visiting birdlife.

More about New Zealand

Explore New Zealand



Travel Offers

20% off ebooks

Subscribe to the Rough Guides newsletter and get 20% off any ebook.

Join over 50,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month.