Campervan Holiday in New Zealand Rest Stops – Flat Hills Cafe

by Mark Perkins

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One the most important things to consider when driving long distances on your campervan holiday in New Zealand, is where to stop, rest and revitalise the inner person.. In other words “Kai” (food).

Part of a common itinerary for the North Island is to drive from Taupo through to Marton, Palmerston North or even Wellington. This journey would invariably take you over the Central Plateau, home to the North Islands two active volcanoes, Mt Ruapehu (2,800m) and Mt Ngauruhoe (2,300m) and

alongside the Tongariro World Heritage National Park. This park is also home to Mt Tongariro.

There are a few towns along the route with a variety of cafes and restaurants etc. Towns like Turangi, Waiouru and Taihape but my favourite spot is a cafe run by local farmers wives and others. It’s Called Flat Hills Cafe, why? Because every farmers dream is to have ‘Flat Hills’. In fact there is a lovely story all about it just inside the front door.

The Cafe is a very popular stop for us Tour Coach Drivers and independent travellers alike. The staff is extremely efficient and offer a great range of food and beverages. Please don’t be put off by the fact that the coaches’ call in, as the Flat Hills Cafe is more than capable of handling a lot of people very efficiently.

I always have an argument (in good fun) with my tour managers, as they recommend the homemade soup and breads and my favourite is t

he Hot Lamb sandwiches. Of course there are plenty of other items to choose from.

As part of the attraction of the Flat Hills Cafe is there are a number of farm animals running around very nearby and a maze that could keep you going for a while. This is also a pickup and drop off point for those who wish to take a flight over the Tongariro Nation Park.

Just the other side (north) of Flat Hills Cafe is a little town called Mangaweka, It even has and international airport?? You will see what I mean when you drive through. However be sure to take the little road around the back through the town itself. As you step back into yesteryear you may care to think of the thriving Railway town it once was with a total of 7 Churches in it. The remains of some of which can still be seen.

So take note, take a stopover and rest at Flat Hills Cafe on your Campervan Holiday in New Zealand.

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