In town you will find clothes and gift shops, a 4Square supermarket, garage, bank, fishing shop, hardware shop, three pubs, cafes and two fish and chip shops. There is also Umu and The Pepper Tree restaurants for meals out.
Most people who visit this area also make a point of stopping at Driving Creek Railway, just 3km out of town, where there is a railway and a pottery, plus a good café nearby.
It’s a narrow-gauge railway that climbs up into the bush, up to the Eyeful Tower. There are some impressive tunnels lined with bottles and the railway itself is a real feat of engineering. After the rail trip you can check out the local art and pottery for sale in the shop. Quirky but fascinating it’s $35 each but a great day out. www.drivingcreekrailway.co.nz.
Other places to visit in town include The Coromandel Goldfield Centre & Stamper Battery. A fully operational water-powered plant for processing gold from rock.
The Stamper Battery has a huge water wheel which powers the plant, which is more than 100 years old. It was the first diesel-powered gold processing plant in New Zealand and its last original stamper battery. The working machinery is still used for crushing gold ore and extracting gold. You can even try your hand at panning gold here and it’s a nice spot for a picnic.
Geologist Ashley Franklyn offers an enthusiastic tour of the plant and reveals the region’s fascinating mining and geology history.