If you’re a pleasure-seeking traveler you could navigate your way around New Zealand on the food and wine alone. Every region has its specialties. In the far north, it’s award-winning cheeses, sub-tropical fruit and the freshest fish. In Rotorua you can try the unique Maori cuisine, the hangi; smoky food cooked in an earth oven. In Central Otago, lamb partnered with a beautiful pinot noir will have you reaching for superlatives while, in Marlborough, you can savour some of the world’s best sauvignon blanc matched with local scallops or green-lipped mussels.
In the restaurants and cafes the chefs have embraced these local foods and they play with the flavours producing a very distinct Pacific Rim cuisine.
That love of food is not just limited to restaurants. You’re just as likely to find it in people’s houses, on their barbecues and definitely at the wine and food festivals.
These festivals bring together the best of a region’s delicacies – the food and the wine – and people come from all over to drink, taste, laugh and listen to music. And if you want something a little different, the West Coast’s Wildfoods Festival might be what you’re looking for, whether it’s wild pork or venison or, indeed, a crunchy huhu grub.