It’s been a long time since I’ve been on a road trip. I think the last one was through the Namib desert in scorching heat. That was many years ago. And there weren’t exactly roadside cafes to stop off and get a greasy hamburger in this desert. I always associate a good road trip with hamburgers, pies and a smooth coffee.

On the trip to Lake Oahu, I reckon I had the best road food I’ve ever had. This was basically my first time out of Oxford in the nearly two years we’ve been living here after moving from Oz. Sad I know. I’ve been to Wellington, Levin and Auckland in this time but nowhere within a few hours from Oxford. Lake Oahu is about a four hour run from Oxford.

Our first stop was the Staveley Village Store, which is on the Inland Scenic Route 72. It’s a quaint little family-run country store and the coffee was fantastic. I also sampled a homemade chocolate slice. Yummo. Fueled by this, we stopped next in Fairlie and I fell in love with this quirky rural New Zealand town with its soft, rolling hills and verdant landscape.

With a population of around 800 it boasts the Fairlie Bakehouse and the best pies I’ve ever had. I tried a beef and pumpkin pie – it had REAL beef and was steaming hot out of the oven. I also couldn’t resist the mini-raspberry cheesecake. This was soooooo good I had another one on the trip back.

It all brought back memories of my childhood when Dad was a sales rep. Every school holidays, I’d go on the road with him around country New South Wales. Dad always said that wherever the trucks stopped, that’s where you’d find great road food. I have to say though the food we had on the trip to Lake Oahu was amazing and just shows that you can still get home-baked food made with real ingredients in this overly-processed world of ours.

Approaching the Staveley Village Store.

Inside the Staveley Village Store - quaint!

Yummo! A great cappuccino and home-baked chocolate slice.

Dodgy iPhone shot as we were travelling in the car - but this is the most scrumptious mini-raspberry cheesecake. To die for.

Fresh out of the oven from the Fairlie Bakehouse. One of their home-baked pies.