GREETINGS FROM NEW ZEALAND (AGAIN)!
Just returned from the North Island of New Zealand and an assortment of scone adventures.
Flew into Auckland and travelled on the new Northern Explorer Train to Tongariro National Park, then returned on the train back to Auckland so we could drive up and have plenty of time to explore the Bay of Islands and Hokianga, before flying out of Auckland again.
After the horrendous heat wave in Sydney it was a delight to be back on the North Island of New Zealand.
The following scone report will briefly let you know how we fared sconewise.
It didn’t start well……
The Northern Explorer takes five hours from Auckland to Tongariro National Park. It does not serve scones but has a dining car, friendly staff and it’s great fun in the open carriage, especially on the Raurimu spiral.
Enjoyed staying at Chateau Tongariro where they do serve scones and high teas. Unfortunately, the scone was really a rock cake and was so dry it tasted like pumice from the nearby volcano, so I didn’t try the high tea.
While waiting at National Park station for the return train ride I was delighted to discover the old railway station had been converted into a charming tearoom with lemonade scones. The staff were happy and cheerful and the scones were an excellent treat for the journey, even though they got a little squashed in my bag. Definitely try this one if you can!
The Cape Reinga Tour from the Bay of Islands stops at the Ancient Kauri Kingdom. It’s a long day and a long time to lunch so I bought a very nice, large Date Scone and eked it out over the next 3 hours on the bus. That must be a scone record.
The Kauri Museum at Matakohe was a good spot to stop on the drive from Hokianga back to Auckland. The Gumdiggers Tearooms looked very inviting but the date scones had just sold out! Oh well, it was a tasty chicken and salad sandwich.
Closer to Auckland, we stopped at the Dome Cafe at Warkworth to stretch our legs. Enjoyed some fresh air and a welcome date scone on the balcony with a cup of tea.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to walk to the Dome Forest Lookout. It takes about 40 mins.
as we waited in the departure lounge we discovered a huge cheese scone, which was an excellent choice to sustain us on our journey across the ocean back to Sydney. Air New Zealand doesn’t have scones.
After my initial disappointment at Tongariro I was reassured that New Zealanders in the North Island do make scones and not merely rock cakes. The generous nature of the scones and the people who make them, made our visits most enjoyable and there are sure to be plenty of delightful scone havens yet to be discovered. Would have loved to try Knoll Ridge cafe at Mt Ruapehu, near Tongariro, but it was closed because of high winds. Let me know if you have discovered a special scone place in New Zealand too.