No matter where you are in New Zealand, even if it’s the middle of nowhere, there’s bound to be a café just around the corner.

And you can be sure it won’t be a Starbucks.

Instead, it’s more likely to be a one-of-a–kind character café, complete with quirky clientele, local art, worn couches, and retro formica tables and chairs.

But while they might all be deliciously unique, there is one thing they all have in common – great coffee.

 Believing that “…cafes are as much a part of Kiwi culture as fish and chips and jandals’, two New Zealand writers, Matthew Hawke and Niki Grennell, collected recommendations from dedicated coffee lovers and then headed off on a three month road trip around New Zealand, drinking a lot of coffee along the way.

Their resultant book, The Great New Zealand Café, highlights 70 amazing cafes to be found throughout the country.

Many in are very out of the way places. For example, to get to the Flying Fox café (and accommodation) on the Whanganui River, you have to forsake the car and either board a jet boat or swing through the air in a flying fox.

Other fascinating cafes include…

–       Lambreth’s Café (Nelson) with it’s collection of wall mounted scooters

–       The Funky Fish (Dargavile) for it’s coffee and murals

–       Jester House Café (Tasman) with it’s tame eels

–       The Big Wave Café (New Plymouth) that uses surf boards for tables

(photo credit @Liz Lewis)

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Liz Lewis is a New Zealand based writer who favors wine tasting and food markets over bungy jumping and mountain climbing.