At Panny's Phillip Island Chocolate Factory visitors can see the chocolate making process from the growing of the cocoa pods to the finished bar of chocolate.
Then there are the marvellous chocolate-themed creations which are not to be missed.
After admiring a display of little penguins made of chocolate at the entrance, your tour starts with learning the history and growing process of cocoa pods.
There is evidence chocolate beverages date back to 1900BC. The Meso-American peoples used cocoa beans for a bitter drink. The Spanish arrived in the early 1500's and took cocoa back to Europe. Sugar or honey was added to combat the bitterness, and the rest is history!
The process to refine cocoa so it could be made into hard blocks was not discovered until the mid 1800's.
Cocoa plantations around the world are in a band around the Equator. Central and South America, Africa and Asia are the main growing areas, with West Africa growing around 70% of the world's cocoa.
Panny's source their beans from Peru.
In the first room there is a "plantation", with harvesting tools and replica pods. Visitors can run their hands through cocoa beans drying on a rack. There is also a video showing the preparation process - well worth the time to watch.
Next comes the process of turning the beans into chocolate. This part of the display is interactive - visitors can press buttons or turn handles to see the roasting, crushing, winnowing, grinding, pressing and tempering processes. It's amazing the number of steps required to achieve a chocolate bar!
After learning how chocolate is made, it's time for a bit of fun!
Visitors can move through rooms with some wonderful chocolate creations such as Michelangelo's Statue of David, plus a mosaic of Dame Edna Everage made from individual chocolates.
Admire the chocolate village, including a train winding it's way around (not made from chocolate!).
A new addition to experience is the Zeotrope - a spinning illusion of diving chocolate penguins under flashing strobe lights.
Possibly the most popular display at the Phillip Island Chocolate Factory is the chocolate waterfall! Every three minutes 400 kilograms of melted chocolate cascade down in a delicious waterfall.
And if you want to know what a one tonne block of chocolate looks like, here's your chance! Visitors can attempt to lift it off the floor by standing on the other side of the scales. Unfortunately on our last visit, there were not enough of us to budge it!
Children can enjoy Side Show Alley - reminiscent of the "laughing clowns" of many a showground - but with penguins and pelicans for a Phillip Island flavour.
Many of the experiences are interactive - always a hit with children!
Through glass windows visitors can observe chocolatiers making the full range of Panny's chocolate.
You can even give your taste senses free rein and make up your own personalised flavour as a souvenir of your visit.
Once you have finished you tour, browse the shop for more sweet treats or have Panny's popular curry lunch with cuisine from India and Malaya. Try one of his chocolate themed specials such as Rocky Road Sundae.
Allow about an hour to enjoy all the displays at this amazing world of chocolate.
Phillip Island Chocolate Factory is open every day from 10.00am until 5.00pm (closed Christmas Day). Last entry for the tour is 4.00pm.
Free parking is available on site.
Admission prices (use as a guide only): Adults $18, Children $12 and Family $54. Included in your admission is a Panny's chocolate bar.
Remember to wear closed shoes - this is a condition of entry.
Entry to the cafe and retail store is free.
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