Much like the country’s capital, Wellington, has embraced the “world’s coolest little capital” title bestowed upon it by Lonely Planet in 2013, many other New Zealand attractions now proudly declare themselves “the world’s coolest.” That’s at least the claim the city of Taupo makes about its local McDonald’s. Its rationale? The 20-seater airplane, decorated in the company’s signature red, right outside its main building.
The Douglas DC-3’s history begins with its construction in 1943. After serving as a passenger plane, then a top dressing plane (crop duster, for the American audience), it was decommissioned in 1984 and became a promotional feature in the parking lot of Taupo’s Aeroplane Car Company, a car dealership. When the dealership’s location was purchased in 1990 to be turned into a franchise of McDonald’s (known locally as “Maccas”), the airplane was included.
Nowadays, the plane’s interior features additional seating for diners, as well as the original cockpit, protected yet visible behind a clear screen. If you look around, you can find a timeline of the airplane’s life as well as a list of its pilots.
Know Before You Go
The restaurant is open 24 hours, and the plane is visible from the street as well.