New Zealand's top 5 must-try foodie experiences

New Zealand’s top 5 must-try foodie experiences

We've already gone into depth about New Zealand’s stunning scenery that provided the inspiration for Hollywood movie backdrops. However, New Zealand also boasts a hugely underrated food and wine scene that you can experience during your journey.
The country’s largest industry is Agriculture, followed by horticulture, and New Zealand now ranks amongst the top 10 milk producers in the world, constituting a staggering 3% of the global milk output. Therefore, where better to visit for delicious cheese tasting? This is complemented by a truly diverse range of farm-to-fork experiences and rounded off with indulgent local wines. The country’s rich cultural mix and a proud Māori heritage, has a strong influence on its food scene, ensuring New Zealand is a must-visit for any discerning gastronome.

Scenic’s handcrafted land journeys through New Zealand will help you uncover all its culinary delights, from a traditional hāngi dinner to an array of Scenic Freechoice dining options.  

Local produce

A foodie tour of New Zealand’s North Island is guaranteed to delight your tastebuds, featuring artisanal cheeses, mouth-watering meats, to garden-fresh veggies, and juicy stone fruits. New Zealand's capital, Wellington, is considered by many to be the country's gastronomic heartbeat with many award-winning restaurants. An included Scenic Freechoice dining Capital Tastes food tour will allow you to feast your senses at Wellington’s best dining places. Don't miss out on tastings of delicious gelato, locally-sourced coffee and delicious peanut butter amongst a host of other exclusive ‘behind the scenes’ experiences. Discover the city’s proud history, culture and architecture as you make your way across Wellington’s culinary wonders.  
New Zealand’s third-largest island, Waiheke, combines the perfect sunny and dry weather that assists the production of excellent grapes and olives. Take the Taste of Waiheke Island Scenic Freechoice tour, and delight in a day of wine, olives and preserves tasting. You’re sure to pick a few bottles of freshly squeezed olive oils and home-grown chutneys to take back with you.  

Bay of Islands on New Zealand’s North Island is another foodie destination to indulge your taste buds and is located a short drive away from New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland. From delicious handmade chocolates to the famous Manuka honey, get a taste of all things New Zealand during a Scenic Freechoice ‘Taste the Bay’ foodie tour.  
Taste of Waiheke, New Zealand
Bay of Islands, New Zealand

Māori tradition

Native plants, herbs and seafood play a huge role in much of the traditional Māori cuisine – a combination of kai whenua (food from the land) and kai moana (food from the sea). The Māori believe the earth is the giver of all life, and so preparing food is done in the hāngi or earth oven. The wonderful earthy and hearty flavour, and unique aroma it lends to the food is unmistakable. In certain parts of New Zealand, the community takes advantage of geothermal energy to cook their food. From root vegetables to seafood, Māori cuisine is diverse and delicious. During the 16-day Royal New Zealand itinerary, you will enjoy an authentic and delectable hāngi dinner as you immerse yourself into the Māori traditions.  

World-class wine

Productive soils, favourable climate, and plentiful rainfall and sunlight has meant New Zealand’s islands are sprinkled with wineries from Northland, New Zealand’s northernmost region, to Central Otago, the world’s southernmost wine growing region. No matter where you travel to, you’ll never be far from delicious world-class wines. Depending on the region you visit, you can expect to find excellent varieties of Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Merlot and Riesling.  

Meet the Makers at a special Scenic Enrich wine tasting and dinner at Mission Estate Winery. Nestled in the Taradale hills on the outskirts of Napier, Mission Estate was established by French missionaries in 1851. The vines were planted to produce both sacramental and table wine and New Zealand’s first winery was thus born. The elegantly restored historic seminary building provides a stunning location for the award-winning Mission Restaurant. 
Mission Estate, New Zealand
New Zealand largest and most famous wine region is undoubtedly, Marlbourough. The Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc has been labelled as the best in the world. If you’re a wine lover, ‘Wine Tasting Marlborough Wineries’ Scenic Freechoice in South Island’s Blenheim is a must. Not only will you taste its famous crispy fresh Sauvignon Blanc but also learn its history from the experts, while taking in the spectacular landscape.  

Choose Gondola Ride & Volcanic Hills Winery Scenic Freechoice activity, for a wonderful boutique winery experience with spectacular views. You will be taken on a gondola up Mt Ngongotaha, to the Volcanic Hills tasting room, based at the top of Skyline Rotorua. Enjoy the stunning views of Rotorua town and lake as you sample some of New Zealand’s finest whites and reds, from oak-aged Chardonnay to a summery Rosé.  

Local Breweries

While New Zealand is renowned for its wines, the locals love their beer too, making up to 63% of the country’s alcohol sales. So strong is the kiwi love for beer, they’ve even written songs about it. Naturally, tasting a locally brewed cold one should feature high on your New Zealand to-do list. Auckland is packed with microbreweries and a tour of Waiheke Island will introduce you to their intricate beer-making processes. If you would like a taste of one of New Zealand’s favourite beers, make your way to Dunedin in South Island and take a tour of Speight’s Brewery, an included Scenic Freechoice activity. Here, you will enhoy a freshly brewed taste of New Zealand’s best-selling beers, the Gold Medal Ale. Learn about the origins of the famous beverage and enjoy an included hearty meal at the Speight’s Ale House.  
Speights Brewery, New Zealand


You would be hard pushed to find many places with a greater array of seafood than New Zealand. The country offers over 120 varieties of seafood with a strong focus on sustainable sourcing. Over half of the world’s king salmon production comes from New Zealand. Some of the ‘must try’ local seafoods include NZ Greenshell Mussels, Mt. Cook Salmon, Pāua and Bluff Oysters. There’s no better way to enjoy seafood than on a cruise, sailing through the spectacular Marlborough Sounds of the South Island on a Seafood Odyssea Cruise. Enjoy a mouth-watering seafood feast, perfectly paired with Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. You will also visit and learn about the local king salmon and green-lipped mussel farms, and witness pods of friendly dolphins alongside your boat. What’s more, it’s all included in your itinerary as a Scenic Freechoice activity.  
Hungry for more? Order your free brochure and start planning you New Zealand journey today.