14-Day Foodie Itinerary for New Zealand
This New Zealand foodie 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: Two Weeks / 14 Days and the South Island Foodie Itinerary: Two Weeks / 14 Days).
Start planning an eventful tour of New Zealand with culinary experiences in mind using this New Zealand foodie itinerary for 14 days.
How to Get Around New Zealand in Two 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 with the itinerary. Get started on your research with The Guide to Renting a Car or Campervan in New Zealand.
- Domestic flights – 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.
- Escorted tours – 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.
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, check out Auckland’s dining scene such as the native cuisine of The Maori Kitchen or the fine seafood dining of Harbourside. See more recommendations in The Foodie Guide to Auckland. Below, check out the hotels with the best restaurants for foodie-appropriate places to stay.
The Best Accommodation in Auckland with Restaurants/Meals/Breakfasts
- SkyCity Grand Hotel
- Grand Millennium Auckland
- Stamford Plaza
- Cordis, Auckland
- Grand Mercure Auckland
Find out more about each accommodation in the 10 Best Accommodation in Auckland for Foodies.
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 (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor). Alternatively, stick to the city centre and do a tour specially designed for food-enthusiasts with The Big Foody (on Viator and Tripadvisor). Get inspired with more activities using the list below.
Food Experiences in Auckland
- Tour Waiheke Islands’ wineries (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Join The Big Foody for a tour of the city centre (on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- 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 (on Viator and Tripadvisor)
See our 8 Best Things to Do in Auckland for Foodies for more information on each activity.
Day 3 – Auckland to Rotorua
Travel time: 2h45mins
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 pitstop in Hamilton for a tour of New Zealand’s only tea plantation at Zealong Tea Estate. Alternatively, do a brewery tour with Good George Brewing or join Nature & Nosh for a hiking food tour (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor). Find out more about these experiences in The Foodie Guide to Hamilton.
Your final destination today is New Zealand’s geothermal and Maori hotspot, Rotorua. A hangi buffet experience a must-try – a Polynesian style of cooking where food is slow-cooked in an underground oven. Both Mitai Maori Village (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor) and Tamaki Maori Village (on Viator and Tripadvisor) serve hangi buffets in their evening tours, also including cultural performances and an insight into their traditions and customs.
The Best Accommodation in Rotorua
- Prince’s Gate Hotel
- Rydges Rotorua
- Sudima Hotel Lake Rotorua
- Regent of Rotorua
- Wai Ora Lakeside Spa Resort
Check out the 10 Best Accommodation in Rotorua for Foodies 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 (more info on Viator or Tripadvisor). Otherwise, you might be interested in diving into New Zealand’s farming industry at Agrodome (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor). Check out more experiences listed below, as well as dining recommendations in The Foodie Guide to Rotorua.
Food Experiences in Rotorua
- Try a Maori hangi (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Visit Rotorua’s local winery and craft beer pub
- Learn about New Zealand farming on the Agrodome Farm Tour (on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Save the date for the Rotorua Farmers’ Market and Rotorua Night Market
- Join a blueberry orchard and winery tour (on Viator and Tripadvisor)
For elaboration on each activity, see the 8 Things to Do in Rotorua for Foodies.
Day 5 – Rotorua to Napier
Travel time: 2h40mins
Today, you head toward the North Island’s productive east coast, but not without stopping 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. Oh yeah, and there’s the Huka Prawn Park when you can fish for prawns to eat.
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 like the art deco-interiors of the Emporium Eatery & Bar, 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 Foodie Guide to Napier.
The Best Accommodation in Napier with Restaurants/Meals/Breakfasts
Check out the 10 Best Accommodation in Napier for Foodies for more information on our top picks.
Day 6 – Explore Napier
Let’s waste no time diving into the winery experiences of Hawke’s Bay. Tours like Prinsy’s Tours (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor), Vines and Views Tours (on Viator and Tripadvisor) 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 (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor)…
- … Or a self-guided cycling tour of the wineries (on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- 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 Things to Do in Napier for Foodies.
Day 7 – Napier to Wellington
Travel time: 4h10mins
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 high tea.
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 Foodie 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 Caffee L’affare, Clareville Bakery and Midnight Espresso. Iconic fish & chips can be found at the Wellington Seamarket on Cuba Street and The Mt. Vic 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 Foodie 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
- Join Zest Food Tours for a culinary tour of the city (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Check out the local craft beer breweries
- Take a tour to the Wairarapa wine region (on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Treat yourself to the Wellington Chocolate Factory tour
- Try out the local street eats
For more details on each activity, see our 9 Things to Do in Wellington for Foodies.
The Best Accommodation in Wellington with Restaurants/Meals/Breakfasts
See 10 Best Accommodation in Wellington for Foodies for more information about each activity.
Day 8 – Wellington to Christchurch
Travel time: 20 minutes drive then 1h5mins 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 (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor). Christchurch also gives you another chance to try a Maori hangi at Ko Tane Maori Experience (on Viator and Tripadvisor), while a city sightseeing dinner on the Christchurch Tramway Restaurant is another fun way to treat the tastebuds (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor).
Food Experiences in Christchurch
- Tour the Waipara wine region (more info Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Enjoy fine dining on the Christchurch tram (on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Experience Christchurch’s iconic farmers’ markets
- Try a Maori hangi (on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Taste and tour The Spirits Workshop Distillery
See the 9 Things to Do in Christchurch for Foodies for more details on each experience.
The Best Accommodation in Christchurch with Restaurants/Meals/Breakfasts
- Pavilions Hotel
- ibis Christchurch
- Rendezvous Hotel
- Sudima Christchurch City
- Eliza’s Manor Boutique Hotel
Find out more about our top picks in the 10 Best Accommodation in Christchurch for Foodies.
Day 9 – Christchurch to Oamaru
Travel time: 3h10mins
Once you reach Oamaru, you are spoiled for choice with foodie experiences between a cheese factory tour (see on Viator and Tripadvisor), 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 their artful plates of Italian and South American cuisine and the Riverstone Kitchen which grows its own produce on-site. See The Foodie Guide to Oamaru for more recommendations.
The Beach Accommodation in Oamaru with Restaurants/Meals/Breakfasts
- Brydone Hotel Oamaru
- Pen-y-bryn Lodge
- Oasis on Orwell Bed and Breakfast
- Northstar Motel
- Heritage Court Motor Lodge
For more information on our top picks, check out the 10 Best Accommodation in Oamaru for Foodies.
Day 10 – Explore Oamaru
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 (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- 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 Things to Do in Oamaru for Foodies.
Day 11 – Oamaru to Dunedin
Travel time: 1h35mins
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 (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor). You can also do a chocolate factory tour at OCHO Chocolate Factory (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor) or treat yourself to high tea at Dunedin’s castle (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor).
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 Foodie Guide to Dunedin.
Food Experiences in Dunedin
- Tour the Speight’s Brewery with beer tastings and a two-course meal (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Join a chocolate factory tour (on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Drink real cow’s milk
- Indulge in high tea at Larnach Castle (on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Browse the Otago Farmers’ Market
Head to our 8 Things to Do in Dunedin for Foodies for more information on each activity.
The Best Accommodation in Dunedin with Restaurants/Meals/Breakfasts
For more details on each accommodation, see 10 Best Accommodation in Dunedin for Foodies.
Day 12 – Dunedin to Alexandra
Travel time: 2h20mins
Today’s pitstops include Milton and Lawrence on the way to Alexandra, the latter being a popular stop of the Clutha Gold Trail for cafes like Gabriel’s Cafe & Bar. 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 Restaurant & Bar 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
- Pick your own raspberries or enjoy afternoon tea at Monte Christo Raspberry Cafe
- Sample craft beer at the local breweries
- Check out the Alexandra Friday Food and Produce Market
- Enjoy local cuisine at the restaurants and cafes
Check out the 5 Things to Do in Alexandra & Clyde for Foodies for more details on each experience.
The Best Accommodation in Alexandra and Clyde with Restaurants/Meals/Breakfasts
- Grey Ridge Vineyard Experience
- Olivers Central Otago Lodge & Stables
- Centennial Court Motor Inn
- Omakau Commercial Hotel
- Hawkdun Rise Vineyard & Accommodation
For more details on our top picks, check out the 10 Best Accommodation in Alexandra & Clyde for Foodies.
Day 13 – Alexandra to Queenstown
Travel time: 1h10mins
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 Tripadvisor). 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 foodie 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 Foodie Guide to Queenstown for more suggestions.
The Best Accommodation in Queenstown with Restaurants/Meals/Breakfasts
Find out more about each place to stay in our 10 Best Accommodation in Queenstown for Foodies.
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 (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor) or on a small-group driving tour (on Viator and Tripadvisor). For something a little different, experience a gourmet Kiwi barbecue on the high country farm at Walter Peak (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor).
Food Experiences in Queenstown
- Do a tour of the Gibbston Valley wineries (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Cruise and indulge in a gourmet barbecue at Walter Peak (on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Hop on a craft brewery tour (on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Browse the local farmers’ market
- Try a famous oversized burger
For more information on each activity, check out 10 Things to Do in Queenstown for Foodies.
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!