There are two pick-your-own blueberry farms on the outskirts of Hamilton, just past Ohaupo. I drove the trusty Corolla and gave VJ the GPS (well, actually, the plastic folder carrying the map and directions provided by our expert blueberry picking friend Judy). Judy was keen for us to visit Monavale Blueberries and their Cafe Irresistiblue. When I checked out Monavale’s website, I could understand her recommendation. Every item in the comprehensive selection of sweet and savoury offerings featured blueberries somewhere in the ingredients.
Navigation seems to suffer when both navigator and driver are engaged in enthusiastic conversation. Somehow we arrived at the other blueberry picking destination on Judy’s sheet of perfectly explicit directions. While there was no Cafe Irresistiblue to be seen, we were delighted with the bubbly reception we received at Orchard Cafe at the Jury Road blueberry farm. The smell of blueberry muffins was enticing, too. The lunch menu was more basic, but incredibly well-priced. Traditional Kiwi toasted sandwiches with plunger coffee was just what we felt like. Orchard Cafe’s swirling blueberry icecreams appeared to be part of the blueberry picking tradition as families came in with buckets of blueberries to be weighed.
Half an hour of blueberry picking yielded an ice-cream container of fruit for VJ and a slightly larger container of fruit for our household. Much of our produce is in the freezer for later enjoyment. The total cost of our blueberry bonanza was $24 – a blueberry bargain!