Take a look at our Audley specialists' top five recommendations for sampling New Zealand's food and drink.
Zest food tours
New Zealand’s capital city Wellington, and its largest city Auckland offer the food lover an eclectic mix of gastronomic delights. From small quirky cafés to five star restaurants there is something for everyone, which is why it can be daunting for the first-time visitor to know where to start. Zest food tours offer small group walking tours around both cities, giving you a local's insight into the best places to dine whilst helping you get your bearings. Accompanied by your knowledgeable guide you will visit the finest cafés, chocolate specialists and gourmet food stores, meeting the owners and sampling the goods from them all! For the returning visitor there are hidden gems to discover and for those fighting the jet-lag what better way to stay awake than sampling beautifully roasted coffee and freshly baked pastries.
Kaikoura Seafest (Seafood Festival)
The Seafest Seafood Festival is held on the first Saturday of October each year in the coastal town of Kaikoura. Lasting just one day the festival is a chance to sample the local food and wine from the Kaikoura, Marlborough and North Canterbury regions. Wander around the food stalls tasting fresh seafood, local cheeses, homemade chocolates and for the more adventurous foodies, emu and ostrich! All of the products offered are presented in weird and wonderful ways and with continuous live entertainment throughout the day you won't want to leave.
Marlborough Wine and Food Festival
The Marlborough Wine and Food Festival is New Zealand’s original and longest running wine festival. It's held every February in this world-renowned wine producing region. Brancott Estate Vineyard is one of the oldest in Marlborough and festival goers will have the opportunity to sample a selection of world-class wines and delicious local cuisine. Tickets and accommodation sell out quickly so booking early is a must, Audley can arrange both for you ensuring you do not miss out on this celebration of great food and wine.
Stay on a vineyard
For wine lovers, a must in New Zealand is to stay for a couple of nights on a vineyard. With so many wonderful wine regions in both the North and South Islands, fitting this into your trip is no problem and it is a fantastic experience. Enjoy a cool crisp Sauvignon Blanc or full bodied Pinot Noir whilst watching the sun set on a warm summer's evening over the very vines that produced your bottle of wine.
Arrowtown — a small town with a big appetite
Just 12 miles from Queenstown, Arrowtown is a beautifully preserved gold mining town made up of wooden churches and colonial buildings. There is just one main street; at one end are restored shops and at the other, tiny stone miners cottages dating back to the 1860s. You would be forgiven for thinking that Arrowtown offers no more than a glance back into New Zealand's colonial history but this small town is a hidden gem for foodies and is a firm favourite with Audley staff and clients alike. Arrive at lunchtime and visit the Arrowtown bakery — self-proclaimed 'the world’s best little pie shop'. The queue will be out of the door but the smells permeating from the shop will reassure you that it will be worth the wait. Their speciality is the Venison Pie but there are a multitude of fillings to choose from. After lunch we recommend strolling down the street to Patagonia Chocolates where handmade gelato, chocolates and rich hot chocolate will tempt any sweet tooth.
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