Time out: The Leaping Frog Cafe

20:03, Nov 06 2012
The Leaping Frog Cafe.
The Leaping Frog Cafe.

Angela Cuming gives her verdict on Waikato's cafe scene.

The Leaping Frog Cafe, Waitakaruru Arboretum

207 Scotsman Valley Rd


Open every weekend

10am to 4pm.


There are three things (rugby aside) that I believe Waikato does better than anywhere else in New Zealand - art, parks and gardens, and coffee.

And we have a little slice of heaven that combines all three to perfect effect. The Waitakaruru Arboretum truly is a hidden gem.

It's a former quarry, rehabilitated lovingly and filled with the most amazing plants and trees and flowers and beautiful birds.

Beautiful and creative sculptures and art installations are scattered throughout the aboretum - some are permanent, and then with each season comes a new exhibition.

The Irishman and I had made the most of a sunny day to check out the exhibition of (brilliant) glass sculptures and were thrilled to find the Leaping Frog Cafe was back open for the spring and summer.

The cafe, run out of a cute and nifty cafe by one of the lakes, has a lovely range of picnic-worthy goodies and hot and cold drinks.

We ordered a plunger coffee and it was brought over by possibly the world's friendliest waitress/aboretum volunteer.

As we sat at our table, looking across the lake, surrounded by sculptures and enjoying the attention of a tui, we concluded this was one of the most unusual cafes we had ever visited.

The Waitakaruru Arboretum is a Waikato treasure and often struggles - God knows why - to attract visitors and so needs the public's support.

Art, trees and fine coffee? It really doesn't get any better.