4 Cities For Foodies In New Zealand

New Zealand is not a country that’s necessarily known for its cuisine, in part because there’s so much else to like about it. More than anything else, it’s known for its sensational beauty, featuring striking coastline and otherworldly landscapes that have only been made all the more alluring by their association with the fictional land of “Middle Earth” from the film adaptations of JRR Tolkien’s “Lord Of The Rings” fantasy. Given the natural beauty of the country, however, and all of the interesting culture to be found there, it can also be a surprisingly appealing destination for foodies. Like most countries, really, if you know where to go, you’re in for some excellent meals as you explore New Zealand.

We’re highlighting four cities to explore if you’re ever headed to this beautiful country and concerned with the food options.

4 Cities For Foodies In New Zealand
One of what we might call the three or four “main” cities of New Zealand, or at least the biggest – and the capital, in fact – Wellington is a place you may well wind up seeing in the course of your travels anyway. And it happens to be by some estimations the very best place on the multi-island nation for food. National Geographic, in fact, included Wellington on a list of just six locations in the entire world it dubbed as being an “unexpected” destination for a food lover. As part of that listing, Nat Geo highlighted the neighbourhood around Cuba Street as having some of the best restaurants in town, and also noted various places for “beach eats” and even some markets for street food and snacks with which you can assemble your own meal. A few restaurants we’d join them in highlighting include Logan Brown, a contemporary restaurant in a converted bank; Olive, a high-end Mediterranean establishment; and Maranui Café, a seaside spot with light, modern fare and fresh seafood.


4 Cities For Foodies In New Zealand

Hamilton is another place you may pass through on your travels fairly naturally, not because it’s a particularly huge city or one packed with attractions, but because of its close proximity to Rotorua, which is a very popular place for tourists. The town is perhaps best known for its gardens celebrating multiple influences from different cultural groups and histories. But don’t sleep on the dining scene here. Palate is one of the most respected restaurants in the country, perched atop the Waikato River and offering fabulous modern cuisine, with menu items including fresh fish and oysters, venison, grilled quail, and all manner of other tasty delights. Chim Choo Ree offers another refined, modern menu, though in a slightly more casual atmosphere (and with a renowned five-course tasting menu option). And you’ll also find delightful gastropubs (such as Foundation Bar Kitchen Lounge) and some of the country’s better Asian-inspired cuisine (at Three Leg Frog).

4 Cities For Foodies In New Zealand
Auckland is the biggest city in New Zealand, and thus shouldn’t be a surprising inclusion here. There are all kinds of incredible restaurants of all shapes and sizes around the city, from authentic Japanese establishments (Masu and Cocoro) to modern fine dining (Cazador or the Depot oyster bar), to wholly unique options like the 10-course dining experience at Pasture. Also not to be forgotten are the Sky Tower and SKYCITY casino facility in town. Though the word “casino” casts a certain light over a place like this, the gaming options don’t always take centre stage, particularly as they become eclipsed by other, better options online. PokieSource gives us some idea that not just in general but specifically in New Zealand, many of the best gaming options from casino facilities are now accessible electronically, rendering the real-life facilities less necessary. As a direct result, however, other aspects of these facilities have been highlighted more, and those include dining options. Orbit 360 Dining in Sky Tower may be the most striking restaurant in town, and The Grill by Sean Connolly is one of the country’s most elegant and impressive steakhouses.

4 Cities For Foodies In New Zealand
Nelson is a somewhat smaller city on New Zealand’s South Island, but one that some visitors pass through en route to some of the country’s vaunted wine regions. Accordingly, it’s built up something of a reputation for culinary delights as well, having featured numerous times on Honey Travel’s list of features that make the South Island a foodie’s dream. In keeping with a theme you may have noticed, there’s no shortage of fresh seafood or oyster bars in Nelson, and both can be among your very best options. However, there are also some more unique eateries to try out in this city. The Kitchen has become trendy among those who gravitate toward whole, natural, healthy ingredients; the place just radiates freshness through simple sandwiches, juices and smoothies, and its own coffee. And there are also some almost inexplicably special establishments such as Hopgoods, known for everything from its brick patio seating to its lamb and filet options, to its sensational dessert menu. Really, there’s a bit of everything in Nelson if you care to look about!

From New Zealand, it’s just a short jump to Norfolk Island and Lord Howe Island, where the sustainable food scene is amazing and not to be missed.


Norfolk Island a hidden culinary delight

Norfolk Island Culinary Experience

8 day culinary delight – 15 to 22 November 2014

Join me on this gourmet journey to one of the loveliest places in the South Pacific. You’ll be spoiled on this culinary journey where you’ll not only sample the island’s best restaurants and tours but enjoy produce bursting with home-grown goodness, good wines and great company. Best of all I hope to inspire you with cooking demonstrations of dishes you can try when you return home.

Almost every fresh food served on the Island is gathered from the Norfolk soil or sea. With the paddock to plate approach to local dining means food tastes just as it should, full of flavour grown in it’s natural seasons and rich with nutrients. This tour will cover the must see destinations and culinary experiences unique to Norfolk Island.

Join me on this gourmet tour of Norfolk Island as we not only experience the food, but the rich history, artisan products and the natural wonders of this unspoiled Island.

This trip is organised by my friends at Go See Touring who will look after your booking and any travel arrangements from anywhere in Australia to join the tour departing Brisbane on 15 November 2014.

To find out more click here or book your place on this tour with Go See Touring.


Discover the South Pacific

Departing 13 December 2013 – Brisbane to New Zealand

Sailing from Brisbane, Orion will cruise some of the most beautiful seascapes in the world. On this itinerary, we’ll not only sample the sights of the South Pacific but the tastes as well with a sensational onboard program of fine food and wine created by our guest chef, wine and cheese makers. As we cruise to the colonial attractions of Norfolk Island and on through New Zealand’s magnificent Bay of Islands Orion’s guests will enjoy stunning signature dishes featuring the best South Pacific produce. Tasman Discoverer is a delight for those who enjoy fine food and wine as well as photographers and walkers all sharing a sense of adventure. I will be a Guest Lecturer along side Cheese Makers – Markus & Sara Bucher, Maleny Cheese; Wine Maker – Tony Bish, Sacred Hill Wines.

The Tour includes

  • 7 night cruise aboard “Orion” in selected accommodation
  • Including all meals, wine package, wine and food workshops with tastings and demonstrations – departing Brisbane – 13th December 2013
  • 1 night accommodation in Auckland with breakfast
  • Lunch and tastings at Artisan Wines, Auckland, vineyard and food market
  • Coach transfers in Auckland – ship, hotel, vineyard, airport
  • Economy flight from Auckland to Brisbane with Emirates on 21 Dec13
  • Port charges, air taxes
  • Terms & conditions apply

To join me or to find out more on this 7 day Cruise or to find out more visit The Cruise Centre or email The Cruise Centre click here.


A tropical gastronomic affair by rail

Join me for a unique experience offering a gastronomic affair in Queenslander Class onboard The Sunlander. Discover the breathtaking scenery and crystal blue waters of the Whitsundays while you indulge your senses.

Whitsunday Gourmet MasterClass
4 days from only $1795* per adult
On this gastronomic getaway to the Whitsundays you’ll enjoy exquisite cuisine, crisp Queensland wines, fascinating touring and picturesque surroundings. *Conditions apply. Departs 14 November 2013 (ex Brisbane)



Inclusions & highlights

  • Air-conditioned coach touring from Brisbane to Gympie via the food and wine trails of the Sunshine Coast
  • Hinterland with Stone Streets Coaches
  • One-way Queenslander Class Twin Sleeper from Gympie North to Proserpine onboard The Sunlander
  • One-way Economy Seat from Hamilton Island to Brisbane with Virgin Australia
  • Return island ferry transfers with Cruise Whitsundays
  • 2 nights in a Garden Balcony Room at Daydream Island Resort and Spa
  • Tour Whitsunday Gold Coffee Plantation with Whitsunday Transit
  • Half day Whitsunday Islands and Whitehaven Beach Cruise tour with Cruise Whitsundays
  • Onboard degustation dinner prepared by Dominique Rizzo
  • MasterClass interactive cooking demonstration and dinner at Daydream Island Resort and Spa accompanied by matching Symphony Hill Wines
  • Selected meals included Hosted by celebrity chef Dominique Rizzo

Book now Call 1300 131 722 Visit your nearest Queensland Rail Travel centre Conditions *

Prices are per person twin share, subject to availability at time of booking. Celebrity host is subject to change. Minimum numbers are required for this package to operate. Valid for travel for set departure only. Deposit of $165 per person is required within 7 days of booking confirmation. Final payment is required 45 days prior to travel. Queensland Rail Travel’s standard booking terms and conditions apply and can be viewed at queenslandrail.com.au/bookingconditions.