The Cookie Time DC-3, I Found It

Every Kiwi that has ever been on a roadtrip up / down State Highway 1 knows about the Mangaweka Cookie Time Douglas DC-3 café. You may stopped off and had a look around inside, the kids and I certainly have.

But in 2021 it was suddenly gone, what happened?

Well, it seems the plane was owned by two Mangawekan (?) business people who had a falling out. One dark and stormy night one decided to ship it away without the knowledge of the other (sort of).

Shifting the plane meant they had to take the wings off first and now the body lives in Shannon at 2 Ballance Street, just next to the Club Hotel / bar.  Apparently it's being restored and will go back .. it won't.

The wings, well who knows where they disappeared to but I understand they're not gonna be joining the body anytime soon.
Douglas DC-3 without wings sitting in a container as seen from below
A little history lesson for us all:
ZK-APK was delivered to the RNZAF in August 1945, then sold to the newly-formed National Airways Corporation (NAC) in 1947 and given the name Poaka. NAC was New Zealand’s domestic airline company until 1978, when it was amalgamated into the international airline Air New Zealand. In 1964 Poaka, along with many of the NAC DC-3’s, was uprated with more soundproofing, a revamped interior, and larger windows. These planes were designated Skyliners, and Poaka was renamed Kaikohe. Kaikohe was very briefly leased to Fiji Airways in 1967, then spent the 1970’s as a topdressing plane. She finally retired in 1981 having logged 42,764 flying hours.

Stored for years in Palmerston North, Kaikohe was purchased by Rangitikei River Adventures, tarted up and transported to Mangaweka. She was craned onto a pedestal on November 1, 1986 to begin her new career as a cafe. The tiny township south of Taihape has a population of only 200, and the large airplane suspended in a permanent holding pattern (road signs warned drivers to beware of low-flying tearooms) was far and away its most notable feature. In early 2000 the Poaka/Kaikohe was removed from its pedestal for refurbishment and repainted as a Cookie Time biscuit billboard before being lifted back. More recently it has happily been returned to a more conventional finish as the Mangaweka Skyliner.  Visitors can board the aircraft, but in the interests of preservation you no longer eat and drink aboard the plane, or enter the cockpit.  The cafe is now in a building below the DC-3, serving double duty as a base for the Mangaweka Adventure Company.



  1. Update:

    The famous Mangaweka DC3 has 'landed' in west Auckland back paddock, with an ex-RNZAF aircraft technician taking it on as a retirement project.


Post a Comment

Be kind

Popular articles

The Difference Between One Million And One Billion

Best Reykjavik Fast Food

Reflections In Blue

Profile Mike

Make Your Public Event Calendar Usable To All