Spruce Goose

An ex-WWII aircraft hangar-turned-cafe.
Olivia Marsden
Published on November 02, 2014
Updated on May 25, 2015


I have joked too many times about heading down to Lyall Bay’s new popular cafe/restaurant to get loose as a goose. But this catchy name actually has a lot more meaning behind it other than some cringe/hilarious puns (depending on how much you have had to drink).

The building itself was originally the old Aero Club built in the 1930’s. In March 2012 the Spruce Goose creation slowly began when the building was moved to its current home at the airport end of Lyall Bay. The building stood in stand still over the year teasing locals over what it would become. With the building’s aviation history and its current home next to Wellington Airport the name of course is relevant. The Spruce Goose is also known as The Hughes H-4 Hercules, a heavy transport aircraft prototype intended to help during WWII, although it was never finished in time. With wartime restrictions the Aircraft was built entirely from wood instead of aluminium, critics naming it the Spruce Goose because of its heavy weight. The Spruce Goose is the largest ‘flying boat’ ever built and has the largest wingspan of any aircraft in history.

Overlooking the main surf break Spruce Goose is a little patch of paradise for the local surfer, beach-goer or someone wanting to enjoy a meal with panoramic views of the beach. It is always a friendly welcome with a staff member welcoming you in and even on busy weekends the wait is never too long. The main cafe is spacious with floor to ceiling windows and a funky rustic decor. On a sunny calm day it will be noisy inside so the two decks or bean bags on the grass are the spot to be. This place is ideal for groups and even has a small play area for the little ones.

Supreme coffee is quick to-go option, although if you’re a brunch lover this place is a must try from 7am to 3pm. Whether Toasted Muesli with yogurt and rhubarb is your thing ($12), Gourmet Burgers ($19), or to really get in the oceanic theme Creamed Paua on Grilled Kawakawa Beer Bread ($18) there are plenty of options. For a refreshing drink the Beetroot, Apple and Grapefruit Smoothie ($6.50) is a winner. And with the healthy option out of the way (and you aren’t a vegetarian) you can’t go pass a pail of Dry Rubbed Buffalo Wings ($16).



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