Three Islands NZ - Personalised Travel Planning. Dunedin, New Zealand. Email: pippa@threeislandsnz.com

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EAT & DRINK

 

Fresh, innovative and delicious, New Zealand's flavoursome food and world-class wine are not to be missed.

Food and wine is an essential ingredient in a New Zealand experience – whether that's fine dining or casual outdoor meals, tasting at the cellar door, mingling with local producers at farmers markets, or an authentic Maori hangi experience. Innovative New Zealand chefs combine ingredients freshly harvested from garden, land and sea while Pacific influences, organics and indigenous foods make it unique.

 

Thirsty? NZ’s cool-climate wineries have been collecting wine-award trophies for decades now, and the country’s booming and innovative craft-beer scene also deserves your serious scrutiny. And with coffee culture firmly entrenched, you can usually slake any cravings for a decent double shot.  

 

Taste is paramount. Wherever you plan to holiday in New Zealand, there'll be a local delicacy or tipple to tempt your taste buds, so make sure you include some of these Top 10 experiences in your itinerary....

 

  • For the quintessential wine experience, hire a car and follow the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail through three wine regions, and leave plenty of time to stop, savour and appreciate.

 

  • No New Zealand fine dining experience would be truly complete without a glass or two of award-winning pinot noir – take your pick from Central Otago, in the south, or Martinborough, in the north – and the perfect match for succulent New Zealand lamb.

 

  • If you want an authentic New Zealand wine experience, the vineyards of Gisborne on the North Island’s sun-drenched east coast produce an especially fine chardonnay to toast your holiday dreams.

 

  • At the top of the South Island, Marlborough is not only New Zealand’s biggest wine growing region it’s also the ‘green-lipped mussel capital of the world’ – for a match made in heaven try mussels and Marlborough sauvignon blanc. 

 

  • Get up early one weekend morning and mingle with the locals at a farmers market where you can buy fresh local fruit and veg, and take home treats like jam, honey, pickles and handmade bread. We can personally recommend the Dunedin and Christchurch Riccarton Bush markets.

 

  • You won’t have to go to the bottom of New Zealand to sample a true blue Bluff oyster but if you want the freshest and juiciest just landed from the southern ocean, Southland is the place to be. 

 

  • Work your way up to a thirst as you cycle your way through the vineyards in Hawke’s Bay or tackle a beer cycling tour around Nelson where you’ll have plenty of chances to sample the local vintage or brew.

 

  • The South Island’s West Coast cooks up one of New Zealand’s most celebrated culinary delicacies the whitebait pattie - fished up from the river, tossed in egg and served with a local Monteith’s beer.

 

  • Treat yourself to sensual taste sensations sampling fine chocolates with weird but wonderful fillings, or a super decadent hot chocolate, at a boutique chocolaterie in Greytown or Wellington, or at the Cadbury factory in Dunedin.

 

  • Join a cooking class and learn to cook like a master chef in one of the many cooking schools around the country. You’ll also get to meet some of New Zealand’s top foodies.

  • For more information on New Zealand's favourite foods, click here

 

 

New Zealand has a plethora of award winning restaurants. See if any of them take your fancy here, or check out the latest Cuisine NZ Good Food Award winners of 2015:

 

  • Canterbury restaurant Roots has been named Cuisine magazine’s NZ Restaurant of the Year 2015, thanks to an innovative approach and creative dishes that focus on local ingredients

 

  • Auckland’s Sidart, which took out the 2014 Restaurant of the Year title, was crowned Sanpellegrino Best Metropolitan Restaurant in this year’s awards.

 

  • Also in Auckland, The French Café was recognised for its impeccable wine service with the Negociants New Zealand Best Wine Experience award. The restaurant was additionally named joint runner-up Best Metropolitan Restaurant, together with The Grove.

 

  • Wellington’s smart and chic new seafood-focused restaurant Whitebait won Electrolux Best New Restaurant, while the capital’s Jano Bistro was runner-up.

 

  • Napier’s quirky, creative restaurant Pacifica was named KitchenAid Best Regional Restaurant, with Nelson favourite Hopgood’s runner-up. 

 

  • Cazador, a game-focused Auckland eatery, was awarded the title of American Express Best Specialist Restaurant.

 

  • North Canterbury’s idyllic Pegasus Bay took out the Best Winery Restaurant award, with Hawke’s Bay’s stylish Elephant Hill runner-up.

 

  • And Wellington’s Ortega Fish Shack maître d’ Davey McDonald was named Ghiotti by European Foods Restaurant Personality of the Year, with judges commenting on the warmth, knowledge and commitment that McDonald brings to the restaurant.