TASTE TESTING: New Zealand families Stu Jones, as well as Janice and Bruce Blackman, enjoy the taste of rum made from our very own sugarcane grown throughout the region.
TASTE TESTING: New Zealand families Stu Jones, as well as Janice and Bruce Blackman, enjoy the taste of rum made from our very own sugarcane grown throughout the region. Louise Starkey

But why is the rum gone?! Sarina Sugar Shed runs dry

INSTEAD of taking their souvenir home, Bruce and Janice Blackman drank theirs down.

The New Zealand couple sipped on some of the region's finest rum liqueurs, made right in our very own back yard.

They were two of 304 visitors to the Sarina Sugar Shed since the start of January, eager to get their hands on a clear understanding of what makes our region so special.

The duo, along with their daughter Abby, walked away with more than a bag full of home-grown goodies.

"We don't have sugarcane in New Zealand, or not any that I have seen," Mr Blackman said.

"I found it interesting to see what happens to the cane when it is in the field and how it becomes a product we can use everyday and actually do something with."

During December, a total of 533 visitors were also interested in cane crushing facts, according to Sarina Sugar Shed's Grace Reed.

She said 36 people visited the shed for a tour on Saturday and 43 Sunday.

"But then we have had people just come in and buy coffee and scones with jam and cream. They haven't just been doing the tour," Ms Reed said.

"It can be very, very busy between nine o'clock and 1pm.

"It is just full on."

The miniature sugar mill has been so busy; the team ran out of their famous home-grown rum liqueur before Christmas.

Ms Reed said bottles will be restocked by April.

"It was going well but we didn't expect it to go that well," she said. "We had about 400 bottles and have sold out."

Christmas hamper packs with chutneys, relishes and sauces, as well as 'Nice over ice' (NOI) Lime, were also popular.

To continue the fun, the Sarina Sugar Shed will next finalise the restoration of the two sugar cane wagons in coming weeks, which were purchased last year.


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