Aside from having wonderful fresh fish and seafood, New Zealand boasts fresh produce, innovative cuisine and fabulous wines.


Because of its location latitude, you can find a bit of all the world’s wine regions here. In the north conditions are sub-tropical and therefore merlot does well. In the deep south, pinot noir thrives as temperatures can range from almost freezing to summer warmth in a single day.

There are eight major wine regions: Auckland area wineries, Gisbourne, Hawkes Bay and the Wairarapa region on the North Island.

winery 100 meters

In the Auckland area is a small region that is a great place to go sample some wine and have a great lunch is Waiheke Island just a 30 minute ferry ride away from the city. It has become one of New Zealand’s premier wine growing areas. Long a haven for artists, beachcombers and alternative lifestylers, the dry climate is well suited to production of syrah, cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, merlot and pinot gris. Many of the wineries have excellent restaurants.

On the South Island you will find wineries around Nelson and in the Central Otago and Canterbury regions.

Perhaps the most notable wine region is Marlborough on the South Island. It is New Zealand’s largest wine growing region. It has an enviable international reputation for producing the best Sauvignon Blanc in the world. It also makes very good Chardonnay and Riesling and is fast developing a reputation for high quality Pinot Noir.

Pinot Noir grapes thrive in the Canterbury and Central Otago regions. New Zealand was names one of the top five ‘New World’ regions for growing premium Pinot Noir.

New Zealand foods:

New Zealand is noted for its premium lamb, prized for its flavor and tenderness.

There is also farm raised venison (called Cervena) It is high in iron and low in fat. So it is very heart healthy.

Green Lipped mussels are very high in Omega 3, making them a very healthy meal as well. The Marlborough Sound area’s deep, clean and cool waters provide an ideal environment for raising mussels. There are over 500 mussel farms in the Sounds. Marlborough is also an exporter of King salmon, pacific oysters, abalone, and fresh water crayfish.

Kumara is a root vegetable and is a variety of sweet potato. Slightly sweeter than a standard white potato, it can be used in any recipe that calls for potato.

Buttercup Pumpkin is the name of a popular winter squash. It has a similar taste to our Butternut squash. You will find Pumpkin soup on many menus in the restaurants.

New Zealanders love their sweets and the national dessert is called Pavlova named for the famous ballerina Anna Pavlova. There is a bit of a spat going on between Australia and New Zealand as to who actually invented Pavlova. Regardless of whose idea it was, it is a lovely dessert made of meringue, whipped cream and fruit. Not surprising, the most popular fruit used in Pavolva is the Kiwi Fruit (Zespri).

The fruit has a sweet taste, similar to a mixture of banana, pineapple and strawberry. Nutrition-wise, kiwi fruits contain about as much potassium as bananas, and also contain 1.5 times the daily requirement for Vitamin C. It is also rich in Vitamins A and E.