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Chocolate Festival: The Great Jaffa Race

Updated on February 14, 2016

It's a Chocolate Carnival! Join the Annual Jaffa Race.

Dunedin is the home of the Cadbury's Chocolate factory in New Zealand and every year in July they hold a Carnival to celebrate chocolate.

While there are many activities in the week of the festival the highlight is the Jaffa race. This is a Jaffa pictured here. Yes, the Jaffa is a chocolate wrapped in a crunchy orange flavored coating. Each Jaffa has a number attached to it and so that the winner can be identified.

The race benefits a chosen local charity and often there are two races. Anyone can pay to enter and the entry funds are paid to the charity.

The race first started in 2002 and has become known as a Kiwi Classic event each July.

Dunedin is on the South East coast of the South Island of New Zealand.

This photo shows the 2011 winning Jaffa from the Cadbury website. They're not usually so beaten up!

Jaffa Race
Jaffa Race | Source

The Jaffa Race

Since 2002 Cadbury's has been holding the Jaffa race event down Baldwin Street in Dunedin. This street has been recognised as the steepest street in the world and has a grade of 38%.

Because normal tar would flow down the slope on hot days the street has been surfaced in concrete. There are stairs leading up the curb-side instead of a footpath.

The Cadbury Chocolate Carnival runs the Jaffa race each July when 30,000 giant Jaffas are rolled down the street. Each of the chocolate coated candies are numbered and sold with the proceeds paid to charities.

Apart from the annual Jaffa race there is the Baldwin Street Gutbuster which is a race to the top and back down again. About 1000 people compete in different categories in the race, with people coming from all over the world to compete.

Cadbury have been making Jaffas since 1931. Since the race started as an annual event in 2000 there has been more than $500,000 raised for charity!

Battered racing jaffas
Battered racing jaffas | Source

Have you ever had a Jaffa?

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Arrange Your Own Chocolate Festival...

Use these for a chocolate egg and spoon race at your own festival! Why relegate them to Easter?

Baldwin Street

Post of Baldwin Street
Post of Baldwin Street | Source
Standing outside a house on Baldwin street
Standing outside a house on Baldwin street | Source

The World's Steepest Street...

Baldwin Street in Dunedin holds the Guinness World record for being the steepest street in the world. This is where the mighty Jaffa race is held each year.

Another annual event is the Baldwin Street Gutbuster. This is a race to the top and back down again. Apparently around 1000 people compete in different categories. Locals and people from all over the world come to Dunedin to compete.

It takes about 10 minutes to walk just 350 metres (1150 feet)...I guess that's if you are fit! Yes, that's the length of the street.

There is a water fountain at the top...don't you think there should be more than that...whew!

The street tends to be a bit of an attraction for tourists and locals alike, as you can imagine. The residents comment that some treat it like a 'theme park' rather than a road and may even lie down on it....there are steps on each side of the road.

Baldwin Street was named after the original surveyor of the area, William Baldwin (not the actor!). He was a member of the Otago Provincial Council and in 1873 he founded the Otago Guardian newspaper.

House on Baldwin Street
House on Baldwin Street | Source

Would you cycle up that street?

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Some races use purple covered jaffas as of course purple represents Cadbury's colors. The main race is in the traditional orange colors.

And the winner is....

Jaffa winner
Jaffa winner

Can you believe it! No Jaffas available...must be a New Zealand thing. You can still enjoy Cadbury chocolate though, after all it is a chocolate carnival.

Would you like to join the Jaffa race?

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It's All Over for 2012!

Watch the video clip on local Channel 9 in Dunedin to see the 2012 event.

Jaffa | Source

Please let me know you dropped by - I'd love to hear your comments.

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    • BritFlorida profile image

      Jackie Jackson 

      5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      Wow - I never knew about this! How fabulous. My only 'jaffa' knowledge is regarding English Jaffa Cakes which are probably the most delicious biscuits in the world. I know that every country thinks it's own chocolate is the best but Cadbury's REALLY is :)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      How fun!

    • Magda2012 profile image


      6 years ago

      Oh wonderful lens. I love chocolate very much, and want to taste the jaffa

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      This is interesting.

    • Carashops profile image


      6 years ago

      Great Lens. We have visited Dunedin and seen these amazing streets. Good handbrake required.


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