Indulging in local food and wine is a must-do for many travellers. If gastronomy and the odd tipple are high on your agenda, New Zealand won't disappoint.
New Zealand is a food and wine lover’s paradise. Vineyards stretch throughout every region, chefs put playful local twists on fine cuisine. New Zealand food and wine festivals serve up taste sensations with a side of local music.
World class wine
The Hawkes Bay, Martinborough and Marlborough and Central Otago are signature New Zealand wine regions; explore your pick of 120 vineyards by driving the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail. If you’re after a really thorough wine tour, add West Auckland, Gisborne, Canterbury to your itinerary.
Most wineries are open for tasting, and many have fine restaurants onsite. There are plenty of bicycle and chauffeur-driven wine tours too – a great way to take in the full spectrum of local flavours. Our internationally acclaimed varieties include Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and the Bordeaux (Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot blends), so get ready to sample!
Pacific Rim cuisine
New Zealand food goes way beyond fish and chips and barbeques – our chefs have developed a distinct Pacific Rim cuisine. Expect to indulge in plenty of seafood (like greenlipped mussels, crayfish (lobster), Bluff oysters and fresh fish), award winning cheeses and of course our famous lamb. You should also expect a laidback, friendly atmosphere wherever you eat; we Kiwis love to keep things casual.
For fine dining amid spellbinding scenery, try one of New Zealand’s many remote luxury lodges. For urban eats, try a waterfront restaurant at Auckland’s Viaduct or a bohemian ethnic café in Wellington’s Cuba Quarter. For a truly authentic experience, head to Rotorua for the smoky flavour of Maori food from a traditional hangi earth oven. And if you’re here in the summer months, the wine and food festivals are a must – check out the Kawhia Kai Festival or the West Coast’s Wildfoods Festival for something really adventurous.
Keen to hone your kiwi cooking skills? Take part in a cooking class and learn some local secrets, including Maori cooking using native plants. When shopping for fresh ingredients, remember to stop by a Saturday morning farmers’ market. And for take-home inspiration, pick up a cookbook by one of our celebrity chefs, like Annabel Langbein or Peter Gordon.
The Classic New Zealand Wine Trail serves up unforgettable wine and food experiences along the signposted 380km (240 mile) route. The journey takes you through regions accounting for more than 80% of New Zealand's wine production. Combined with artisan food producers, farmers' markets and the buzzing cuisine scene of Wellington, this route is one that’ll make your foodie heart sing.
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