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14 Day - Gourmet Journey through New Zealand- Tantalise your tastebuds

14 Day - Gourmet Journey through New Zealand- Tantalise your tastebuds

If indulging in local food and wine is a must-do for you, this is your journey. However, if gastronomy and a wine or craft beer are high on your agenda, New Zealand won't disappoint you.

Whether a wine aficionado or a food connoisseur, New Zealand’s range of flavours is sure to delight you. Enjoy an exquisite winery lunch at one of the many vineyards stretching throughout every region. Discover a modern twist of Maori (Native) cooking techniques and ingredients. Eat the freshest catch near the ocean in one of Rick Stein's favourite restaurants. Fresh, diverse, and delicious, Kiwis love their food, and our chefs put playful local twists on fine cuisine. 


Day 1: Auckland city arrival (2 nights)
  • Explore the new Britomark or walk through Auckland's fishmarket
  • Or: Downtown Walking Foody Tour in the City
  • Or: Take part in a cooking class at Homeland with Chef Peter Gordon
  • Recommendation: Dine at Ahi Restaurant - The New Zealand food story
Day 2: Auckland - The Food Embassy for Aotearoa & The Pacific 
  • Visit Waiheke Island and enjoy a food and wine tour
  • Or: private sailing dinner cruise
Day 3: Auckland - Rotorua/Taupo
  • Visit Zealong Tea Estate for a tea ceremony, walk the geothermal area and geysers,
  • Or: Indigenous show and evening meal
Day 4: Rotorua – Lake Taupo – Hawkes Bay (2 nights)
  • Learn the stories of cheese - from a world-class expert cheesemaker Juliet Harbutt, 
  • Visit the Art deco Town
  • Or: Cruise at Lake Taupo and catch fresh Trout
Day 5: Hawkes Bay - Area Tour
  • Private gourmet food and wine tour, gourmet lunch at Craggy Range Winery
  • Hunt for truffles at Sacre Monte Truffles
  • Or: Visit a manuka honey farm, chocolate factory, or a fig cafe
Day 6: Hawkes Bay – Martinborough - Wellington (2 nights)
  • Explore Food Forest Organic, an award-winning local bakery, and cheesemaker
  • Or: discover more wineries
Day 7: Wellington City - Area Tour
  • Walking gourmet food tour of Capital city "culinary, cafe and coffee capital"
    Recommendation: Dine at Hiakai Restaurant - The "Māori" food story
Day 8: Wellington – Domestic flight to Blenheim (or cruise)
  • Take a Seafood Odysee cruise - learn about mussel and salmon farming
  • Or: Private food and wine tour 
  • Or: Full day private winery tour by bike
Day 9: Marlborough – Kaikoura - Christchurch (2 nights)
  • Sample our famous Crayfish (lobster), watch our Seal colonies
  • Or: Enjoy a whale watch or dolphin cruise
Day 10: Christchurch City - Area tour
  • Visit a local indoor food market,
    learn how to forage for edible wild foods in the city with Peter Langlands
  • Or: visit nearby Akaroa harbour, and enjoy a Nature cruise
Day 11: Christchurch – Oamaru
  • Visit some local breweries, walk the Historic Victorian precinct
  • Or: Visit a new Caste, walk Moeraki Boulders, watch a Blue Penguin colony
  • Recommendation: Dine at Fleurs Restaurant - Rick Stein's favourite seafood cafe
Day 12: Oamaru - Queenstown (2 nights)
  • Visit the historic gold mining town of Clyde, visit a roadside fruit store, and tour a gin factory.
  • Or: Take a Be-a-Beekeeper Tour,
  • Or: Visit one of the central Otago wineries
  • Recommendation: Queenstown Progressive Dinner Tour (including Amisfield winery)
Day 13: Queenstown (a day for exploring)
  • Day for shopping and exploring (Eat our world-famous "Ferg" Burger) 
  • Or: Scenic flight/cruise Milford Sound/Fiordland, 
  • Or: Heli Picnic in Paradise
Day 14: Queenstown departure

Plan Your Tour

Highlights

Private guided tour 13 nights


Category: Culture
Location: 
North & South Island
Departing/Finishing: Auckland to Queenstown (Itinerary can be reversed)
Accommodation: 4-5* quality Hotels, boutique B&Bs
Next Departure: Departs Daily



Day 1: Auckland arrival

Imagine an urban environment where everyone lives within half an hour of beautiful beaches, hiking trails and a dozen enchanting holiday islands. Add a sunny climate, a background rhythm of Polynesian culture and a passion for outstanding food, wine and shopping, and you’re beginning to get the picture of Auckland, our largest and most diverse city. Discover the diverse range of cafes and restaurants offering cuisine from around the globe. Visit the Seafood market in the bustling Wynyard Quarter and wander around the boutique market and deli.

Auckland has become one of the most innovative culinary destinations in the South Pacific—rivaling even Sydney and Melbourne. The city is flourishing with stylish cafes-turned-hangouts, glossy restaurants, boutique dessert bars, and lively marketplaces. Anywhere you go in town, you’re likely to encounter an establishment that’s as creative—or aspiring to be as creative as the award-winning local restaurants.  

Britomart is a vibrant shopping, entertainment and business precinct in the heart of downtown Auckland. Surrounded by beautiful heritage buildings, it’s a neighbourhood of buzzing restaurants and cool bars, designer boutiques and quirky art spaces. You’ll find cutting-edge street fashion, designer homewares and the HQs of some of New Zealand’s leading creative and corporate organisations. Eighteen historic buildings are being restored here and seven state-of-the-art new buildings developed. Plus, the best of downtown waterfront Auckland is just outside your front door. Fresh Italian fare, vibrant Vietnamese, best-in-class coffee, and delicious desserts — Britomart’s nine blocks are bursting with Auckland’s best food.

Peter  Gordan has spent over 30 years putting New Zealand ingredients on the world stage. Now he and his partner Alastair have built a food embassy to support New Zealand producers, teach people to cook, buy local, and share recipes from their homelands – and tell trade stories to the world. Learn recipes to share with whānau and friends. Nothing beats food for bringing people together – especially cooked with aroha at home. We want people from every homeland to make delicious meals and connect with each other. There are some fancy classes with New Zealand’s finest chefs, but Homeland’s focus is on tummy- hugging food you would eat everyday. Recipes feature hero producers from Aotearoa and the Pacific, flavours erupt from the best kai, methods from Peter’s lifetime of cooking, and teachers share the wisdom of everyone who calls Aotearoa home.  

Or: Take a walking food tour of Auckland City. 
From local history and architecture to the unique cultures and character of your chosen destination, a Food Tour brings your destination to life through your senses, spilling local food and drink secrets and exposing hidden culinary gems. We believe that a food tour should showcase the very best of a city and region through your taste buds. Not only will your taste buds be treated, but your local guides will also introduce you to the producers, sharing with you their stories, knowledge and passion for the area that will leave you savoring the unforgettable taste of your trip long after you’ve left.

Dine at: Ahi, a truly New Zealand restaurant and a concept straight from the heart. Award winning New Zealand Chef Ben Bayly and Front of House professional Chris Martin are proud to be bringing the very best of New Zealand hospitality to the Auckland CBD at Commercial Bay. "We are so proud to introduce you to a brand new TV series that follows Ben as he works towards opening Ahi with a vision that encapsulates the essence of Aotearoa.  

Accommodation: Auckland City or Waiheke Island

Day 2: Auckland City - The Food Embassy for Aotearoa & The Pacific

Come to Waiheke and you’ll find beautiful galleries and craft boutiques in this homeland of artists. There are plenty of places to enjoy a good coffee or a taste of New Zealand's fresh Pacific Rim cuisine. The white sandy beaches at Oneroa, Palm Beach and Onetangi slope gently down into the Hauraki Gulf. Enjoy succulent fresh oysters, award-winning olive oil and other locally-produced specialty foods, accompanied by wines from some of the Island’s top boutique vineyards.

Or: Take part in a Oyster Masterclass at The Oyster Inn. The Oyster Inn is owned by celebrity chef Josh Emmet. During this masterclass you will learn all about preparing and serving delicious local Te Matuku Oysters

Accommodation: Auckland city or Waiheke Island

Day 3: Auckland - Tea Farm - Rotorua

Widely regarded as a Waikato icon, Zealong Tea Estate is the only commercial tea estate in New Zealand, producing 100% award-winning organic tea and a world-leading destination for tea, art and hospitality.

Rotorua
is known for bubbling mud pools, shooting geysers and natural hot springs, and showcasing our fascinating Maori culture. From crystal-clear streams and magical forests to epic biking trails and explosive geysers.  

Visit Wai-O-Tapu, New Zealand's most colourful geothermal attraction. An area in which the landscape has been sculptured by geothermal activity and where unique volcanic features can be viewed from well-defined tracks. Thee world-famous Champagne Pool naturally coloured springs, bubbling mud, steaming ground, expansive vistas, huge volcanic craters and sinter terrace formation are unique features. 

Or: Later, immerse yourself in Maori culture with a traditional introduction and performance, learning about the past, carving and dancing. You will taste an exquisite Maori feast prepared in the classic Hangi style and watch the Maori cultural performance featuring traditional storytelling and entertainment.

Accommodation: Rotorua

Day 4: Rotorua – Lake Taupo – Hawkes Bay

You leave Central Plateau through fantastic scenery before you reach the East Coast. There's a bit of everything—rugged hills, beautiful valleys, gentle plains and huge vistas. You can walk to the hot springs above the Waipunga River at Tarawera. You might also want to stop at the Waialua Falls lookout to view the twin waterfalls. 

Juliet Harbutt - Stories of cheese. Unravel the myths & misconceptions behind the world of cheese & wine. Learn to recognize the seven types of cheese and the vocabulary to describe them, identify the characteristics of the grape varieties and experience the joy of uncovering the perfect match. Discover how wine can bring out the best in one cheese while leaving the taste-buds diving for cover with the next. We're not talking malo-lactic fermentation but knowing a Pinot Noir from a Merlot and your Brie from your Camembert. So whether you want to impress your friends, challenge your taste buds or simply enjoy a night out with friends, this session will ensure you are never again intimidated by a wine list, wine waiter or cheese trolley.

Beautifully preserved 1930s architecture is Napier's unique point of difference. A national disaster resulted in Napier becoming one of the purest Art Deco cities in the world. As a result, Napier's city centre feels like a time capsule - the seamless line of 1930s architecture is quite extraordinary.  

Or: Lake Taupo,
 the largest Lake in this country and the world's largest volcanic crater was created in one giant explosion nearly two thousand years ago. It darkened the sky in Europe and China. Taupo is famous for its fishing and its trophy-sized trout. Take in the spectacular view of Lake Taupo and the majestic mountains of the Tongariro National Park as you private charter cruises to the famous Maori Rock Carvings at Mine Bay. Then, enjoy a BBQ lunch and the fish you catch for a relaxing lunch on the Lake. You can't buy trout at restaurants, so the only way to taste trout is to see it yourself!

Accommodation: Hawkes Bay

Day 5: Gourmet Food and wine tour Hawkes Bay

Hawke's Bay is New Zealand's oldest wine region. Famous for our full-bodied reds and rich, complex chardonnays, wine is an integral part of the visitor experience in Hawke's Bay and an essential pillar of our economy. With over 70 wineries across the region, we invite you to explore our spectacular vineyard countryside and enjoy the world-class wines and hospitality on offer at each of our wineries and cellar doors.

Head out for a unique truffle hunt at Sacre Monte Truffles in the morning. Then, by early afternoon enjoy a gourmet lunch at one of our best winery restaurants. 
Recipient of 2 hats at the 2018 Cuisine Good Food Awards, Craggy Range Restaurant offers an intimate, comfortable & relaxed space to enjoy Head Chef Casey McDonald's Hawke's Bay menu alongside Craggy Range wines.  

Or: You know you are getting the good stuff with the True Honey Co. because they only sell Manuka Honey rated 300+ MGO and above. Visit the small shop to give visitors a taste of our delicious honey over the cruise season and summer months.

Just outside Napier is the Silky Oak Chocolate Company, which has been making handcrafted chocolates since 1959. Take a chocolate tour or visit the museum and sample some delicious chocolates! 

Te Mata Figs was established from a passion for growing fabulous figs in the warm Mediterranean-type climate of Hawke's Bay along Te Karamu.

Or: Enjoy a Real Food Experience at Farmhouse Kitchen Cooking School, where they offer cooking classes, preparing nourishing food in a comfortable, relaxed setting.

Accommodation: Hawkes Bay

Day 6: Hawkes Bay – Martinborough - Wellington

Wairarapa is a region of big skies, broad valleys and small towns full of character. It is also a bonafide food and wine lover's paradise. Its vineyards are at the heart of the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail and produce some of the world's best pinot noir.  

You will get to explore the pretty historical township of Greytown, known for its boutique stores, colonial buildings and lovely mature trees. And savour an array of tastes from speciality producers, meeting innovative people dedicated to being the best with their boutique brands. So naturally, our delicious tasting lunch is matched with premium Martinborough wines, possibly from the vines we can see from the table.

New Zealand's capital city Wellington, is nestled between rolling hills and a stunning harbour and has a vibrant and compact downtown area that's best explored on foot. Get your city bearings and some of Wellington's best views at the Mount Victoria Lookout, with panoramic sights of the city; watch the Cook Strait ferries sail into the harbour, and the planes go in and out of the airport. One of Wellington's most popular tourist attractions, the cable car runs from Lambton Quay, tunnels under the corporate towers of The Terrace and emerges in Kelburn.

Accommodation: Wellington City

Day 7: Wellington (Walking gourmet food tour)

This food tour of Wellington introduces you personally to this compact cosmopolitan city, New Zealand's 'culinary, cafe and coffee capital'. Did you know that Wellington is said to have more cafes and restaurants per capita than New York? This flagship tour, this mouth-watering culinary experience, concludes with a delicious, light, two-course tasting lunch with matched New Zealand wines at a top Wellington restaurant.

Over a relaxed walking gourmet tour around Wellington's best food places, your guide will introduce you to new and favourite flavours. Tour content can vary seasonally, and you may visit a boutique coffee roaster or stylish cafe, renowned specialist fresh produce and gourmet food stores, and a unique contemporary chocolatier. And during the day, your guide can also introduce you to many other aspects of the Capital, including iconic city architecture, sculptures and fantastic places to shop and eat. At the end of your tour, we give you a list of our favourite cafes, bars, restaurants, food stores and coffee roasters to enjoy for the rest of your time in the Capital.

Dine at: Time Magazine's 100 most incredible places to eat in 2019. Hikari: Hungry, having the desire, need, craving for food. Hikari is a Wellington-based restaurant specializing in Maori Cuisine. When chef Monique Fiso returned to New Zealand after seven years in New York City, she started with a pop-up series devoted to exploring and developing Maori (Native) cooking techniques and ingredients. Maori were great innovators of food and land, growing their style of earth cookery (Hangi) and successfully adapting plants and vegetables from Hawaiki to Aotearoa's much colder environment. Over several centuries, these methods have been passed on, refined and still feed the Hiaki people of our country today. Monique Fiso’s food is a loving, delicious tribute to Aotearoa!

Accommodation: Wellington City

Day 8: Wellington – Domestic flight to Blenheim

Enjoy the stunning Marlborough Sounds with the exclusive Seafood Odyssea Cruise, featuring Regal salmon, Cloudy Bay clams and Greenshell mussels with Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc for the ideal wine/food match. Enjoy the natural beauty of the Queen Charlotte Sound while cruising aboard our luxury launch that departs from Picton daily, all year round. Cruise near an aquaculture farm, learn about this industry in the Marlborough Sounds and take in the picturesque scenery.

Blenheim is situated in the heart of wine-growing Marlborough. It is one of the sunniest towns in New Zealand, with an estimated average of 2,438 hours of sunshine a year. However, mountains frame the area and trap the summer heat (temperatures over 30°C are pretty average in February and March). In and around Blenheim, you’ll find a good selection of cafes, restaurants, bars, shops, artisan food outlets, and golf courses.  

Or: Spend the day biking from winery to winery while soaking up unbeatable views and world-class wines. You will visit 5+ boutique wineries, hand selected by your knowledgeable and friendly guide. We’ll stop for a relaxed lunch at a local winery, and you’ll have the chance to taste a wide range of regional varietals and vintages. Between short stints in the saddle, you’ll taste some of the region's best wines, including our world-class Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir.

Accommodation: Marlborough Sounds

Day 9: Marlborough Sounds – Kaikoura - Christchurch

Kaikoura, where the mountains meet the sea – as if a fairytale land has been imagined into real life. Kaikoura is a base for wildlife experiences of all kinds – it’s also a great place to eat crayfish (in the Maori language, 'kai' means food, and 'koura' means crayfish). Kaikoura's environment is spectacular – the village is caught between the rugged Seaward Kaikoura Range and the Pacific Ocean. In winter, the mountains are covered with snow, adding to the drama of the landscape. Kaikoura’s unique talent is marine mammal encounters – whales, fur seals, and dolphins live permanently in the coastal waters. Seals are a big part of the wildlife in Kaikōura, and you can find them on many of the rocky beaches around the area.

Kaikōura: Crayfish worth travelling the world for, says Lonely Planet. The Earliest recommends the iconic Nin's Bin as one of the top places for crayfish with a view. It is tucked into the coastline; it serves food out of a blue and white painted caravan, where locals "hunker over fresh crayfish and mussels with a view over the Pacific Ocean".

Canterbury is a marriage of mountains and sea, linked by snow-fed rivers that cut braided courses across the plain. Towns, small and large, are scattered across this very fertile region. The table shows the largest area of flat land in New Zealand. The countries best is the Canterbury lamb, bred for meat and wool, The province also encompasses New Zealand’s highest mountains.

Accommodation: Kaikoura or Christchurch

Day 10: Christchurch - Banks Peninsula

Christchurch city promises an eclectic mix of historic elegance and contemporary culture. As the gateway to the South Island, it's a must on any itinerary. Described by Lonely Planet as a "vibrant city in transition, coping resiliently and creatively," Christchurch's energy is evident wherever you go. The city has bounced back after the Canterbury Earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 with innovative new attractions and some old favourites.

Ask anyone about foraging in New Zealand, and they will likely direct you to Peter Langlands. However, when picking out his ingredients, he favours the rugged outdoors over the supermarket aisles. As a forager for wild foods, Langlands says the sense of discovery excites him most about foraging. You're always surprised with what you find," he says. "It's the spontaneity; I'm always exploring new things and new ways of using new ingredients." On every trip, he discovers something new.

An exciting new development consisting of a 7-day-trading, indoor farmers' market linked to a vibrant network of boutique retail, restaurants, cafes & bars - Riverside is a unique inner-city shopping experience for the local community and visitors to enjoy. Providing a reliable source of fresh, organic, locally grown food, Riverside Market supports small businesses, communities, and the environment by reducing carbon footprint and minimizing packaging and waste. 

Accommodation: Christchurch

Day 11: Christchurch - Oamaru

You can't drive along the North Otago coast without stopping to stare at the Moeraki Boulders - fantastic! Moeraki is now most famous for its boulders, mysteriously spherical stones scattered across a beach. Each boulder weighs several tonnes and is up to two metres high. Scientists explain the boulders as calcite concretions formed about 65 million years ago. 
 
Fleur is a pioneer among restaurateurs, treasured as a national legend for her feisty position of against-all-odds, gaining a fishing quota to enable direct access to the fishermen's catch of the boats operating from the pier next to her restaurant in Moeraki. Not surprisingly, this fish restaurant is the one folk dream about ever discovering. An organically constructed, almost fairytale-like wooden building surrounded on three sides by the water's edge, serving an array of the freshest fish imaginable. Fleur Sullivan has made her reputation in Central Otago, where she established Oliver's restaurant, and has received numerous awards for her restaurants and recognition for her contribution to tourism.

The whitestone townscape of Oamaru contains some of the best-preserved heritage buildings in New Zealand. In the late 19th century, the town prospered through gold mining, quarrying and timber milling. Some of the wealth was spent on elegant stone buildings made from local limestone. The Harbour-Tyne Street area is exceptional – and the shopping is excellent too. After exploring the Victorian precinct, swing by the steampunk playground and museum. Furthermore, Oamaru Harbour is home to a colony of little blue penguins, and you can also see yellow-eyed penguins from a particular hide. Penguin viewing is best just before sunset.

Accommodation: Oamaru

Day 12: Oamaru - Central Otago - Queenstown

In historic Clyde, you can make yourself comfortable in a cafe or hire a mountain bike to explore the surrounding hills. This historic town is located at the foot of a river gorge and is surrounded by rounded hills of schist punctuated with large craggy standing rocks. Schist is gold-bearing rock, and significant strikes in the rivers near Clyde sparked a gold rush in the late 1800s. So it's easy to see why some of the first Europeans to enter the region chose this site to settle. 

What was once famous for its alluvial goldfields, Cromwell and Bannockburn, are nowadays more famous for producing beautiful wines in beautiful places. Cromwell and Bannockburn have some of the warmest and driest climates in the Central Otago region, creating highly distinctive and complex wines. While Cromwell and Bannockburn are classed as two separate sub-regions for growing wine, they are only a 10-minute drive apart, making a winery-hopping trip an absolute must! 

Apricots, nectarines, peaches, plums, apples and pears - no fruit is more naturally delicious than when it's grown in Central Otago, and even more so when it's picked from trees on the Webb family orchard. Since 1914, the Webb stonefruit (also called summer fruit) and pip fruit orchard have occupied the same sunny slopes on the outskirts of the Central Otago town of Cromwell, recognized throughout New Zealand for its much-photographed 'Big Fruit' sculpture.

This exclusive Gin tour takes in the distillation of our pure spirit and then focuses exclusively on crafting our The Source Gin. The Cardrona Distillery is a family-owned and managed distillery nestled high in the Cardrona Valley between Wanaka and Queenstown the spirits are made from scratch using time-honoured craftsmanship, starting with just malted barley, water, and yeast. '

Accommodation: Queenstown

Day 13: Queenstown (Day for relaxing) - Progressive Dinner Tour

Queenstown, New Zealand, is the Southern Hemisphere's premier four-season lake and alpine resort. Surrounded by majestic mountains and nestled on the shores of crystal clear Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown's stunning scenery is inspiring and revitalising. The region is renowned for great adventure activities and spectacular outdoor terrain. Queenstown has transformed into a sophisticated cosmopolitan town, tucked into a picturesque bay on the shores of Lake Wakatipu beneath majestic mountains. There's a permanent buzz in downtown Queenstown, where you'll find fantastic restaurants, a lively bar scene and excellent shopping. 

Fergburger is a Queenstown 'Must Do'! Operating since 2001, it has been a favourite among locals and visitors alike. Try the classic Ferg with Cheese, Tropical Swine, the Chief Wiggam or the Cockadoodle Oink… you can't go wrong!

You're spoilt for choice when dining out in Queenstown, with a wide selection of restaurants. Queenstown restaurants offer a range of cuisine, from contemporary New Zealand fare, using the freshest local produce, to delicious ethnic food, quick bites for those on the go, and vegetarian and vegan-friendly menu items with a focus on flavour.

Start your evening with a scenic drive to the internationally renowned Amisfield Bistro for your stunning wine tasting and entree overlooking the vines. Next, drive through Arrowtown's historic gold rush town and experience a delicious main paired with a perfect wine to match at Aosta. Wrap up your night with a decadent dessert in the heart of Queenstown at the legendary Eichardt's Hotel and enjoy an after-dinner digestif by a roaring log fire.

 

Accommodation: Queenstown

Day 14: Queenstown Departure

Your private chauffeur will take you to your departing flight at Queenstown airport.

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