L&P embodies one of the things I love the most about New Zealand. On one level it’s a tasty bubbly “Lemon-ish” soft drink that we love to drink on most any refreshment occasion (well, apart from those hard work days where nothing will do but a nice glass of wine).
*warning* This isn’t your average travel post. There aren’t a plethora of perfect vistas, beautifully expressed emotions or hot dog legs at the beach (though you’ll never get them on this blog bleurgh).
On another entirely different level, it’s a beverage that used to embody the crazy can-do attitude of a local company with a grassroots mentality. Traditionally made by combining lemon juice with carbonated mineral water from the town of Paeroa, it’s sadly now manufactured by multi-national Coca-Cola (cheers Wikipedia!). BUT it’s still a loved Kiwana icon and a mainstay of my childhood.
Then there’s the giant bottle that’s now a light-hearted tourist distraction. And no, I’m not joking. Perfect for selfies (two-fingered V sign option) the Lemon and Paeroa bottle has it’s a kooky tourist attraction that joins the legions of breathtaking mountain ranges, sparkling white sand beaches and enormous carrot and gumboot statues that make up our Tourist trail.
Anyone who knows a Kiwi will get that we’re a lighthearted nation (and don’t have furry feet FYI) and usually try not to take life too seriously – the one exception being Rugby, that’s serious as bro – with a penchant for tasty treats and pies. Luckily a quick-thinking businessman erected the bottle in the centre of town – a stop off for many coach companies escorting tourists up and down the island.
As its slogan says, the Hauraki Plains township of Paeroa is ‘in the middle of everywhere’, kinda equidistant from Auckland and Tauranga, and only moments from the glorious Karangahake Gorge. It’s well worth popping by if you’re in the neighbourhood just for a laugh.
We stopped off for around 10 minutes on the way to Christmas with my Dad from Auckland – another wee moment of hometown tourism (I even blended into the crowds with my soft English accent. Talk about acting like a pro!)
And yes, I made my Englishman pose in front of it the last time we were in New Zealand, much to his bemused befuddlement. Well, when in Rome…