172 Days on the Road
Update: Cadbury World is not currently operating.
Mmm, choc-o-lateeeeee. New Zealand supermarkets always have a wealthy stock of chocolate blocks with more flavours than you can deal with. Trust us. Once you have been in New Zealand for more than a week, the chocolate blocks tend to become part of your life! One of those chocolate block giants is Cadbury, and they have their own Cadbury World down in the Dunedin!
Dunedin pre-chocolate tour sight-seeing
Out of just pure eagerness and gluttony for chocolate, we arrive at Cadbury World way too early, so decide to check out some of Dunedin’s famous architecture. Dunedin has quite a lot of gothic architecture built during the wealthy times of the Otago gold rush. Now, people are seen everywhere snapping up the grand church buildings and university blocks complete with a clock tower. Because of it’s central location, we go check out what’s claimed to be New Zealand’s “most-photographed building“, Dunedin Railway Station. The long black and white building with a clock tower at the end is what the panoramic mode or fish-eye lens in our cameras was made for. Otherwise, it’s impossible to capture its whole magnificence. In front of the railway station is a perfectly symmetrical garden with small patterned bushes and flower beds. It’s quite something.
We take our photos, adding to the railway’s “most-photographed” status. From the station, we can see the purple Cadbury tower overlooking the city. Chocolate calls us!
The Cadbury puppet show
The iconic colours of Cadbury shine through the street with signs and signs of “Cadbury World: Tour and Cafe”. One ground-level window has a fun little mechanical puppet show of the chocolate-making process, from picking the cacao beans to boxes labelled “VAT”. (VAT in the UK, as Cadbury is a UK company, means “Value Added Tax”… So, we guess this is going to be a very thorough tour…).
The puppet show does keep us entertained until we wait for Robin’s friend to arrive, Chris, who is joining us on the tour today. Chocolate is best shared with friends, right?
Walking into chocolate heaven
We walk into the foyer of Cadbury World to be greeted by the sight of an entire wall covered in Crunchy bars! A giant Easter bunny sculpture guards one corner and the Cadbury Museum begins in another corner. After getting our tour tickets, we have a wander through the museum, seeing chocolate’s beginning in the forest as a cacao tree surrounded by toy monkeys and mechanical snakes. Then the story of the cacaos first export is told with another puppet scene of the cacao cargo being transferred onto Spanish ships.
The chocolate museum
We jump to the beginnings of John Cadbury, the founder of Cadbury, who started in the chocolate-business nearly 200 years ago in the UK. A mock-up of his old shop and cafe is on display – the pink vintage Cadbury wrappers take our attention! Timelines on the wall tell the complete Cadbury story until today, where we are now stood in one of 60+ Cadbury chocolate factories in the world! See guys, it only take 200 years to achieve globalisation with your business. Easy!
More crazy puppet shows, unusual marketing strategies, and more are displayed on the walls of the Cadbury Museum, which we almost get the time to check out until the “1pm tour” tour is being called! Our tour guide, Rebecca, is dressed in purple dungarees and a cap… Wait a minute, dungarees?! That’s right, she is essentially dressed like an oompa loompa. As we look around the 20 other tour-attendees, we wonder who will be the first to fall into the chocolate lake or turn into a blueberry…
A snippet of our Dunedin sight-seeing
Before the tour begins, Rebecca gives us a health and safety briefing including “no cameras!” So we apologise for the lake of tour photos in this blog post. The reason given was because no glass and plastic is allowed in the chocolate factory… Weirdly enough, Robin doesn’t have to take his glasses off…
Nevertheless, all is forgotten when we are given a bag with two chocolates each; a bag that is mostly empty; a bag that needs to be filled… We think you know where we are going with this.
Bags packed in lockers, Rebecca shows us two vintage vehicles used to deliver chocolate back in the day. Of course, they are a brilliant purple colour with slots to attach hoses at the back. Oh, how we would have loved to be at the other end of that hose…
The Sensory Room
We are now moving into the tour area of the chocolate factory, more specifically, the “Sensory Room”. A flowchart on the wall along with Rebecca helps explain the chocolate-making process – a process where the Dunedin factory do very well at making the base of the chocolate called “crumb”. We get to taste the hard crumbly product, then jump straight to the good stuff. We are each given a plastic (ahem!) cup to fill with whatever warm liquid chocolate we like! White chocolate, milk chocolate, dark chocolate or a mix of them all topped with a choice of coconut shavings, Oreo cookies, popcorn and whatever else.
While we eat our warm gooey chocolate creations, we watch a lady do a chocolate tempering demonstration by hand, as well as sniff fragrances of Cadbury’s different products from various pipes to try and guess what they are.
The “loud” sugar drum
Our senses have been tingled, now we move onto a demonstration of how sugar-coated candies are made at Cadbury, including the Kiwi-favourite, the Jaffa! Huge tumbling machines, a lot like a tumble dryer roll the candies around while an oompa loompa pours syrups into the drum to coat the chocolate.
“Be careful, it’s very loud, so be prepared,” Rebecca says as she is about to through the switch to the drum with a few ping ping balls inside. We brace ourselves. We don’t know what we’re expecting… like a jet plane blasting 10 metres overhead? However, Robin has done louder farts than the sound of this drum rolling. It’s pretty hilarious.
The chocolate waterfall: “because we can!”
Throughout the tour, our bags are getting fuller and fuller, while Robin’s bag is getting emptier and emptier. He had been hoping he could fill his bag up at the next section: the chocolate waterfall.
“Hold onto the handrails!” Rebecca warns as we all walk up a spiral staircase surrounding some curious-looking funnels. Once at the top, we are encouraged to shouts: “We want chocolate!” As Rebecca presses a button releasing liquid chocolate from the ceiling. Unfortunately for Robin, he is not prompted to stick his empty chocolate bag underneath the chocolate-fall.
Why is the chocolate waterfall here? “Because we can!” Rebecca explains.
Creative hot chocolates!
The tour ends with an extra slab of chocolate to take home/eat, get our bags back, and file into the Cadbury World gift shop.
We enjoy probably the most creative hot chocolates we’ve ever had in the Cadbury Cafe: a Caramello mocha, a Dream hot chocolate, and a Pinky hot chocolate with a syringe?! Sick as a dog but feeling good about catching up with Chris, we head back to the Chalet Backpackers for another night in the old hospital! (We wish it was as spooky as it sounds).
Join us tomorrow where we hit the seas in exploration for wildlife!