Palmerston North Food Tours and Experiences
One of the main hubs of the lower North Island, Palmerston North not only offers an eclectic array of restaurants and eateries, but it’s a place to get a comprehensive New Zealand food experience. There are food tours and activities in Palmerston North covering the main Kiwi culinary favourites: craft beer, wine, coffee and honey, as well as tours to learn more about New Zealand’s dairy industry. Get a hands on food experience in what locals affectionately call “Palmy” by checking out these things to do in Palmerston North for foodies.
For more things to do in Palmerston North for foodies and advice for planning your trip, check out The Foodie Guide to Palmerston North. And find a place to stay in the 10 Best Accommodation in Palmerston North for Foodies.
1. Experience the Vibrant Farmers’ Markets
Being surrounded by all kinds of farms and food producers, Palmerston North’s farmers’ markets are something special. Pick up locally-grown fresh produce, bread, condiments and more at weekly markets such as the Saturday morning Albert Street Farmers’ Market, the Sunday morning Highbury Flea Market and the Palmy Sunday Market. One of the highlights of the area, however, is the Feilding Farmers’ Market in a nearby town where quality artisan products like local wines, cheeses, meats and more are sold. Check this last one out every Friday morning.
Location: Albert Street Farmers’ Market – Albert Sports Bar Car Park, Albert Street. Highbury Flea Market – Highbury Shopping Centre Carpark, Highbury Avenue. Palmy Sunday Market – 150 Rangitīkei Street. Feilding Farmers’ Market – Manchester Street, Feiling, approximately 19km (12 miles) from Palmerston North city centre.
2. Take a Tour of a Coffee Roastery
Delve into New Zealand’s coffee culture with one of the coffee tours and experiences at Arrosta Coffee. Located in the heart of Palmerston North, Arrosta Coffee is a coffee roaster and supplier with their very own cafe and hands-on workshops. Take their one-hour Roastery Tour to learn about the process from green bean to a cup of everyone’s favourite morning kick. Arrosta also offer a Coffee Education & Cupping Workshop, which is something similar to a wine tasting experience but with coffee! Alternatively, learn how to get the best from your home coffee machine in the Barista Workshop.
Location: 42 Victoria Avenue, Palmerston North city centre.
3. Browse Honey Products and Taste Honey Ice Cream at Waireka Honey
See just how far this breakfast spread can go at the Waireka Honey Centre, located on the drive between Palmerston North and Hikarangi Beach. From honey skin to beeswax products to pots of New Zealand’s famous manuka honey, Waireka Honey sells a huge range of bee-related goods. A highlight, however, is their homemade honey ice cream. Grab a cone on your way back from the beach! We also list this activity in the 10 Things to Do in Palmerston North with Kids.
Location: Corner State Highway 1 and Rongotea Road, approximately 28km (17 miles) from Palmerston North city centre.
4. Take a Tour of the Tui Brewery
Head east of Palmerston North and you’ll find the brewery of one of New Zealand’s most popular beer brands. Tui Brewery is located in the small town of Mangatainoka, where you’ll find a free museum, the Tui HQ Kitchen for beer and food matching with Kiwi crowd-pleasers, as well as their souvenir shop. You can also book a 40-minute tour of the brewery to learn about their 125 years of brewing history and check out their state-of-the-art brewing facility. Of course, the tour concludes with tastings at the bar. See how the tour compares with the 10 Fantastic New Zealand Beer Tours.
Location: State Highway 2, Mangatainoka, approximately 41km (25 miles) from Palmerston North city centre.
5. Do a Wine Tour with Pathfinder Tours
If you prefer wine to beer, then no worries. Palmerston North is just north of a premium wine region. Get there with Pathfinder Tours, who offer private wine tours of the nearby Martinborough and Wairarapa wine region. Departing from the Palmerston North i-SITE, the eight-to-nine-hour experience has you sipping varietals in up to five different vineyards and includes a winery lunch, as well as tea/coffee and all wine tasting fees.
Location: Palmerston North i-SITE, The Square, Palmerston North city centre.
6. Learn About All Things Dairy at the Robotic Dairy Farm Tours
While wine, beer, coffee and honey tends to take all the limelight when it comes to foodie experiences in New Zealand, it’s the dairy industry which is the largest food industry of them all! Robotic Dairy Farm Tours can teach you all about it on their state-on-the-art dairy farm where cows are milked voluntarily using Lely Astronaut A4 milking robots. On their guided farm tour, see the robots in action and learn how they work. Meet the cows, check out vintage farming machinery in the mini-museum and try some flavoured milk made by the family farm’s dairy cooperative.
Location: Bunnythorpe, approximately 12km (7 miles) from Palmerston North city centre.
7. Treat Your Tastebuds at Palmerston North’s Restaurants
Palmerston North offers some of the most diverse dining experiences in New Zealand, from food truck feasts to fine dining establishments. For our top recommendations, however, stay in theme with Palmerston North’s surrounding farms at The Fat Farmer which provides locally-sourced New Zealand cuisine in a vintage-style setting. Experience Palmerston North’s cafe scene at Cyclista Espresso Bar & Roastery with decor inspired by many Kiwis’ passion for cycling to go along with your morning fix. For a healthy dining option for yourself and the local community, check out Wholegrain Organics, a cafe that also provides education food programs for Palmerston North’s youth. Finally, an eclectic range of hearty cuisine and in-house craft beer can be experienced at Brew Union. Check out honourable mentions and links to more recommendations in The Foodie Guide to Palmerston North.
Location: The Fat Farmer – 360 Albert Street. Cyclista Espresso Bar & Roastery – 54 George Street. Wholegrain Organics – 134 The Square. Brew Union – 41 Broadway and 78 King Street.