Choo Chews Lollie Shop… that’s a sweet-sounding name! You’ll find one of these stores in Strahan. But the other (and no doubt the original, given the business name) is to be found at the Margate Train, a recreational shopping and tourist development about 20kms south of Hobart.
Margate Train: Choo Chews Lollie Shop
The small township of Margate is located between Kingston and Snug on the Channel Highway. The Margate Train is at 1567 Channel Highway if you like to pre-program your GPS before leaving home. But you won’t need to… the former Tasman Limited, a 1950s English-built passenger train, is easy enough to find.
The engine of the Margate Train is painted up all shiny and black and is hitched to several burgandy-red carriages running parallel to the highway. With additional signage, you’d have to be wearing blinkers to miss it. Especially if you have kids on board your own caboose. Our crash-test-dummies knew about Choo Chews Lollie Shop before we left home, so they were eagle-eyed and paying attention.
The Tasman Limited was retired from active service on 28 July 1978, having been a passenger train between Hobart and Launceston until then. It was recycled and parked at Margate; the carriages now house a variety of retail businesses selling goods including books and bric-a-brac. You can also dine in the buffet car on pancakes and of course… there’s Choo Chews Lollie Shop!
Choose at Choo Chews
The kids were given some cash and let loose in Choo Chews Lollie Shop. With eyes bulging, they found it very difficult to choose from the huge floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall range of sweets. The young man behind the counter was extremely patient and helpful, generous with both his time and the goodies. Clearly, he’s seen this overwhelmed behaviour before!
Also on site, a former IXL apple-packing shed boasts an antiques and collectibles warehouse. Or at least that was the case on another much-earlier visit to Margate. Inexcusably, we failed to explore the other treasures of the Margate Train this time around. We were en route to Gardener’s Cottage in Cygnet and only had eyes for Choo Chews Lollie Shop.
But we must return to Margate again one day. Apparently (if you believe everything you read on the Internet) there’s a weekly Sunday Market to explore as well. We’ve never actually heard any first-hand accounts from this fabled market, but hopefully it still exists? There’s several other places we’re keen to investigate anyway… so it’s definitely worth another journey of discovery to The Channel region. Maybe we’ll have the chance to visit soon.
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