A popular tourist destination for a few decades, its popularity surged unimaginably ever since it turned JRR Tolkien's imagination into a reality by becoming the prime location for Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings films. Now, hundreds of middle-earth maniacs fly to New Zealand every year to walk through the fantasies previously experienced only in book form.
For those who come with the purpose of soaking up the ethnic vibe, there’s plenty to be had. The Tamaki Maori Village, for instance, offers a glimpse into the ways of the indigenous Maori culture. You can have the pleasure of eating a hangi cooked dinner - a feast cooked using heated rocks in a pit oven - a cornerstone in New Zealand's culinary traditions. A visit to a Wildfoods festival is a unique experience, too. If the thought of eating sheep's eye, venison tongue or bug larvae gets your taste buds tingling, you should be sure to visit these festivals.
New Zealand is home to a number of unique nationalities, giving the country a unique multicultural flavour. Cuisines from Britain, the Pacific Rim and even Asia have grown and developed. The Food Truck Garage is a very popular food joint and is run by a TV show host. With a highly Americanized menu, the restaurant is the best place to enjoy food from - literally - all the way across the world. For anyone fancying an Indian meal, Oh Calcutta in Parnell remains the destination of choice for most, with the restaurant known for its warm and welcoming ambience and service.
For those watching their waistlines, or just believe in healthy eating, there’s no shortage of options. The Paleo breakfast, which suggests a throwback to the way our ancestors from the Paleolithic era used to eat, is quickly catching up. In fact, it has often been the most Googled term by those looking for breakfast places in New Zealand over the past two years. With so much culinary diversity on offer, it’s safe to say it’s kia mākona wherever you look.
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