In Hobart there’s this chocolate factory. You know the one. Way back when we were considering whether we’d be able to do Tasmania during our ‘one-year trip’ (as the kids call it) I was looking at things to do and found out there was a chocolate factory here. So it’s been on our list for awhile. We were all ready to go on a Saturday morning and then discovered the visitor centre isn’t open on the weekends. (Fortunately we figured that out before we drove all the way there!) It was a long weekend, which meant waiting a few days before we could get there. The kids were in agony. Absolute agony. We tried not to enjoy it. The visitor centre included some memorabilia that would probably bring out the nostalgia in some visitors. I know that when I see sweets I used to love as a kid I get all nostalgic. But these were all lost on me since there isn’t a lot of Cadbury in America. (Shock!) I only remember the eggs at Easter time. America has that other chocolate maker that we won’t mention. This picture freaked me out a little. Why is there a hand on the cow’s head? Just a hand? Is it Halloween? Oh, wait, that’s SkeeterBug’s hand. :) I love the look on JitterBug’s face. Like he’s hiding something. They all have their little visitor bags. When you visit everyone is given these bags which have some literature and even some chocolate in them. They were slightly excited. We looked around while we waited for the next presentation to start. Adults pay something like $4 to get in, kids are free. There’s a small shop area where you can buy all things Cadbury, and a small cafe where you can get lovely things like hot chocolate-y drinks. It was all quite underwhelming. The visitor centre is in major need of a renovation. In fact, just before we visited there was all kinds of talk of them getting millions from the government for just that renovation. Apparently it’s not happening. I’m not sure that’s the best use for tax dollars, anyway. But they still really need a reno. Wait, maybe they could spend their own money on it…right. They had one of those souvenir coin machines. The smooshed coin kind. We started collecting these in America, the machines are at all the touristy places. In America you are smooshing an actual penny. Australia doesn’t have pennies anymore, so here you are smooshing a plain disc that is already in the machine. Sometimes it’s penny-coloured. Sometimes it’s silver. (Yes, ‘smooshing’ is a technical term.) There aren’t as many of these machines here, so we get excited when we see one. See what I mean about underwhelming? These were all just lined up on a table. I’m not even sure what it all is. We weren’t allowed to take pictures during the presentation. They showed us various ingredients from the production process and gave us a taste of a couple of things. They talked about the production process and showed us a video of the factory since you don’t actually get to see the factory. Apparently they did tours years ago but it’s no longer allowed. (Unless of course they were to do some renovations, but I’ve mentioned that already.) The lady giving the presentation had obviously done it so many times that she could do it in her sleep. She wasn’t all that enthusiastic, but she was very efficient. She talked quite fast and threw so much information at us that everyone was in a bit of a daze by the end. The best part, of course, was the on-site store. Heaps of chocolate and other lollies at discount prices. Slightly better prices than you’d find at the store when they’re on sale. We let the kids loose with a certain amount to spend. Decisions, decisions. They didn’t have my favourite in stock, sniff sniff. I love the Old Gold 70% dark chocolate. They had some Old Gold (see those gold packages behind SkeeterBug?) but not the 70%. That’s probably a good thing, I would have been tempted to buy a dozen or so! We had very excited kids after we went through the store. The car says children ‘under 5 only’ which I interpret as ‘5 and under’ because otherwise why would they put the ‘5’ on the sign? Too confusing for kids who can read the number but not the rest of the words. So LadyBug is in the car, and JitterBug apparently fears for his safety. ;) TurboBug was safely strapped into the Ergo. We were not about to let him run wild in the chocolate store! Never fear, he got his own box of mini chocolate eggs. He was happy. The factory’s actually out on this little peninsula. During the presentation they explained what all the silos were for, most were for milk and others for sugar. I wish I could remember all the statistics about how much chocolate they could make each week. It was quite a lot. When I ask the kids to tell people what their favourite part of Tasmania was, I always have to add ‘besides the chocolate factory’ because it was definitely a favourite for them!