While we’re likely to see more and more charging stations pop up in the next few years, there’s already more around than you’d think. In fact, they’re dotted right around the country – and not just in your main centres. One small South Island town with a charging station is Fairlie – and located bang in the middle of Christchurch, Queenstown and Dunedin, it could come in very handy.
Known as the gateway to McKenzie Country, wandering around this rural gem and taking in the sights would probably be enough to get you through a 30-minute charge. But if you’d rather keep busy while you wait, we’ve put together our top three things to do in Fairlie, all within walking distance of the charging station.
The Fairlie Bakehouse
If you need to power up while your car does too, there’s only one place to head in Fairlie. The Fairlie Bakehouse serves up everything you’d expect to find at a bakery, from fresh sammies, to delicious cream buns and everything in between. But it’s their selection of mouth-watering pies that are really grabbing the headlines, with the special ‘Salmon and Bacon’ a particular fan-favourite. Created and baked by owner, Franz Lieber, the pies have become world-famous thanks to online review platforms such as Trip Advisor. And with people travelling far and wide to tuck in, it’s an absolute no-brainer when you’ve stopped in town to charge up.
The Fairlie Heritage Museum
If the pie really is that good, chances are it won’t last long, which means you’ll still have some time to kill in Fairlie. And a 10-minute walk up Mount Cook Road will bring you to the Fairlie Heritage Museum. A $6 entry fee will take you back in time and open your eyes to a world of ancient farmyard memorabilia, vintage machinery, model planes, tractors – and even a homemade, fully-functional Gyrocopter. Run by a group of enthusiastic volunteers, you can expect a warm welcome and as much (or little) of a running commentary as you wish.
Gem Alpaca Farm
It’s not every day you get the chance to visit an Alpaca farm. But if you’re hanging around Fairlie with time on your hands, we’d highly recommend a trip to Gem Alpaca Farm. The 10.5-hectare farm is home to nearly 100 Alpaca’s, along with a number of Llama and sheep. And whether you choose to admire from afar, or hop inside the paddocks, you’re guaranteed to leave the farm more relaxed than when you came in. Cute, cuddly and eager for company, getting up close and personal with these gentle creatures is something you won’t regret. Farm tours leave at 10am, 12pm, 2pm and 4pm daily and cost $20 for adults, $15 for kids.
See you in Fairlie.
There you have it - three things to do in Fairlie while you wait for the car to charge. Where else in the country could you marvel at a Gyrocopter, cuddle up with Alpacas and eat a world-class pie, all within a couple of hours? So if you find yourself down south and running low on juice, be sure to make the stop in.
The charging stop in Fairlie is at 53 Main Street and has both CHAdeMO and CCS/SAE plugs available – check the Plugshare app for status updates beforehand.