New Zealand Culinary Adventure

Auckland, Bay of Islands & Northland, Christchurch, Kaikoura & Canterbury District, Coromandel & Waikato, Hawkes Bay

Duration: 13 nights

Price: From $11,000 per person in low season based on two adults travelling together and including accommodation, some meals, car hire, helicopter transportation, experiences as stated and taxes

Make the most of New Zealand’s world-renowned food and drink scene on this delicious self-drive holiday. Enjoy local delicacies such as the crayfish in Kaikoura, and savour exquisite dishes made with seasonal fruit and vegetables grown in your hotel’s own gardens (no food miles here), with fine regional vintages to wash it down. Dine in some of the country’s top restaurants and visit the lovely vineyards in the premier wine regions of Hawke’s Bay and Marlborough.

Along the way, discover the many other beauties of New Zealand, enjoying some equally memorable landscapes, beaches and coves (which you can make the most of with activities from hiking and fishing to leisurely cruises and scenic helicopter flights), and staying in beautiful and unique places in stunning locations, from boutique island retreats to sprawling farms and luxury treehouses.
Perfect forGourmands and wine lovers – those who appreciate food and wine as well as stunning landscapes and unique accommodation, and those who are after the flexibility of a self-drive adventure.
In the knowDining at the renowned French Café while you’re in Auckland. It is regularly considered one of the world’s top ten restaurants, and you certainly won’t be disappointed.

You could also consider extending your trip with a stay at Helena Bay Lodge on the north-east coast of the North Island, a 45-minute helicopter flight from Auckland. This beautiful seafront lodge offers delicious Mediterranean-inspired menus of ‘estate-to-plate’ cuisine, created with seasonal produce grown on the estate.

Best for

  • Food & Wine
  • Couples
  • Cultural Immersion
  • Educational

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Itinerary details



Your foodie adventure begins in Auckland, where you will spend two nights on the pretty island of Waiheke – arrive in style on a ten-minute helicopter flight from the airport, with beautiful views over the islands of the Hauraki Gulf. Waiheke, as well as being known for its beautiful beaches and thriving arts scene, also has a reputation for its food and wine.

Your boutique hotel, The Boatshed, overlooks Onerea Bay. It has just five suites, guaranteeing privacy and exclusivity, and is just a short stroll from the beach and the colourful village of Onerea. Enjoy delicious cuisine such as fresh seafood and gourmet meat dishes, made with seasonal produce from the hotel’s organic garden, washed down with handpicked New Zealand wines.

Hop in the hotel’s ‘moke’ buggy to get around the island during your stay – explore the beaches and local galleries, take a picnic lunch to a secluded spot, and visit nearby vineyards to sample the local vintages. There are several vineyards here, many of them close together, so visiting them couldn’t be easier – just ask Jonathan at The Boatshed for his favourite recommendations. Walk it all off with a scenic coastal walk, discovering hidden beaches.
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2 nightsTAUPO

Your next stop is Taupo, framed by its beautiful volcanic lake, which offers numerous opportunities for delicious waterfront picnics and hiking along the shoreline – or venture a little further afield to explore fascinating geothermal landscapes. If you’re after something more blood-pumping, indulge in adrenaline-fuelled activities such as skydiving, whitewater rafting and bungy jumping, or simply relax and take in the views.

The lovely Huka Lodge, a Relais & Chateaux hotel, offers beautiful cuisine, from hearty breakfasts to gourmet five-course dinners showcasing a seasonal, daily-changing menu, with experiences including private dining options for an extra-special occasion. The lodge is just a short walk from the dramatic Huka Falls, which are well worth a visit.
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Drive on to the beautiful Art Deco city of Napier, a showcase of colourful architecture, as well as fantastic cafés and restaurants. The Farm at Cape Kidnappers is in a beautiful rural setting in Hawke’s Bay, about a half-hour drive along the coast from Napier. Set in 6,000 acres, you can enjoy panoramic views of the countryside and the Pacific Ocean from your plush room.

The daily menus here are based on fresh, seasonal specialties and on what’s available in the gardens, which have a wide variety of fruit and vegetables including nearly 40 different types of tomato (take a guided tour to find out more). Everything from breads to cereals to ice creams are made on the farm. The breakfasts feature fresh fruit, exquisite freshly-baked pastries and New Zealand bacon, and you can take a gourmet picnic with you as you head out to explore the area on foot or bike or spend the day on one of the beaches.

Hawke’s Bay is one of New Zealand’s premier wine regions, and is home to over 70 wineries – visit some of them and linger over a delicious lunch, alongside wines, at the vineyards. Find out more about the food of the region on an epicurean tour: meet local producers of cheese, olive oil and fruit, and visit farmers’ markets, where you can browse the tempting stalls and enjoy tastings of regional specialities.

Return to the farm for canapés and a glass of wine before tucking into local seafood, lamb and beef for dinner. Enjoy a secluded dining experience in the library or the wine cellar, where you can also discover more on a wine appreciation course.
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Your next stop is Wellington, New Zealand’s characterful capital, which is jam-packed with inviting bars, cafés and restaurants offering everything from artisan coffee to a restaurant which sells nothing but beautiful desserts (perfect for those with a sweet tooth).

The Museum Art Hotel epitomises Wellington’s unique spirit, and is a quirky, art-filled gem. It sits on the waterfront right opposite the renowned Te Papa museum (a must-visit). The hotel’s Hippopotamus restaurant is a city landmark, and offers comprehensive dining options throughout the day from breakfast to dinner, including a beautiful high tea featuring handcrafted sandwiches and savoury and sweet amuse-bouches.

After exploring Wellington’s buzzing streets and walking along the waterfront, head back to the restaurant to enjoy the ‘Discovery’ dining experience: several exquisite courses with dishes such as New Zealand oysters, salmon sashimi, lamb, beef fillet and stilton soufflé, each one paired with a local wine.
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2 nightsBLENHEIM

It’s on to Blenheim and The Marlborough Lodge, in the heart of the Marlborough wine region. This elegant country estate is set in 16 acres of beautiful and secluded parkland, and has its own vineyard – join the head gardener for a tour. 

As well as the lodge’s vineyard, explore some of the inviting wineries in the area on an exclusive tour, giving you the opportunity to learn more about the region and its wines and (of course) sample some of them. If you fancy heading out on the water, enjoy a scenic cruise on Marlborough Sounds - seafood fans should join the daily seafood cruise, where you have an opportunity to visit a mussel or salmon farm and taste a wide variety of delicious local seafood.

Return to the lodge for canapés in the Demonstration Kitchen and a gourmet three-course evening meal, which showcases the exceptional food and wine on the doorstep.
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3 nightsKAIKOURA

Drive on to pretty Kaikoura, a fantastic spot for whale and dolphin spotting. Your hotel here is rather unique - Hapuku Lodge sits on an olive and deer farm between the Kaikoura mountains and the Pacific Ocean, and as well as lovely rooms and suites, there are deluxe treehouses here, set above a canopy of manuka trees, which come with relaxing whirlpool tubs and beautiful views over the Kaikoura Seaward mountains and the sea.

In Maori, ‘Kaikoura’ comes from ‘kai’- ‘to eat’, and ‘koura’ - crayfish, and this fish is a local speciality and a must while you’re here (and if you fancy catching your own, a local guide will take you to a nearby spot where you can dive for crayfish). This region is also known as ‘kai whare’, or ‘house of food’ – and with good reason. As with many spots in New Zealand, the natural bounties are plentiful, and the lodge makes the most of it – including their own venison, free-range chickens, olive oil from the olive groves, and herbs and vegetables from the gardens, as well as local produce including award-winning cheeses such as a distinctive ash-covered goat’s cheese.

The breakfasts are heartwarming, and you can take a delicious picnic lunch with you for a scenic trek along the Wilderness Walkway. Explore the rugged coastline and beautiful beaches, and try your hand at fishing – if you’re successful, the chef will create a beautiful dish from your catch for your dinner – it doesn’t get much fresher than that...
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