By Stan Stewart.
In the hills behind Cathedral Cove, Jill and Doug Johnston have an orchard, no ordinary orchard. On 17.5 acres they a 1000 40-year-old fruit bearing Macadamia trees. Their farm is certified fully organic. Jill and Doug purchased the orchard in 2016 and have continued to work on the good foundation of the previous owners.
In the 80’s Doug used to visit his brother in-law on the East Cape. He had a Macadamia orchard. It was though helping out his brother-in-law that Doug’s interest in Macadamias was sparked. This started his search for a Macadamia orchard and this led him to hills behind Cathedral Cove.
Doug likes to point out that this farm is not a hobby. It is a fully functioning, self-sustaining, commercial rural enterprise. However, add to this the farm is a ‘fully certified organic farm’. That means much more than just spray free. It takes an awful lot of effort to be organic in the true sense. Most of the nuts are sold by mail order. There is a caravan shop on site where many macadamia products are available for purchase. They produce their own macadamia oil. Their oil is of superior quality and has won an award as the finest locally produced oil.
From September 1, the orchard will be open from 10am to 3pm Friday to Monday (closed Tuesday to Thursday. The orchard is in a beautiful bush land setting, but more than that the trees produce a delightful, soft aroma. And two handsome, friendly goats, Rudy and Willow are always on hand (tethered) to give an enthusiastic welcome. Currently, in August you will need to ring to make an appointment for a visit.
Jill does the marketing. For years they have had a caravan shop on their premises. However, most of their produce is sold online There are an amazing variety of uses for macadamias nuts – nuts for snacking, for decorating and for cooking. Jilli and Doug produce their own macadamia oil. It is a very a superior award-winning oil. This coming season they will create adjacent to their caravan shop, a pleasant, spacious deck with shade and seating making it a great location for resting, snacking and goat patting.
Contact: Cathedral Cove Macadamias - Jillian and Doug Johnston - Cathedral Cove Macadamias - 335 Lees Road, Hahei - RD 1, Whitianga 3591.