When you reflect on what attracts you to New Zealand, it’s likely that astounding landscapes and energising outdoor activities are high on the list. But feedback from travellers puts our food and wine experiences up there with the scenery. Now there are more reasons than ever to satisfy your appetite for a New Zealand holiday.
Take a gourmet journey through the North and South Islands and discover your appetite for New Zealand. An inspiring procession of fresh menus and wine lists awaits you in the corner of the Pacific. Revive your senses and follow your passion for bold new taste experiences.
From the cool, crispness of Southland to the warm subtropics of the far north, New Zealand has a smorgasbord of growing conditions. Viewed through the eyes of a pleasureseeking traveller, the country offers the opportunity for a remarkable epicurean adventure.
The creativity of our chefs is matched only by the quality of our ingredients, and the wine’s truly sublime. Every region of New Zealand has something special to tempt you with.
Every region has its food and wine specialities. Northland has awardwinning cheeses and subtropical fruit. In the geothermal city of Rotorua you can try succulent, smoky Maori hangi food, which is cooked in an earth oven. Central Otago will win you over with classy pinot noir, best teamed with roast lamb or twicecooked duck. In Marlborough you can enjoy some of the world’s best sauvignon blanc a perfect match for scallops from Golden Bay or greenlipped mussels from Havelock. Canterbury serves up the very best rack of lamb. And in Bluff, a foodie’s world revolves around the biggest, fattest oysters you’ve ever seen.
Efficient transport systems share the ingredients around, so wherever you choose to travel in New Zealand you can taste the whole country. And our chefs love to play with the flavours of the Pacific Rim Polynesia, South East Asia, Japan. Expect the unexpected!
The concept of regional specialties also applies to wine. Grape varieties have been chosen to perfectly match the climate and soil conditions of each wine growing area. On Waiheke Island, the stony soils and hot summers are perfect for cabernet sauvignon, merlot and cabernet franc. Gisborne is known as the chardonnay capital of New Zealand. Hawke’s Bay, with its Gimblett Gravels zone, turns out amazing cabernet sauvignon, merlot and malbec. Marlborough is sauvignon blanc country, while Central Otago is excelling itself in the pinot noir department.
Let a helicopter whisk you to a mountaintop picnic, eat fresh Bluff oysters at a quayside restaurant, enjoy rack of lamb at a country lodge New Zealand wants to show you a very tasty time.
Auckland – Northland: The further north you go, the warmer it gets. Discover subtropical cuisine and heatloving wines, with a large serving of friendly hospitality on the side.
Central North Island: This region is one of the best for discovering traditional Maori food. It’s also known for excellent wines, fruit orchards and artisan food producers.
Western North Island: In New Zealand’s rural heartland, the bounty of the countryside is generously represented on the menus. Enjoy down home flavours and friendly service.
Wellington – Wairarapa: Tuck into Wellington’s delicious city food experiences before journeying to the wine culture of Martinborough and the gourmet food producers of Kapiti.
Nelson – Marlborough: Sunny days and cool nights caress river plains that run to the sea. Discover wine, fruit and seafood that’s as unforgettable as the landscapes.
Canterbury – West Coast: With warm summers and cold, clear winters, these regions can deliver a taste experience that’s every bit as memorable as the fantastic scenery.
Dunedin, Coastal Otago & Southland: The epicurean adventures you’ll find in the deep south originate from idiosyncrasies of local culture and the subantarctic temperatures of Foveaux Strait.
Southern Lakes: From the extraordinary alpine landscapes to the extreme continental climate, this region is bold and captivating. The same can be said for its food and wine.
There are farmers markets in most centres, usually open on Saturdays and/or Sundays.
Every district has at least one annual wine and/or food festival to celebrate that region’s particular specialities, from scallops and oysters, to cheeses and fruit, fish and “wild” foods, and every type of wine of course. From October to March you are bound to be able to incorporate one such festival in your programme if you so desire.