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, pottery and now Coromandel Zipline Tours.

Barry potting BW5

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. Quite organically, this grew into a popular visitor attraction that has hosted well over 1 million passengers.

Barry potting copy 2 2

Barry’s last 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 to:

  • Protect and enhance our natural environment, be a leader and centre for understanding and contribution to conservation initiatives, and share our conservation values with our community and visitors.
  • Be a leading centre for pottery and ceramic crafts where emerging potters are actively fostered and visitors share in a unique craft and creative experience.

His presence will remain on the hills at Driving Creek while his influence on New Zealand tourism, art and conservation will live on...