New Zealand's top 5 must-try foodie experiences

New Zealand’s top 5 must-try foodie experiences

Much has been said about New Zealand’s natural beauty and picture perfect Hollywood movie backdrops. However, did you know, New Zealand also boasts a thriving food and wine scene that you can experience during your journey?
Agriculture is the country’s largest industry, followed by horticulture, and New Zealand ranks amongst the top 10 milk producers in the world, constituting 3% of the global milk output. This makes it the perfect destination for delicious cheese tastings and a diverse range of farm-to-fork experiences complemented by indulgent local wines. The country’s rich mix of cultures from all over the world and a proud Māori heritage, has a strong influence on its food scene, making New Zealand a gastronome’s haven.  

From a traditional hāngi dinner to a wide range of Scenic Freechoice dining options, Scenic’s handcrafted land journeys through New Zealand will help you explore all its culinary wonders.  

Local produce

Take a foodie tour through New Zealand’s North Island to delight your tastebuds, featuring artisanal cheeses, succulent meats, to garden-fresh veggies and juicy stone fruits. The capital city of New Zealand, Wellington, provides a strong gastronomic centre with many award-winning restaurants. Choose an included Scenic Freechoice dining Capital Tastes food tour and feast your senses at Wellington’s best dining places. Tastings of delicious gelato, locally grown coffee and delicious peanut butter are on offer amongst a host of other exclusive ‘behind the scenes’ experiences. Learn about 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, is blessed with the perfect sunny and dry weather that facilitates 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 in 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 traditions

Much of the traditional Māori cuisine uses native plants, herbs and seafood – 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 the hāngi or earth oven is used for preparing food. The wonderful earthy and hearty flavour, and pungent aroma it lends to the food is unique and unmissable. In certain parts of New Zealand, the community also uses 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 to immerse yourself into the Māori traditions.  


Fertile soils, favourable climate, and ample rainfall and sunlight has meant New Zealand’s islands are dotted 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’re never too 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
Marlborough is the most famous New Zealand wine region and the country’s largest. The Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc has often been described as the best in the world. If you’re a wine lover, ‘Wine Tasting Marlborough Wineries’ Scenic Freechoice in South Island’s Blenheim is highly recommended. Not only will you taste its famous crispy fresh Sauvignon Blanc but also discover its history from the experts, while taking in the breathtaking landscape.  

For a wonderful boutique winery experience with spectacular views, choose Gondola Ride & Volcanic Hills Winery Scenic Freechoice activity. 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 on your New Zealand agenda. Auckland is especially well-known for its many 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. This is where you get 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


New Zealand is a seafood lover’s paradise. 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 delectable 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.