14-Day Food Itinerary for New Zealand
This New Zealand food itinerary for two weeks is for the food-lover who wants to explore both the North Island and South Island. However, we strongly recommend only travelling around one of the islands to avoid a pretty intense road trip. If your response to that is: “Bring on both islands!” then let’s get into it! (But seriously, also consider the North Island Foodie Itinerary: 2 Weeks and the South Island Foodie Itinerary: 2 Weeks).
Start planning an eventful tour of New Zealand with culinary experiences in mind using this New Zealand food itinerary for 14 days. Oh, and don’t forget to bookmark The Food Guide to New Zealand – you’re definitely going to need that.
New Zealand Food Itinerary for 14 Days: Overview
- Day 1 – Auckland Airport to Auckland
- Day 2 – Explore Auckland
- Day 3 – Auckland to Rotorua
- Day 4 – Explore Rotorua
- Day 5 – Rotorua to Napier
- Day 6 – Explore Napier
- Day 7 – Napier to Wellington
- Day 8 – Wellington to Christchurch
- Day 9 – Christchurch to Oamaru
- Day 10 – Explore Oamaru
- Day 11 – Oamaru to Dunedin
- Day 12 – Dunedin to Alexandra
- Day 13 – Alexandra to Queenstown
- Day 14 – Queenstown to Queenstown Airport.
How to Get Around New Zealand in 2 Weeks
This 14-day foodie road trip around New Zealand follows a self-drive itinerary. However, there are other transport methods that you’ll need to use to complete this itinerary. Plus, don’t miss the last point for an alternative way to get around if you don’t want to drive.
Rental Car or Campervan
Because we recommend hotels, motels and B&Bs with food included in their hospitality, you’ll probably want to use a car rather than a campervan for this itinerary. Use a rental company that has depots in Auckland and Wellington and then Christchurch and Queenstown to match the itinerary. Get started on your research with Travel By Car: How to Plan a Road Trip in New Zealand.
For travelling between Wellington on the North Island and Christchurch on the South Island, take a domestic flight. Get tips on flying in New Zealand in the guide to Domestic Flights in New Zealand and The Travellers’ Guide to New Zealand Airports.
If you would rather not drive yourself around New Zealand, escorted bus tours provide an easy alternative. The downside is that these guided tours won’t focus as much on foodie experiences as this itinerary does. Check out a range of fully-guided tours on The Best 10-12-Day Tours of New Zealand.
Check out more transport options for this New Zealand food itinerary for two weeks using What is the Best Way to Get Around New Zealand?
Day 1 – Auckland Airport to Auckland
Travel time: 25-40 minutes (depending on traffic)
Welcome to New Zealand and the beginning of your two-week foodie road trip! Your first stay will be in Auckland, which you can get to after picking up your rental car or by taking one of the other airport transfer options. The latter may help you save money on your car rental daily rate if you wait to pick up your vehicle on Day 3.
You have plenty of time to explore Auckland tomorrow. For now, try the fantastic coffee scene of the CBD (we recommend The Shelf on High Street) or the fine seafood dining of Harbourside. See more recommendations in The Food Guide to Auckland. Below, check out the hotels with the best restaurants for foodie-appropriate places to stay.
Accommodations in Auckland with the Best Restaurants
- The Grand by SkyCity
- JW Marriott Auckland
- Cordis, Auckland
- Mövenpick Hotel Auckland
- Grand Millennium Auckland
Find out more about each accommodation on our list of the 25 Best Hotels in Auckland.
Day 2 – Explore Auckland
Either stay in the city or hop on a ferry to Waiheke Island to get your foodie fix in Auckland. Join a small-group wine tour of Waiheke Island with Ananda Tours (find out more about tours, read reviews and book your experience on Klook and Viator). Alternatively, stick to the city centre and do a tour specially designed for food enthusiasts with The Big Foody. Get inspired with more activities using the list below.
Food Experiences in Auckland
- Tour Waiheke Islands’ wineries with Ananda Tours (more info on Klook and Viator)
- Join The Big Foody for a tour of the city centre
- Treat yourself to fine dining following recommendations in the 10 Best Fine Dining Restaurants in Auckland
- Try out Auckland’s street eats
- Experience the bar scene on a cocktail tour with Unique Tours.
See our8 Best Foodie Experiences in Auckland for more information on each activity.
Day 3 – Auckland to Rotorua
Travel time: 2 h 45 mins
Pick up your rental vehicle in Auckland city centre, if you haven’t already, and start exploring the real New Zealand.
On your way down to Rotorua, make a pit stop in Hamilton for a tour of New Zealand’s only tea plantation at Zealong Tea Estate. Alternatively, join Nature & Nosh for a hiking food tour. Find out more about these experiences in The Food Guide to Hamilton.
Your final destination today is New Zealand’s geothermal and Maori hotspot, Rotorua. A hangi buffet experience is a must-try – a Polynesian style of cooking where food is slow-cooked in an underground oven. Both Te Pa Tu (formerly Tamaki Maori Village – more info on Viator and Klook) and Mitai Maori Village serve hangi buffets in their evening tours, also including cultural performances and an insight into their traditions and customs.
Accommodations in Rotorua with the Best Restaurants
- Regent of Rotorua
- Prince’s Gate Hotel
- Wai Ora Lakeside Spa Resort
- Sudima Hotel Lake Rotorua
- Pullman Rotorua
Check out the 15 Best Hotels in Rotorua for more information on our top picks.
Day 4 – Explore Rotorua
If you haven’t tried Maori food yet, head to Whakawerawera Living Maori Village to see how they cook food using the village’s geothermal vents. Otherwise, you might be interested in diving into New Zealand’s farming industry at Agrodome. Check out more experiences listed below, as well as dining recommendations in The Food Guide to Rotorua.
Food Experiences in Rotorua
- Try a Maori hangi at Te Pa Tu (more info on Viator and Klook) or Mitai Maori Village
- Visit Rotorua’s local winery and craft beer pub
- Learn about New Zealand farming on the Agrodome
- Save the date for the Kuirau Park Saturday Market and Rotorua Night Market
- Join a blueberry orchard and winery tour.
For elaboration on each activity, see the 9 Foodie Experiences in Rotorua.
Day 5 – Rotorua to Napier
Travel time: 2 h 40 mins
Today, you head toward the North Island’s productive east coast, but not without stopping in Taupo. Taupo not only sits on New Zealand’s largest lake but it has a few of the country’s foodie hidden gems. Be sure to pop into the Huka Honey Hive to try an array of bush honey, honey meads and, of course, New Zealand’s famous manuka honey. Fish for your own dinner on Lake Taupo, which is the only way you can get rainbow trout to try commercially in New Zealand.
Then, it’s onto New Zealand’s original wine region, Hawke’s Bay. It’s not just all about the wine though, as the region hosts one of the oldest farmers’ markets in New Zealand, while attractions surrounding manuka honey and chocolate are also on the menu.
Speaking of the menu, take your pick of restaurants in Napier like fresh seafood from Hunger Monger and an eclectic mix of flavours at the Indonesian-Dutch fusion restaurant of Restaurant Indonesia. As you can probably guess by now, more information and recommendations can be found in our Food Guide to Napier.
Accommodations in Napier with the Best Restaurants
For more information on our top picks, check out the 20 Best Hotels & Places to Stay in Napier.
Day 6 – Explore Napier
Let’s waste no time diving into the winery experiences of Hawke’s Bay. Tours like Prinsy’s Tours, Vines and Views Tours and many others will handle the driving and the cellar door tasting fees while you handle all the tastings.
If you’re lucky enough to be around on a weekend, don’t miss the Napier Urban Farmers’ Market or the Hawke’s Bay Farmers’ Market. Otherwise, delve into the world of honey-making at the Arataki Honey Visitor Centre or join a chocolate factory tour at Silky Oaks Chocolates.
Food Experiences in Napier
- Do a driven wine tour…
- … Or a self-guided cycling tour of the wineries with Napier City Bike Hire & Tours
- Check out the Hawke’s Bay Farmers’ Market
- Visit the Arataki Honey Visitor Centre
- Tour the chocolate factory of Silky Oaks Chocolates.
For more information on each experience and more, check out the 10 Foodie Experiences in Napier.
Day 7 – Napier to Wellington
Travel time: 4 h 10 mins
It might be a long drive today but there are plenty of reasons to break up the journey and liven up those tastebuds. You’ll first travel through the rural heart of Hawke’s Bay where you could stop by Oruawharo Homestead for one of its high tea days.
After passing through the dramatic scenery of the Manawatu Gorge and perhaps walking off your high tea on the Tawa Loop Walk, you’ll have more cool cafes to experience in Palmerston North. Or, get more from the cafe experience by taking the Arrosta Coffee roastery tour. Check out more food-related experiences in The Food Guide to Palmerston North.
Finally, you’ll reach the capital. Wellington has an eclectic mix of eateries to suit a range of tastes. If you want something classically Kiwi, pick up a New Zealand-style savoury pie from the likes of Caffe L’affare and Midnight Espresso. Iconic fish & chips can be found at the Wellington Seamarket on Cuba Street and The Chippery on Majoribanks Street, while a more fancy twist of the sea fare can be found at Ortega Fish Shack and Shed 5. Learn more about these eateries and more in The Food Guide to Wellington.
If you have time today or tomorrow, here are some more foodie activities you could be treating your palette to.
Food Experiences in Wellington
- Check out the local craft beer breweries
- Take a tour of the Wairarapa wine region with Zozo Travel
- Treat yourself to the Wellington Chocolate Factory tour
- Try out the local street eats
- Join Food and Spice Odyssey for a culinary tour of the city.
For more details on each activity, see our 9 Foodie Experiences in Wellington.
Accommodations in Wellington with the Best Restaurants, Meals & Breakfasts
For more information about each activity, see the 25 Best Hotels in Wellington.
Day 8 – Wellington to Christchurch
Travel time: 20 minutes drive then 1 h 5 mins flight then 20 minutes drive
It’s time to take a quick flight to Christchurch to continue our culinary journey on the South Island. Return your rental vehicle at the Wellington depot then catch your flight to Christchurch Airport where you can pick up a new rental car.
From Christchurch, you have the opportunity to take a winery-hopping journey of the Waipara Valley. Either tour the wineries yourself using the 10 Wonderful Wineries in the Waipara Valley or join a guided tour with Cheeky Wine Tours. Additionally, a city sightseeing dinner on the Christchurch Tramway Restaurant is another fun way to treat the tastebuds.
Food Experiences in Christchurch
- Take a tour of the Waipara wine region
- Experience Christchurch’s iconic farmers’ markets
- Do a cultural food tour with Amiki Tours
- Enjoy fine dining while touring in the Christchurch tram
- Taste and tour The Spirits Workshop Distillery.
For more details on each experience, see the 9 Best Foodie Experiences in Christchurch.
Accommodations in Christchurch with the Best Restaurants
Find out more about our top picks in the 20 Best Hotels in Christchurch.
Day 9 – Christchurch to Oamaru
Travel time: 3 h 10 mins
Once you reach Oamaru, you are spoiled for choice with foodie experiences between a cheese factory tour, artisan goodies in the Victorian Precinct, a confectionary factory and, yes, another wine region!
We’ll go over the food tours and experiences tomorrow. Until then, our dining recommendations include Cucina for its artful plates of Italian and South American cuisine and the Riverstone Kitchen which grows its own produce on-site. See The Food Guide to Oamaru for more recommendations.
Accommodation in Oamaru with the Best Restaurants, Meals & Breakfasts
- Brydone Hotel Oamaru
- Pen-y-bryn Lodge
- Oasis on Orwell Bed and Breakfast
- Northstar Motel
- Heritage Court Motor Lodge
See the 20 Best Hotels & Places to Stay in Oamaru for more information on our top picks.
Day 10 – Explore Oamaru
Now, where were we on the cheese? Oh yes, visit Whitestone Cheese, which offers comprehensive tours of its cheese factory including cheese tastings.
Because cheese goes well with wine, you could next head up the Waitaki Valley to pop into its boutique wineries. But if you’d rather stay in town, spend some time browsing the Victorian Precinct. Not only does it hide two breweries with bars, but you can also find homemade artisan products at the Riverstone Larder and European-style Harbour Street Bakery. Plus, with its magnificent white limestone architecture, the Victorian Precinct looks good doing it.
Food Experiences in Oamaru
- Tour the Whitestone Cheese factory
- Try some craft beer in the Victorian Precinct…
- … And pick up a pie, ice cream and artisan goods in the Victorian Precinct
- Venture to the Waitaki Valley wine region
- Get some naughty road trip snacks from Rainbow Confectionery.
For more details on each experience, take a look at the 7 Best Foodie Experiences in Oamaru.
Day 11 – Oamaru to Dunedin
Travel time: 1 h 35 mins
Head south this morning to the city of Dunedin where you’ll want to spend your time today doing some pretty fun foodie stuff. For instance, explore New Zealand’s oldest operational brewery on the Speight’s Brewery Tour. You can also do a chocolate factory tour at OCHO Chocolate Factory or treat yourself to high tea at Dunedin’s castle.
Tonight, book a table at Moiety for its fine dining plates of New Zealand fare in a casual setting. You might also like Bracken which gets you into the Scottish heritage spirit of Dunedin along with farm-to-table dining. Find out more in The Food Guide to Dunedin.
Food Experiences in Dunedin
- Tour the Speight’s Brewery with beer tastings and a two-course meal
- Join a chocolate factory tour at OCHO
- Drink real cow’s milk at Holy Cow
- Indulge in high tea at Larnach Castle
- Browse the Otago Farmers’ Market.
Head to our 8 Best Foodie Experiences in Dunedin for more information on each activity.
Accommodations in Dunedin with the Best Restaurants
See the 20 Best Hotels in Dunedin for more details on each accommodation.
Day 12 – Dunedin to Alexandra
Travel time: 2 h 20 mins
Today’s pitstops include Milton and Lawrence on the way to Alexandra, the latter being a popular stop on the Clutha Gold Trail for its quaint cafes. The Gabriels Gully Walk among a historic gold mining site is pretty cool too.
Enjoy the rest of the day in the more off-the-beaten-track food-lovers paradise of Alexandra or the neighbouring town of Clyde. Speaking of Clyde, Olivers is a must-try eatery, or should we say three eateries! We also like Paulina’s Bar‘s pioneering railroad theme combined with Spanish, Italian and Japanese cuisine. You can even stay at a winery overnight – check out our accommodation recommendations below.
Food Experiences in Alexandra and Clyde
- Tour the boutique wineries of Alexandra
- Sample craft beer at the local breweries
- Check out the Alexandra Friday Food and Produce Market
- Enjoy local cuisine at restaurants and cafes.
Check out the 5 Best Foodie Experiences in Alexandra & Clyde for more details on each experience.
Accommodations in Alexandra and Clyde with Restaurants and Vineyards
- Grey Ridge Vineyard Experience
- Hawkdun Rise Vineyard & Accommodation
- Olivers Central Otago Lodge & Stables
- Centennial Court Hotel
- Lavender Drive Bed & Breakfast
For more details on our top picks, check out the 20 Best Hotels & Places to Stay in Alexandra & Clyde.
Day 13 – Alexandra to Queenstown
Travel time: 1 h 10 mins
Your final destination today is Queenstown but not without passing through the Central Otago wine region. Your first port of call is Cromwell, proving its fruit-producing superiority with a giant fruit sculpture. You can stop by a few more wineries here, but we recommend waiting to take a wine tour from Queenstown (more info on Viator and Klook). That way, your designated driver can do more sipping and less spitting.
After passing by the vineyards of the Gibbston Valley, take a quick detour to Arrowtown for its charming historic buildings, sweet shops and ice cream parlours lining the town and Arrow River.
Queenstown is then your final destination on this 14-day food itinerary. Celebrate your amazing journey with a meal at the back alley-eatery of The Bunker. They specialise in game meats and cocktails. Or, let’s be honest, you just want to see what this “Fergburger” hype is about, so call in early to avoid the long queue. Check out The Food Guide to Queenstown for more suggestions.
Accommodation in Queenstown with the Best Restaurants
Find out more about each place to stay in our 21 Best Hotels in Queenstown.
Day 14 – Queenstown to Queenstown Airport
Travel time: 10 minutes
Book your flight out of Queenstown for the evening, because you’re going to want to spend as much time here as possible on your last day. Spend that day touring a wine region, whether it’s by bike with Around The Basin or on a small-group driving tour with Queenstown Wine Trail (more info on Viator and Klook). For something a little different, experience a gourmet Kiwi barbecue on the high country farm at Walter Peak (more info on Viator, Klook and KKday).
Food Experiences in Queenstown
- Do a tour of the Gibbston Valley wineries
- Cruise and indulge in a gourmet barbecue at Walter Peak (more info on Viator, Klook and KKday)
- Hop on a craft brewery tour with Craft Beers New Zealand
- Browse the local farmers’ market
- Try a famous oversized burger.
For more information on each activity, check out the 10 Best Foodie Experiences in Queenstown.
After you’ve ticked off everything from your New Zealand foodie bucket list, it’s time to leave via Queenstown Airport. From there, it’s time to catch your flight, whether it’s connecting to Christchurch, Auckland or Australia and beyond…
One final tip: there are some popular Queenstown brands at the airport should you need to pick up some last-minute souvenirs. Shops include The Remarkable Sweet Shop and Patagonia Chocolates. Yum!
More About a New Zealand Food Itinerary for 2 Weeks / 14 Days
That’s it for our New Zealand food itinerary for two weeks (14 days). If this itinerary didn’t quite suit you, perhaps you’d be more into these alternatives:
- New Zealand in Two Weeks: Road Trip Itinerary
- North Island Foodie Itinerary: Two Weeks
- South Island Foodie Itinerary: Two Weeks
- New Zealand Honeymoon & Romance Itinerary: Two Weeks
- New Zealand Budget & Backpacking Itinerary: Two Weeks
- New Zealand Family Itinerary: Two Weeks
- New Zealand Luxury Itinerary: Two Weeks
- How to Create the Perfect New Zealand Road Trip Itinerary
Finally, get more advice for planning an entire trip to New Zealand surrounding culinary experiences in The Foodie Guide to New Zealand.