As autumn goes by Janine and Daryl organised for everybody who was keen a run through beautiful scenic roads, down to New Zealand’s only pure organic tea plantation in Gordonton, Hamilton.
We had a late start at 12.30pm at the BP Drury. After all of us arrived, in total 13 cars, and after small talk with everyone, we got the day’s briefing and headed out south in convoy over well-chosen less travelled roads, that were nice and winding, complete with beautiful views over hills and forests of the Waikato.
For all the convertible drivers, the weather turned out wonderful with temperatures of up to 24°C. Allowing those of us with a convertible the perfect chance to enjoy the top down, probably a last time before winter. I enjoyed the run with my sunroof wide open, and I am sure others did as well.
Unfortunately you don`t get to see as much of the scenery as you’d like when you drive. Still, I managed to take some pictures with my phone – multitasking talent at work.
After a two hour drive over the beautiful backroads with magnificent views, we stopped for a group photoshoot at a handy parking area in Te Hoe. More talk and photos, before travelling in convoy again towards our destination, the Zealong Tea Estate.
Finally there, and quite tiring to be honest, but we all safely reached our final destination for the day. It still takes a lot of concentration to drive these roads. Ok, maybe I should take it more easy but I just couldn`t resist flying in good old German Autobahn style through those lovely roads.
After we sorted our parking situation, the tour guide was ready waiting for us, so that we could start our pre-booked tea experiences. Our guide explained everything in front of sculptures that helped show us how tea was made over the last centuries, only by hand. This hasn’t changed much at the Zealong tea estate. They still keep doing it the traditional way by hand and had flown in a Teamaster from Taiwan.
It was fascinating that the owners needed 15 years of growing, planning and working around problems before they could even think of beginning to produce the tea. Now Zealong is one of the world’s purest organic teas. Good on them. It shows that believing in your dream and hard work always pays off, it‘s just a matter of time.
Our guide showed us some tea plants and explained more interesting facts, followed by some videos and a testing of their teas. They all tasted good and I liked the black one the most, probably because it comes closest to coffee.
After we completed our tour some of us finished the day with a high tea and beautiful views over the tea plantation. Many thanks to Daryl and Janine for organizing this wonderful experience for us.
Click here to view the photos on our Gallery page.