If you are travelling south of the Bombay Hills heading down State Highway One, make sure you stop at historic Rangiriri, the site of a battle where steadfast Maori made a stand against Governor Grey’s invasion of the Waikato.
The Rangiriri Café and Heritage Centre has it all; that is if you want to combine a good breakfast (or lunch and afternoon tea) with a bit of New Zealand history. The café is situated in a purpose built historic building, in the same manner of the 1860’s era. I was fooled into thinking that it was actually old, somewhat like the old hotel about a hundred metres away. Either way, it is a perfect place to house many objects and relics from the war that raged in the area as the Colonial troops advanced deeper into Tainui Territory.
There is also a small room set up to show an audio visual presentation of the Land Wars, for a small payment of course. The room with the accompanying café would be a perfect venue for a mini-conference.
The menu is typical for most cafes with the addition of ‘gluten-free’ offerings, something that many cafes leave off their menus. Most of the cakes, slices and scones are made by the friendly proprietor. We didn’t have the breakfast as we had already eaten, but the coffee and slices were fine. I observed two other happy customers sampling the ‘big breakfast’--- I was tempted to have a second breakfast; that may have meant my travelling companion informing my doctor. I had to settle for the promise of enjoying such fare next time.
There is also a gift shop, so after enjoying the fare available, I would suggest checking out the item on sale which includes NZ Souvenirs: Possum, Merino, Wild Ferns, Skincare products, Salt Lamps, Kauri Products, Glassware, Garden Art, Ceramics and much much more.
BY the time you wave goodbye and join the busy highway, you should be well satisfied with your stop.
If you wish to have dinner on your return to Auckland--- visit the historic hotel and partake of their legendary huge meals.