The coal town of Huntly makes an interesting stop between Auckland and Hamilton.
Huntly is the site of a massive coal-fired power station. It was once a major source of coal – the open cast coal mine produced around 10,000 tonnes a day when it was fully operational.
Coal was first discovered here in 1842 by a local reverend. In the 1860s, one of the seams was opened up to provide coal for the river boats using the Waikato River.
There are several farmstays in the area along with several great walking trails including Lake Hakanoa, an easy 45-minute loop walk taking in picturesque lake surrounds.
Car racing fans are also well looked after with the Huntly Speedway hosting regular events, as well as Hampton Downs Raceway a short drive north in Meremere, where go karting and track experiences are all on the agenda, as well as skydiving at the nearby Mercer Airfield.