In 1983, the Jackson family saw a commercial opportunity with the 20-acre Freeway Orchard site on State Highway 8b. On the main route between Christchurch and Queenstown, Kevin Jackson predicted a roadside fruit stall would reap its own rewards from tourism.
He was right. Latest figures show that 4,000 vehicles pass Freeway every day and in peak season 500 of those will stop off to buy fresh produce.
Freeway Orchard stock apricots, cherries, peach, plums, nectarines, apples and pears in season. They also have an extensive range of dried fruit, honey, nuts, preserves and fresh vegetables. There are a huge selection of bottled fruit juices made on site, as well as a juice bar making freshly squeezed juices, smoothies and wheatgrass. Last but not least are Freeway’s famous real fruit icecreams, for which a visit to Cromwell is not complete without one!
The growth continues. The Jacksons are landlords to an on-site juice factory, Cider house cafe and bar, “Taste” and Provisions stores..