New Zealand's food, wine and beer attracts people from all over the world, and with good reason.
Check out our Top 10 must-do food and drink activities to help plan your trip.
1. Classic New Zealand Wine Trail
Wine lovers rejoice! The Classic New Zealand Wine Trail takes you on tasteful journey through three of New Zealand's finest wine regions. Start in Napier where the sunny Hawke's Bay region has a climate similar to Bordeaux, France and produces excellent Bordeaux blends, syrah and chardonnay. Next stop, Martinborough in the Wairarapa region to cycle through the vineyards. The milder climate produces great pinot gris, pinot nior and riesling. Then, it's onto the Marlborough region to sample world famous New Zealand sauvignon blanc.
What is a progressive winery dinner? It's three (or more) courses of gourmet food and wine pairing at three different winery venues. Taste three of the finest wineries in Queenstown and Arrowtown with Alpine Wine Tours(opens in new window). Starting with an entree at Amisfield Bistro, enjoy your main at Aosta and dessert at Eichardt's. Or, explore the Hawke's Bay with Twighlight Odyssey(opens in new window). This tour begins with a champagne sunset over Te Mata Peak, then it's on to Craggy Range Winery or Elephant Hill Winery for dinner. Followed by dessert and sweet wines at New Zealand's oldest wine estate, The Mission Estate.
4. Sample food and coffee with a walking tour
Zest Food Tour(opens in new window) know a thing or two about Wellington's food and drink scene. Sneak down Hannah's Laneway in search for secret foodie spots such as Fix & Fogg peanut butter, Wellington Chocolate Factory and Goldings Free Dive bar. Or explore Auckland with Aucky Walky Tours(opens in new window) and taste your way around the city, sampling dumplings, lamb and sweet treats. Then, take a quick ferry ride to Waiheke Island and meet Ananda Tours(opens in new window) to eat fresh oysters, visit great local vineyards and a micro-brewery.
5. Meet the locals at a farmers market
Rise early to get to the weekend farmers markets where you can meet the growers and mingle with the locals. During the autumn months you'll find fresh feijoas and kiwifruit. And the summer months will bring you fresh nectarines, apricots and strawberries. Homemade pickles, jams and breads also take centre stage.
New Zealand's world-famous Mānuka honey has natural antibacterial properties. It’s used in a wide range of food and drinks, as well as in health products and skin care and is a favourite take-home souvenir. The Bay of Islands Honey Shop, and the Arataki Honey Visitor Centre are great places to learn about bees and honey and taste Mānuka honey, clover honey, pohutukawa honey and many more. Or, explore The Huka Honey Shack(opens in new window) and sample the many types of New Zealand honey!
8.Try our world famous New Zealand seafood
Discover the natural beauty of the Queen Charlotte Sound with a Seafood Odyssea Cruise(opens in new window). From Picton you'll sail across the calm waters as you feast on delicately prepared fresh salmon, Cloudy Bay Clams (tua tua) and Greenshell mussels paired with a Marlborough sauvignon blanc. Next, relax and unwind with a Greenshell Mussel Cruise(opens in new window) through the Marlborough Sounds and Pelorus Sounds departing from Havelock. You'll learn about mussel farms and try melt-in-your-mouth steamed mussels onboard. In Kaikōura you'll find Nins Bin,(opens in new window) a local icon which is a simple caravan perched on the coast, serving freshly caught gourmet crayfish - don't miss it!
In traditional hāngī cooking, food such as fish and kumara (sweet potato), were cooked in a pit dug in the ground. Today, pork, lamb, potato, pumpkin and cabbage are also included. A modern hāngī is likely to use cloth sacks to wrap the food in, also aluminium foil and wire baskets. The baskets are placed on hot stones at the bottom of a hole dug into the ground. The food is covered with a wet cloth and a mound of dirt that traps the heat from the stones. The hāngī food is left in the ground for a few hours, revealing tender meat and delicious vegetables, infused with smoky, earthy flavours. Find a hāngī meal at Whakarewarewa Living Māori Village, Tamaki Māori Village,Te Puia or at Waitangi Treaty Grounds.