A new Coromandel enterprise..


Charmaine, Shila, Farida, Tanya on the Eyefull Tower, at the top of Driving Creek Railway

A highlight of our recent holiday weekend in Coromandel was going for a guided walk with Jamie Watson, a young local Maori man planning to develop a Maori tourism enterprise in the area.

We met him at Driving Creek  Café after our trip on the Driving Creek Railway with our friends Shila and Farida.  We admire Barry Brickell’s initiative and work in developing the railway, but were disappointed that the driver’s commentary ignored a thousand years of Maori history on the land and waterways.

We expressed this disappointment to Jamie, who happened to be wearing a Hauraki sweat shirt, and he told us he had a special interest in local history and taonga puoro (traditional Maori musical instruments).  He invited us to join him later in the day for a trial guided walk to a local pa site.  We had very special hour with him climbing the Kauri Block Track up the hill behind Coromandel Township to the old pa site. At various points he stopped to talk, combining history, legend and traditional uses of native vegetation, and to play the ancient instruments he carried with him.

It was a magical journey- all four of us feel privileged to have had this opportunity, and we hope he will soon be offering a formal tour to visitors in the area.

Jamie Watson swinging a purerehua

Jamie Watson swinging a purerehua


Here, on top of the old pa site, Jamie swings a purerehua, making its distinctive whirring sound like moths’ wings…



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