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Exploring New Zealand

FOOD & WINE

New Zealand is a top destination for food and wine lovers. Throughout New Zealand, there is a strong emphasis on local, fresh produce and sustainable sourcing of food which we love here at Fleewinter. We’ve put together some of our favourite foodie experiences to give you some inspiration for your trip.

1. Wine

New Zealand is lucky enough to have a number of great wine regions. Marlborough, Central Otago and Hawke’s Bay are the most well known but there are also the smaller wine-producing areas of Auckland, Martinborough, Nelson and Waipara which offer great opportunities for wine touring.

Hawke’s Bay, Martinborough and Nelson are fantastic areas to explore by bicycle, with off-road cycle trails and quiet lanes linking vineyards together. In all of the regions, it is possible to join a small group or private tour for a day or half-day that will take you to visit a number of different vineyards and usually will have a lunch stop as well.

If you want to travel independently to vineyards, most will be happy for you to drop in at the cellar door for a tasting (although it is best to check opening hours in advance). In many cases, tastings are free of charge. At the smaller, family-run vineyards, it is highly likely that the winemaker will be the person running the tasting and will be happy to answer any questions.

2. Seafood

New Zealand’s waters produce some of the best seafood delicacies in the world. Whether you are happy eating freshly caught snapper and chips out of newspaper on the beach, or fine-dining on plump, juicy Bluff oysters at a fancy restaurant on Wellington’s waterfront, there is something for everyone here. Some other quintessential Kiwi seafood experiences include succulent green-lipped mussels from Marlborough, whitebait fritters from the West Coast and barbecued crayfish in Kaikoura.

3. Craft beer

There is a craft beer revolution happening around the world and New Zealand has more than its fair share of innovative, independent brewers giving it a go and producing some really tasty tipples. It certainly helps that it is a great country for growing hops; most of which are exported and used to produce craft beer all over the world.

Wellington and Nelson have a good selection of breweries that you can visit. Some of our favourites include Garage Project and ParrotDog in Wellington. For pure enjoyment, you can’t beat trying a drop or two at Golden Bear Brewing on the wharf in Mapua on a sunny Sunday afternoon listening to live music.

4. Farmers’ markets

Local farmers’ markets are to be found in little towns as well as the cities all over New Zealand. Usually held early on a weekend morning they are bustling places with plenty of fresh, locally grown produce and homemade delicacies – ideal for picnic lunches. Some of our favourites include the Hawke’s Bay market held in Hastings every Sunday, where you can enjoy live music in a rural setting, and the Saturday morning market in Nelson which combines produce and local arts and crafts. You can wander happily for hours.

5. Coffee

Kiwis love a good coffee. And nowhere more so than in Wellington; where you will find the highest concentration of cafes anywhere in the country. Wellingtonians are experienced connoisseurs of the black stuff so if you are looking for a great cup just ask any local or look for the biggest queue.

6. Hāngī

A Hāngī is a traditional cooking method used by Māori. Food is wrapped up and placed on hot stones in a pit, covered over with earth to trap in the heat and left to slow cook for 3 or 4 hours. Food usually consists of meat or fish and root vegetables. The cooking process leaves the food deliciously tender and smoky. Take part in this unique cultural experience in the Bay of Islands or in Rotorua, where the cooking process is helped along by the geothermal steam that seeps from the ground here.

Please do enquire for any further information on trips with an emphasis on food and wine and we will have more exciting sample itineraries available to you in the near future!

Suggested itineraries

Wine, food & craft beer

15 days from £2,000pp

Tempting treats are on offer at every stop on this two week adventure taking in some of New Zealand's finest food and wine regions

Some of our favourite places to stay

Bay of Islands
The Bay of Islands is a coastal area of Northern New Zealand with a collection of over 140 sub-tropical islands ready to be explored. This area is well known for its quiet and beautiful white sand beaches, sparkling emerald seas and abundant marine life. More
Auckland
New Zealand's largest city is a vibrant melting pot of cultures and a thriving hub of arts, music and cuisine. Known as the City of Sails, the beautiful harbour provides the perfect backdrop to this relaxed and easy-going metropolis. The nearby island of Waiheke; well-loved for its wine and food scene is just a short ferry ride away. More
Coromandel Peninsula
The Coromandel Peninsula is a favourite getaway for Aucklanders and with good reason. This area is blessed with great weather, fabulous beaches and some fantastic hiking trails in the mountainous, rainforest clad interior. Don't miss Cathedral Cove; one of the most picturesque spots on this beautiful peninsula. More
Rotorua
Rotorua is a hive of geothermal activity with bubbling mud pools, explosive geysers, plumes of steam and natural hot springs perfect for bathing in. It is also a great place for adventure with over 90km of world class mountain biking trails, magical redwood forests and plenty of opportunity for adrenaline with zorbing, zip-lining and luging some of the most popular activities. More
Tongariro National Park
This is New Zealand's oldest national park and home to three active volcanoes surrounded by alpine meadows, hot springs and emerald lakes. The park's most popular activity, and deservedly so, is the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, a one-day trek that traverses the slopes of all three mountains and takes in steaming craters, old lava flows and thermal lakes. More
Hawke's Bay
This is one of New Zealand's warmest and driest regions which has made it one of the country's leading areas for wine production as well as an abundance of delicious fruit. There are dozens of off-road bike trails which have made wine-touring by bike a favourite pastime with locals and tourists alike. It is also home to the quirky Art Deco town of Napier where 1930s architecture has been beautifully preserved. More
Martinborough
Only an hour drive from Wellington is the sleepy rural village of Martinborough; the centre of the region's wine industry and the home of some of the best pinot noir in New Zealand. Most of the, mainly family-owned, vineyards are within walking or cycling distance from the village centre. More
Wellington
New Zealand's capital is a compact little city full of quirky shops, plenty of street art and a fantastic waterfront area. It's an ideal place for exploring on foot. The craft beer scene and coffee culture are in full swing here and there are plenty of great places to sample both. More
Marlborough
Marlborough is New Zealand's largest wine region and there are plenty of vineyards to stop off at here. But it's not all about the wine, the beautiful winding waterways of the Marlborough Sounds make up one fifth of New Zealand's coastline and can be explored on a boat trip, from the air or hiking along the ridges and through lush coastal bush on the Queen Charlotte Track. More
Abel Tasman
Abel Tasman is situated in the sunniest region of New Zealand and is a highlight on any trip. The marine reserve is home to seals, dolphins and native sea birds and best explored on a kayaking or sailing adventure. The picture-perfect, deserted, golden sand beaches are only accessible by boat or hiking through magical, untouched forests. More
Punakaiki
This area is famed for its impressive limestone rock formations. The pancake rocks and blowholes at Punakaiki are the most well visited of these and at high tide, with westerly swells, geysers of sea water shoot skywards creating an impressive display. More
Franz Josef Glacier
The glaciers on the West Coast are some of the most convenient to visit in the world and their low altitude means that you can be on the ice yet still comfortable in just a t-shirt. The glaciers are best explored on a heli-hike or a guided walk on the ice to experience the incredible colours and formations of the frozen landscape. More
Queenstown
Queenstown has it all. A stunning natural setting on the shores of Lake Wakatipu surrounded by dramatic alpine scenery, a plethora of outdoor activities to keep even the most adventurous entertained for weeks plus fantastic restaurants, buzzing nightlife and great shopping. More
Milford Sound
Milford Sound is a remote, breath-taking and spell-binding place where the mountains rise vertically from the dark water and waterfalls plunge hundreds of metres downwards. Explore by boat, kayak or from the air, this place is magical in any weather. More
Mackenzie Country
This area is dotted with remarkable turquoise coloured lakes with a dramatic backdrop of the Southern Alps, making it extremely picturesque. At night, the beauty doesn't fade with the sunset as this area is part of an International Dark Sky Reserve which makes it one of the best star gazing spots on the planet. More
Kaikoura
Kaikoura is home to some of the most nutrient rich waters in New Zealand and is a permanent feeding spot for whales, seals and dolphins. There are plenty of boat trips out to visit the wildlife or if you want to get even closer, swimming with the seals or dolphins is a highlight. It is also a great spot to try some of the local delicacy; crayfish. More
Christchurch
Known as the Garden City, Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island and is well known for its beautiful parks and award-winning botanical gardens. It is a creative hub with plenty of independent boutiques, pop-up restaurants and modern art. More

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Do you fancy having a chat about FOOD & WINE? Personally, it's one of our favourite things to talk about.

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