20 Feb 2016

Over The Mtn's & Thru The Woods - NZL by valeriepeltier

8/34

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Since we got into town a little bit earlier than our booked tour for the Cadbury tour, we wandered around the octagon beginning at the booths that were set up close to the bus stop. I ended up stopping and talking with a lady that was selling her photographs of New Zealand about her future travels to Canada. After about 5 minutes I had given her a few recommendations and continued on to find Lauren and wander a bit more.
We walked up one of the many hilly streets and made our way around an old abandoned nunnery, before following back down the other side of the block.
We ended up making our way down as far as the train tracks where we could wander no further in that direction, so we went in the general direction of the factory and stopped by the train station where they had a few older train cars on display behind glass cases. On the other side of the train station there was a farmers market on encompassing the entire parking lot. There were people everywhere wandering through the aisles of booths. We quickly walked through but didn't have much time because our tour was about to start.

We were booked in for the 11:00 Cadbury factory tour, but since we got there a little early when we checked in they had asked us if we wanted to join the 10:45 tour that was just about to start. We hopped on it and quickly made our way to the end of the corridor past the history museum portion of the entrance and joined the people waiting to be let through the large door into the factory.
The first thing our tour guide did when we walked through the door was hand us each a plastic bag with a couple candy bars in it as ushered us to take a seat for our safety briefing.
After that we put all of our belongings into the lockers before continuing on our tour. The tour briefed us on the process of chocolate making, the ingredients used and the history of Cadbury. The majority of the chocolate that was given to us on tour were considered kiwi favourites. For the most part they were chocolate bars with marshmallow centres that are only sold in New Zealand.
The entire time we were on tour I felt as though I was in the the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie. We got to taste the chocolate crumb, watched a tempering demonstration, watched a waterfall of chocolate rush through the Center of a silo, and taste melted chocolate with cookie toppings. Everyone was on a chocolate high by the time our tour was finished, happy to have experienced the factory,
When the tour finished we gathered our things, took a photo with the old Cadbury trucks they used to deliver door to door chocolate, then made our way through the gift shop. We couldn't get over how much chocolate people were buying, they had filled baskets spending a couple hundred on candy bars. Lauren and I only bought one bar each since they had already given use each 5 or 6 while on tour.

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After lunch we got on a bus and made our way over the the Glenfalloch Gardens on the peninsula along the windy road just before Macandrew Bag.

When we reached the beginning to the path there was an interpretive sign explaining the different types of trails throughout the garden. The main paths were all close to the start, winding in and around different flower beds and labelled for a nice stroll. The second type of path was labelled for people who are looking to walk a little further and the final and third type of path was labelled for the adventurous hikers.
We began in unsure of the scale of the gardens because the map unfortunately didn't tell us how far the trails went. When we got to the first area that we wanted to check out, we realized quite quickly that the gardens were not very big at all. Winding our way down the paths we passed a small little stream with a bridge and continued from the first type of path to the second, changing from a paved path to a wood chip/ mulched path. This led us further on and eventually turned into a path of stomped down grass heading back towards the wooded area following up the steep bank along the stream. There was supposed to be a waterfall at the end but unfortunately there was not enough water running through to even make a small waterfall. We continued on and instead went to the lookout. Although the gardens were small we still managed to spend a fair bit of time wandering around up as far as the old stone wall separating the properties. The flowers were beautiful, along with the homestead located near the beginning of the trail, and the sound of goats in the background really pulled the whole experience together.
When we reached the bottom of the hill again, as we made our way out of the gardens we realized that in the time we were gone, a group of people had arrived for a wedding reception, so dressed in our hikers and fleece we made our way by the crowd of people dressed up in wedding attire.

On our bus ride in a couple from the area had suggested that we walk down to Macandrew Bay after the gardens following the trail along the waters edge. The path winding alongside the road passing house shacks floating anchored to the land. The birds seemed to love the decks of the houses for perching on, away from pedestrians and the traffic. The majority of them being seagulls, but the other half a new one for us. We found out later that they are called Pied shags, otherwise known as cormorants.