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Highway to hell-o

Here are a few little destination gems in the lower north that might not be on your radar.
Did someone say ‘road trip’?

Foxton – State Highway 1

Alex says, ‘Foxton has New Zealand’s best opp shop, Junk & Disorderly. My girlfriend found an amazing orange jumpsuit and a Poole tea set. We went up for the Horowhenua Taste Trail and had an awesome time. We were really into the food, but we also just had a really fun holiday in Foxton. We drank Foxton Fizz of course, and took pictures with the windmill. Next time we’ll visit the new museum. It was created in collaboration with the local Dutch community and iwi to reflect Foxton’s heritage.’

Featherston – State Highway 2

Sam says, ‘Feathy’s actually a great place for a weekend away. You can get really nice and affordable accommodation, as long as you don’t go during wedding season (essentially that leaves winter). Go to C’est Cheese to stock up on cheese, and if you’re lucky Hoki Smoke will be open and selling their delicious smoked fish products. Featherston is a “Booktown”, so you’ll also find heaps (like, maybe five or six) secondhand bookshops. My favourite is For the Love of Books. It also has possibly the best town slogan ever: Featherston, if you lived here you’d be home now.’

Masterton – State Highway 2

Hannah says, ‘Masterton is a really comforting place, everything feels easier and more relaxed. Masterton has one of the best bakeries in the country at 10 O’Clock Cookie Company, their opera cake is worth the trip alone. I really recommend a trip up Norfolk Rd to Paul Melser Pottery, and have a cocktail and delicious dinner at The Screening Room before going to the movies there in their two boutique cinemas.’

Palmerston North – State Highway 3

Georgia says, ‘In a single weekend you can have great Japanese food, get your nails done cheaper than anywhere in Wellington, have a panel beater fix your bumper on the same day (because you hit a pole in New Plymouth) and bump into an old friend in the Square who’s wearing a t-shirt saying “Doing absolutely nothing in my activewear” because in Palmie there is no judgment.’

Whanganui – State Highway 3

Cherie says, ‘There’s something about the mighty Whanganui awa running through the town that gives Whanganui a kind of energy. Where else can you watch someone demonstrate the art of glassblowing, then stroll down to the river market, ride in an underground elevator to the top of a hill to appreciate the view, and finish with a concert at a beautifully restored Victorian opera house? Some parts of the city are a little rough around the edges, but you’ll find lots of hidden (and not-so hidden) gems! I love Virginia Lake with its Winter Gardens. They’re like a big Art Deco glasshouse with colourful flowers and tropical plants and a kind of tunnel you walk through. They’re a garden for any weather and the building itself is a cool Art Deco design.’

Woodville – State Highways 2 and 3

Mike says, ‘Mainly I go out that way for fly fishing, but there’s an amazing antique shop in Woodville. The guy who owns it is crazy. I feel like I’m going into battle when I go in. It’s a challenge. But the stuff he’s got in there is really good. He is so rude. I don’t know why I keep going back there. Also, Woodville has great cheese cake, a super-cheap motel, no light pollution so the stars are brilliant, and the museum has a teapot collection lol.’

First published Capital issue #60
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