THE 309

New Zealand’s famous  309 Road is a scenic 22-kilometre crossing of the backbone of the Coromandel Peninsula. The road is mostly unsealed. It showcases spectacular scenery as it winds through lush farmland, pine forests and extensive areas of native bush.

You could easily spend a day on the 309, visiting the "Waterworks Park", the 'Waiau Falls", the "Kauri Grove" and hiking up Castle Rock (Motutere). At the far eastern end is Eagan's Reserve - a nice spot for picnic or an overnight stay in your self contained motorhome.

Waiau Waterworks is a low-tech fun place to visit. It is full of interesting interactive activities and displays, mostly operated by water. The large clock with substantial wooden cogs is an example. Water is pumped up a nearby hill by a Ram pump. The resulting head of pressure powers many of the exhibits.


The designers of this place have a sense of humour. I highly recommended it for all ages. You could be in for a couple of surprises.


The "Waiau Waterfall" is right beside the road at the first single-lane bridge. It's an easy 2 minute walk into the bush. The Kauri Grove is 2 km further down the 309 towards Whitianga. This is a must. It's a 30 minute wander on good paths through some classic NZ bush to and around a fabulous stand of kauri.


If you are up to a steep scramble getting to the stop of Castle Hill  is worth the effort and bit of a scramble - fabulous views.