New Zealand is a dream destination for food and wine connoisseurs. Where the best wine in New Zealand is found is a matter of opinion, but if you’re planning a trip to this idyllic country, rest assured that you won’t have any difficulty finding a decent drop anywhere you go.
New Zealand food and wine tours can make for a highly satisfying stay in the nation that gave us the Lord of the Rings movies and the All Blacks. If you’re taking a trip through the North Island, make sure to stop by Gisborne to try out some of the country’s best wineries. Read on to discover more great regions to enjoy brilliant food and wine:
Many visitors start their New Zealand trip in the country’s largest city of Auckland – which, as it happens, is also a great place to take wine tasting tours. The picturesque island of Waiheke is a short ferry ride from downtown Auckland, and it’s well worth the journey. Known among locals as the best place to spend a day lounging in the sun and eating and drinking with friends, the island is home to a plethora of wineries (as well as a selection of excellent beaches for when you need to cool off).
New Zealand white wine in particular is gaining a stellar reputation both abroad and at home, and there’s no place better to try it than Waiheke. Head to Mudbrick for a sumptuous degustation accompanied by a selection of excellent handpicked wines, or Goldie for one of the best Chardonnays you’ll taste on your journey. To cap off your day, head to Island Gelato Company, where you can try a selection of New Zealand desserts in the form of Italian-style ice cream.
If you’re planning on remaining in New Zealand’s biggest city for a few days, you might also like to take a food tour in the city itself. Auckland is home to a multicultural population, which means that the food options in the city are seriously diverse! Try Eat Auckland Walking Food Tours if you want to be led by a knowledgeable local and try the best dumplings, noodles, and bubble tea in the city.
Trying food while learning about its cultural significance is one of the most meaningful ways to experience a new country, and the town of Rotorua in New Zealand’s North Island has you covered if you’re interested in doing so. Tamaki Maori Village offers tourists the chance to learn about Maori culture and history alongside a great meal: visitors to this special village will experience a traditional welcoming ceremony and an incredible cultural performance, and they’ll also be able to watch a demonstration of Maori arts and crafts, which have played a major part in the shaping of today’s Kiwi culture.
As far as New Zealand traditional food goes, you can’t beat the hangi. This Maori tradition involves digging a pit and using it to cook meat and vegetables, and while in New Zealand it’s largely practised only on special occasions, visitors to Tamaki Maori Village have the opportunity to take part in a hangi on their trip, and they can also learn how to recreate their own at home. The hangi is part of a three-course buffet meal, so nobody will be going hungry here!
The adventure capital of New Zealand isn’t just the best place in New Zealand to spend a thrill-seeking week, it’s also a great place to sample local food and drink. The Queenstown Wine Trail tour aims to showcase the best wines of the region (and there are plenty!), and can be personalised to suit its visitors’ tastes. The tour company boasts close personal relationships with staff at local wineries, meaning that people who choose to take this tour will have access to a seriously unique wine-tasting experience. Mt. Difficulty, Gibbston Valley, and Amisfield are just some of the iconic Kiwi wineries that tourists can expect to visit when taking wine tasting tours with this boutique company, and the small group size and expert knowledge from the tours’ hosts will make for a seriously satisfying experience.
You can’t miss the city of Wellington if you’re interested in trying some of the best food in New Zealand. The pint-sized capital is also known for its excellent coffee and craft beer, which is sure to please anyone who leans towards bitter beverages over wine.
If you’re a fan of walking while you sightsee rather than riding around in a coach, you’ll love Zest. The company offers a range of food tours around Wellington, during which visitors have the opportunity to taste the best cuisine the city has to offer.
Try the Capital Tastes tour if you’re interested in the history of Wellington’s foodie scene, where, if you take the tour on a Sunday, you’ll have the opportunity to browse the Harbourside food market, where you’ll be able to find plenty of goodies to take home. If you’d like to finish off your tour with a tasting lunch, complete with expert wine or beer matching, the Walking Gourmet tour is for you!
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