About two hours North of Wellington on highway 1 (not too far from Palmerston North) is the lovely town of Foxton. We have driven through Foxton many times when travelling between Wellington and Auckland but didn’t really stop until a few months ago when my sister was with us. My partner mentioned the town had a windmill so we made a detour to see it. I was expecting a building that looked like a windmill, but it is actually a working windmill!
The windmill was completed in 2003 and makes stone-ground flour that they sell in the souvenir shop that is in the base of the windmill. The shop also sells food and snacks imported from Holland including some Dutch cheeses and cookies (biscuits) that I had when living in Germany when I was younger. For a small donation (I believe it was $2-3 per person) you can go on a self-guided tour of the windmill – it’s a fun climb up a narrow staircase to the 2nd floor that has a bit of the story of the windmill. You can then climb further to see the stone mill and there are platforms you can walk out on that will give you a nice view of the area.
Unless you’re unlucky like us that is and the weather doesn’t cooperate. When we went, it was a rainy and cold day so our stop on the platforms was quick and we decided to get a cup of coffee at a little café called the Dutch Oven that is there at the base of the windmill. After running into the building and shaking off the rain, we realized it was more than just a coffee shop and had homemade cakes, muffins and Dutch meals! We weren’t familiar with many of the things on the menu but the ladies at the counter explained things and we ordered several things and then shared them. The best we all thought was the braadworst. Braadworst is a pork sausage and the Dutch Oven serves it over a bowl that has a mixture of potatoes and sauerkraut with a nice brown gravy on top. We had potatoes and sauerkraut in a similar manner in Prague last year but the gravy was an awesome addition. Yum yum yum.
In a separate room in the Dutch Oven you can also see a horse-drawn trolley. It’s an old trolley and is usually stored inside but we went back to Foxton a few months later (for more braadworst!) and the trolley was out and about and had a team of horses hooked up to it! They were doing short trolley tours around the town.
And lastly, the great town of Foxton is known for two other things – antique shops and Foxton Fizz. Foxton Fizz isn’t that popular here these days but it’s a fizzy drink that originated in Foxton in 1918.
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