We'd seen the sign to the lavender farm from the jet boat on the Whanganui River. "Poodle" (the jet boat driver) recommended we visit, so we headed back up the Forgotten World Highway to check it out after our tour. The lavender was in full bloom - bees of all sizes were happily dipping between the blossoms. We were warmly welcomed and ordered two coffees and some biscuits to eat. It was late afternoon, and the hostess suggested we take our coffees to a special seat beyond the lavender that overlooked the Whanganui river. She put everything onto a tray and we wandered over.
Lauren's Lavender Cafe is a delightful retreat on the Forgotten World Highway. Watching the Whanganui river go by was extremely relaxing. When we finished our coffee we walked through parts of the lavender garden. The plants are well-established and it's a haven for local bees. There is also a shop at the cafe selling a wide range of lavender products, but they'd sold out of the sought-after lavender honey. This is not a cheap country cafe, but the quality of the products offered is well worth the price. Stop and smell the lavender. It's worth it.
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