MAKANA CONFECTIONS – KERIKERI
Having said our good bye to an awesome year and tided in an equally good one, with great company, it was now time to head north, even further north. Because of where Russell was situated, and the road we needed to reach, it was quickest to take the ferry back across (earlier on in the Coromandel we had decided dirt tracks were out of the question). A good tip off from our friends lead us to the most amazing chocolate shop and factory in Kerikeri – The Boutique Chocolate Factory, part of Makana Confections. This was essentially elevenses, having cooked an epic fry up storm for our hosts to try and cure our hangovers before we left.
As we entered the shop, and the sweet familiar smell of chocolate filled my nostrils I was immediately offered a sample of what was currently being prepared in the kitchen, where you could see the chefs hard at work creating the magic through the window. Aah, memories.
Interestingly it’s not just ‘regular’ chocolate on offer here, the company also specialises in an exclusive range diabetic sugar-free chocolates, including sugar-free chocolate coated Macademia nuts and sugar-free chocolate snaps in milk and dark.
The company was started by a Hawaiian couple who set up the first store here in Kerikeri in 1998, their second store on the South Island in Blenheim followed in 2005.
Very true to taste and quality, sourcing only the finest ingredients locally, their couverture chocolate is imported from San Francisco in the US.
MANGONUI FISH SHOP CHALLENGE
Fully stocked and stuffed with chocolate, we continued with our journey North, stopping only for a late lunch in Mangonui for World Famous Fish and Chips, only problem was, in our hasty hunger we headed for the first shop we saw, without walking around, it turned out the real World Famous fish and chips was around the corner, so it was here we declared it would be the Magnonui Fish Shop challenge and we would decide which was the best one since we had now tried both. The consensus was the battered fish was actually better in the first shop, and the chips better in the second one – the seagulls agreed with us.
Stuffed and on our way, we managed to last until we reached the farm. Having just passed Pukenui town, we reached Ngataki, turning off State Highway 1 and into lush avocado groves which eventually gave way to a beautiful single-storey homestead style house overlooking a large lake lined with evergreens – our home for the next 10 days. Things would be less frantic now as our days would take a more leisurely pace.