Can there ever be too much chocolate in your life? Tempted by the thought of free chocolates to eat, I eagerly signed up for the factory tour in Dunedin on impulse during one of my walks around town. I had plenty of time to spare since it was New Year Week and I can never turn down any free chocolates. 🙂
While Dunedin may seem like an unassuming town, one of its hidden treasures are a golden ticket to the actual Cadbury factory. And yes, it’s an actual working factory although we were not really allowed into any of those areas, for health and safety issues, of course. And yes, I can confirm that chocolates were given out quite freely throughout each stop of the tour, just that they were not the typical milk chocolates.
We started our chocolate collection at the start of the tour, after a brief introduction to the history of the factory and its processes. We had to leave our belongings in a locker but armed with a small bag of chocolate goodies, I started munching on one as we walked along to our next stop. More chocolates beckoned and I was in heaven!
At our next stop, we got to see a process of how chocolates were made, from the initial cacao fruits and shown pictures and samples of some of the ingredients included in the process. Singapore, for example, is one of the centres that the chocolates are processed through. I didn’t know about that! And as always, we were treated to a buffet of melted chocolate at the end of the talk with our choice of dark, milk or white chocolates. It was a sugary chocolate heaven. With my belly full, we moved on to our next room.
We were then treated to another video of chocolates treatments for colour coatings, for chocolates like Jaffa balls, the representative chocolate in New Zealand. These Jaffa balls are in fact, rolled down one of the steepest slopes in Dunedin itself as part of an annual race.
As my chocolate collection grew with each stop, we were led carefully to the final stop on the tour, the mother lode of all chocolates. Standing just behind the rails, we were treated to a waterfall of melted chocolate which evoked memories of Willy Wonka’s chocolate stream. So decadent watching the chocolate streaming down but it only lasted as long as the switch worked. Yes, someone has to manually turn the waterfall on so the chocolate waterfall only lasted for as long as we were there.
With the end of a grand finale, we were ushered back to our starting point to collect our belongings and that was the end of the tour.
Was the tour worth it?
That was the question everyone asked me after I visited. The tour is not free and cost me NZ$22 so of course there’ll be those who are hesitant about paying for it. Personally, I would advise against the tour if you are not a chocolate lover. Getting free chocolates is not a sufficient reason for the tour as they mostly gave out specialty chocolates such as pineapple lump chocolates, strawberry ones, etc. If these were not to your liking, you would most likely not enjoy them.
The chocolate waterfall was also a little bit disappointing as it lasted very short. Someone had to manually hit the switch to turn it on to see the chocolate fall down so we had to move on when it ended. I did read online that the factory might be closing though, so this might be your last chance at getting a glimpse inside the factory.
My recommendation, instead, would be to go through the museum attached. It is a very small museum but still quite informative. The information there are similar to the ones we had on our tour as well. I would also recommend that you give their hot chocolate at their cafe a try if you are on a budget and do not wish to pay for the tour. They had different flavors of hot chocolates which was something I had not encountered before! I totally enjoyed my decadent cup of triple hot chocolate. It was the perfect end to a chocolate-filled morning.
*PS: No photos were allowed inside so please pardon the lack of chocolate evidence here*