Neighborhood Travels

New Zealand Part 12: Cadbury World

During one of the mornings we were in Dunedin, Halley and I resolved to visit Cadbury World. Yes, it’s a little on the tourist side of things, but we were tourists, right? Besides, the Cadbury website said we would get to make our own chocolate confection. That was a big selling point!

We purchased tickets for the Factory Tour.  We had fifteen or twenty minutes before it began so we headed for the Visitors’ Centre.  This area is a self-guided tour featuring the history of chocolate.

Cortez returns to Spain with cocoa beans
Cortez returns to Spain with cocoa beans in 1528

I read a sign that said Christopher Columbus was the first to bring cocoa beans to Europe.  His efforts didn’t go far in promoting chocolate.  It wasn’t until the time of Cortez, that Spain started to show some interest. After that, the beans were in short supply and a precious commodity. It was almost 100 years later before chocolate reached Italy and France.

The Visitors’ Centre wasn’t all about chocolate history.  There were also windows illustrating Cadbury’s history.

Window display of historic Cadbury items
Window display of historic Cadbury items

Of course that led into some whimsical displays.  I liked them; they were like shop windows, or puppet shows.  I suppose they reminded me of department store windows during holiday season.

Joyville Magic at Cadbury World
Joyville Magic at Cadbury World

Our Factory Tour soon started, as a group of us headed out back to stow our coats, bags, phones and cameras. Photography isn’t allowed in the factory.  We also met out guide, Colleen, dressed in the traditional Cadbury purple overalls.

The one thing we were permitted was chocolate, and Colleen made certain we received lots of it!  We had Cadbury bags specifically for carrying our chocolate loot!  We visited a sensory room and tried to guess the ingredients in the chocolate. Some such as mint were easy but others were more subtle.  We also made our own chocolate confections.  That was fun, and filling!

The culmination of the tour was a visit to one of the crumb storage tanks.  Put very simply, crumb is a chocolate mass before it’s turned into candy.  Yes, as long as Colleen was offering chocolate, we were willing to follow her anywhere, including into the five-story tower!

The former crumb silo at Cadbury World
The former crumb silo at Cadbury World

The silo no longer holds crumb. It’s much better than that.  As we shouted “We want chocolate!” a massive waterfall of liquid chocolate descended from the top of the silo!  As they say, you ain’t see nothing till you’ve seen the chocolate waterfall.

As with all good tours, this one ended in the gift shop.  Colleen had told us all about Jaffa balls so we made certain to buy a good supply of those.  We went over to the café where I had my usual Long Black.  It came with the requisite Jaffas!

Long Black with Jaffa Balls at Cadbury World
Long Black with Jaffa Balls at Cadbury World

One thing I learned during this tour was that there is an annual Jaffa Race. In July of 2016 the race was held on Baldwin Street.  This is reputed to be the steepest street in the world.  This year 75,000 Jaffas competed.  Is that right, can inanimate candy balls compete?  Well 75,000 went down that hill, three different colors of 25,000 each.  There were three races.  The balls are numbered so that they can identify the winners.  One thing is certain; I am giving serious thought to scheduling my next visit so that I can see the Jaffa Race!



Elizabeth Boatman

Traveler, explorer, memory maker and someone who's just downright curious about stuff. It's all about finding joy.

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