Lemon and Paeroa; the story of a famous New Zealand soft drink (well, world famous in NZ)

*warning* This isn’t your average travel post. There aren’t a plethora of perfect vistas, beautiful expressed emotions or hot dog legs at the beach (though you’ll never get them on this blog bleurgh).

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). 

On another entirely different level, it’s a beverage that used to embody the crazy can-do attitude of a local company with a grass roots 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.

Lemon and Paeroa; the story of a famous New Zealand soft drink (well, world famous in NZ)

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, sparking white sand beaches and enormous carrot and gumboot statues that make up our Tourist trail.

Lemon and Paeroa; the story of a famous New Zealand soft drink (well, world famous in NZ)

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 business man supplies both behind the bottle in the center of town – a stop off for many coach companies escorting tourists up and down the island.

Lemon and Paeroa; the story of a famous New Zealand soft drink (well, world famous in NZ)

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 the glorious Karangahake Gorge. It’s well worth popping by if you’re in the neighbourhood just for a laugh.

Lemon and Paeroa; the story of a famous New Zealand soft drink (well, world famous in NZ)

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!)

Lemon and Paeroa; the story of a famous New Zealand soft drink (well, world famous in NZ)

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…