Dunedin Cadbury Chocolate Carnival
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Kelly Landry was lucky enough to be in New Zealand for the annual Cadbury Chocolate Festival. It's held each July in Dunedin on the south-east coast of the South Island.
Sure you could go to Texas for a rattlesnake festival, or Japan for the bellybutton festival, but why wouldn't you choose to cross the Tasman and indulge in a week-long celebration of chocolate?
It's absolutely essential to visit Cadbury World. The working factory runs tours and shows and it's a lot like the factory tour in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. You even get to sample the goodies along the way.
At Erban Spa you're advised to forget old wives' tales about chocolate causing spots the humble cocoa bean is your skin's friend. Good-quality dark chocolate has been used in facials and body wraps for years. Raw cacao powder is loaded with antioxidants and is one of the world's most beneficial super-foods. Just smelling it causes the brain to release endorphins which create a feeling of wellbeing. You can indulge in Turkish Delight facials (roses and chocolate), Peppermint Cream, and Cherry Ripe.
Can you believe there are such things as chocolate art classes? Events run all week and anyone can take part. You can paint with chocolate, sculpt from it and make artworks from chocolate wrappers. It's messy and fun is costs around $3 for an hour.
The Jaffa roll has been popular on both sides of the Tasman for many years, and wouldn't you know it, Dunedin has the perfect super-steep streets. In fact, Baldwin Street is the world's steepest. Steeper than anything in San Francisco.
So Baldwin Street gets to play a very important role in chocolate week. It closes at 9am and there's a scramble to get things set up. At 11am people gather and the party kicks off. At 11.30am the red balls are poured into the back of a ute and at 12.20pm they're released.
Around 30,000 Jaffas are hurtled down Baldwin Street, each with a tiny number on it. The first one to reach the bottom wins the glory and each year around $70,000 is raised for charity. It's just $2 to enter and is one of the pinnacle events of the carnival. It only takes around 20 seconds for one of the balls to reach the bottom, but there's a lot of fun to be had pre- and post-race.
Dunedin on the south-east coast of New Zealand's South Island.
Cadbury World Tours run between 9am and 3pm every weekday. They cost $12 for adults and $7 for children.
Erban Boutique Spa one-hour facials using organic Ilcsi products and 80 percent cocoa Cadbury dark chocolate. You choose the flavour you prefer and afterwards enjoy a herbal tea in the relaxation lounge. It costs around $90 and you take home a chocolate goodie bag. A donation of $10 from every treatment goes to the charity of the year.
The Dunedin Cadbury Chocolate Carnival will run again between July 10 and 16, 2010.
Air New Zealand flies to Dunedin.
One-way fares from:
- Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane $320
- Adelaide $438
- Perth $633
Sales and validity dates apply.
Prices correct at October 8, 2009.
For further information
Air New Zealand
Ph: 132 476
Cadbury Factory and Cadbury World
280 Cumberland Street
Ph: +64 3 467 7967
Ph: +64 3 470 1919
Dunedin Cadbury Chocolate Carnival
Visas: Australian citizens do not require a visa to enter New Zealand.
Electricity: 230V at 50Hz using the same plugs as in Australia.
Time zone: GMT +12.
Currency: The New Zealand dollar.
International dialling code: +64.