Hundungoda Tea Estate, Koggala Sri Lanka, The South Coast
Hundungoda is a family owned and run lowland tea estate. It is 15 minutes’ drive from Koggala on the south coast of Sri Lanka and only about 30 minutes from Galle itself.
Hundungoda exports extremely high quality tea to niche suppliers around the world, including the famous ‘Virgin White Tea’. (This tea is based on an ancient Chinese recipe and originally picked only by virgins! Non-virgins can now pick it too though they must wear gloves as it cannot come into contact with the human body during the tea making process!).
The 200 acre plantation has about 100 acres of tea and the rest is covered by a mix of rubber, cinnamon and coconuts. The lowland tea is ground on small hills and the vegetation is lush and tropical. In common with much of this region, wild life abounds: with peacocks, deer and monkeys as well as fantastic birdlife.
The factory is a living and working museum. Most of the machinery is over a 140 years old and testament to the extraordinary engineering skill of the Victorians. Visitors are welcome to visit all parts of the estate including the working factory and it really is a wonderfully enlightening experience. The tea tasting at the end is an absolute education.
Note that the estate does not charge for visits and we would only charge transportation costs for getting you there. They do have a shop with some beautifully presented teas and whilst they put no pressure on you to buy at all, they are obviously pleased if you do!
The accommodation arranged for us was truly fantastic and we had to pinch ourselves sometimes - especially at the plantation, Villa Rosa and The Dutch House - WOW! The food and service everywhere were top quality.