With such an attractive climate, superb natural resources and fertile grasslands, it is perhaps not surprising that New Zealand offers some of the most fresh, exciting and creative cuisine available. This naturally rich landscape harvests juicy stoned fruit and prized Manuka honey, locally reared organic meats and world-renowned shellfish – not forgetting their famously vibrant sauvignon, and earthy Pinot Noir, wines! Chefs flock to source seasonal gems, such as the large and tasty Bluff Oysters or organic beef and lamb. The sheer variety of ingredients, sauces and decorative accompaniments will certainly tantalise your tastebuds and restaurant menus often change daily — so you will always be thrilled and intrigued by the chef’s nightly concoctions!
Dining al fresco is a real pleasure in New Zealand, the stunning scenery adding a majestic backdrop for the exceptional hospitality, expert knowledge and epicurean cuisine. Relax along the terrace of a serene lakeside lodge, sip aperitifs and enjoy the solitude of your deck or perhaps share a romantic private dinner within a pretty vineyard estate – all whilst indulging in the finest of New Zealand’s fare. Hoteliers take great pride in their gourmet offerings, benefiting from staff that are passionate about their local produce and determined to create exquisite plates with a Kiwi twist. Whilst Wellington may be acclaimed as the gastronomic capital of New Zealand, Hawkes Bay a close second and Auckland boasts its award-winning French Café, the top lodges are consistently renowned for their fine dining and extensive degustation menus. So, embrace the scenery but also delight in the sumptuous a la carte breakfasts, savour the more casual charcuterie and cheese platters, plus become engaged with the specialist winemaker dinners. Should you wish for a pause between such delectable dishes, you can always take a food tour of the bush, try a traditional Maori Hangi, or seek out some tasty national seafood treats such as whitebait, crayfish or paua — followed by hokey pokey ice-cream or devilish pavlova!