We recently had some business in Auckland and on the way back home we took a detour through the Coromandel Peninsula. The Coromandel is just east and north of Auckland. We had sailed past on our way south but had not yet gotten a chance to explore it on land. We spent the weekend visiting all the hotspots from the pretty beaches to the Driving Creek Railway. The Railway is a little train that a New Zealand potter built in his "backyard" to collect clay from the hills. He originally wanted to keep the train to himself but found that tourism was a big money maker and since then it has been quite busy. The train which starts at a lovely pottery shop and sculpture garden, climbs up into the hills for a wonderful view of the town of Coromandel. The Coromandel Peninsula is known for it's smoked fish. We must have tried five or six varieties and Mark loved the steamed mussels. The Coromandel is also home to several Kauri groves. Kauris are the largest tree in New Zealand and often the oldest as well. Heavily logged in the past, there are very few left to see. They are now protected and New Zealand is trying to replant and bring them back.