Northlands in New Zealand is a great place to visit –  there is just so much to see. On our way up the west coast today we saw a large gannet colony and kilometers of stunning black sand beaches. We stopped at the Waipoua Forest to admire the giant Kauri trees and in particular the Tane Mahuta which is the largest at over 50 meters tall with a trunk girth of 16 meters. We drove past Hokianga Harbour with its huge white sand dunes and quiet beach communities. On this particular day we had lunch up north at Mangonui to have fish and chips and watch the small fishing boats come in and out of the harbor.

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In the midst of all that we stopped at Kerikeri for a break, a hot chocolate and a very yummy passion fruit muffin at Pear Tree. Pear Tree is right next to the water, across the street fromone of the oldest houses in New Zealand, the Stone Store. The Stone Store was constructed to hold mission supplies and wheat from the mission farm at Te Waimate, but the building was mainly leased as a kauri gum trading store. Inside there is a store that sells all sorts of interesting things from the past including games and even certain old fashion farming tools.

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The Pear Tree was empty when we got there but all the tables inside and on the terrace had reserved signs on them. I guess they were expecting a big rush at lunch and we got there just a little before then. So we sat at one of the picnic tables outside on the grass right next to the water. It was a beautiful spot and I’m glad we didn’t sit inside. We watched a few small sail boats come by and tie up their boats to come in for lunch.  Whether you are a tree lover or not you can’t help but notice all the beautiful trees in New Zealand and we had a view of many types of them from here. A little finch was keeping us entertained as he hoped around the table hoping to come upon some seeds from our passion fruit muffin. My hot chocolate was fine but as many of my hot chocolates have been lately, was mostly milk foam with very little actual hot chocolate underneath. Luckily because they make them so sweet here that is all I needed.

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Verdict: Great little spot, great views, the food looks good and the desserts and snacks even better. My passion fruit muffin was fantastic and I’d go back for another one of those easily! Pear Tree, 215 Kerikeri Road, KeriKeri, New Zealand  5$