Barry Brickell was the inspiration behind The Coromandel’s most successful year-round tourist attraction, Driving Creek. The property now includes a wildlife sanctuary (complete with predator-proof fencing), an art gallery showcasing Barry's and other artists work, a pottery and now Coromandel Zipline Tours.
A renowned artist, Barry initially began building train tracks to source clay, for his pottery, from land on his Driving Creek Road property in Coromandel Town. As clay ran out in one spot Barry would extend the track to source more, until eventually friends were invited for train rides. Naturally, this grew into a popular visitor attraction that has hosted well over 1 million passengers.
Barry’s latest gift to the local community was a vision to establish New Zealand’s longest pier, in Coromandel Town. Thus, creating another iconic visitor attraction while also improving connectivity between Auckland and Coromandel Town via the Blue Highway, currently serviced by Fullers 360.
Barry passed away in January 2016, but he had already established the Driving Creek Railway, Arts and Conservation Trust to oversee the running of Driving Creek’s many facets. The Trust is now a registered Charity, delivering on Barry's vision for the development of the entity. His presence will remain on the hills at Driving Creek while his influence on New Zealand tourism, art and conservation will live on...