Local Fare in New Zealand

New Zealand’s seasonal, local food is something we’re immensely proud of, and pretty good at – even if we do say so ourselves. Our country is only of a size similar to the UK, so all of our fresh produce doesn’t need to travel far to arrive on our plates, which is why it all tastes so good!

New Zealand is not only known for its beef, lamb, and wool industries though, other types of farming here include salmon, venison, and, of course, wine. Here in New Zealand we are extremely lucky to have such differing climates across such a small country – climates which are perfect for different kinds of farming.

Below we’ve focused on six of our favourite locally grown products, detailing the best recipe, location, and time of year, to try them in. Check out our blog post Local Fare in New Zealand for some more tips for foodies.


New Zealand is scattered with wine regions, and the specialty vintages from each can be very different – from Bordeaux-style blends to Sauvignon Blanc, and everything in between! Harvesting season here is from early March to mid June. But whatever time of year you visit, there’ll be some delicious drops to sample.


Lamb is a kiwi favourite – roasted leg of lamb, with all the trimmings is one way we love to eat it. We’d recommend trying lamb at one of a handful of excellent restaurants in Queenstown, in March or April, for the freshest flavours. Go explore the restaurant scene in Queenstown on your free day!


New Zealand green-lipped mussels are delicious when cooked in white wine with chilli and garlic. We’d recommend trying them in the delightful coastal town of Kaikoura on the South Island, between October and July. If you’re feeling adventurous try the local delicacy – paua (or abalone).


Cold-smoked is one of our favourite ways to prepare salmon. Try it in the Marlborough Sounds region for the freshest flavours, and because water temperatures are fairly constant all year round, any time is a good time! Try pairing it with a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.


One of our favourite ways to eat New Zealand beef is in a burger. Queenstown is home to one of the world’s most famous burger joints, making some of the best burgers we’ve ever had. Or go grab a steak at one of Queenstown’s many great restaurants.


We think the freshest and best way to eat New Zealand venison is the loin, pan fried to medium-rare. Te Anau is the largest town in the venison producing region, so try it at a restaurant there, between June and November. You can also try local venison in a pie for a really typical Kiwi snack.

More Information About New Zealand

These pages are a great place to find more information about New Zealand. Whether you’re a keen hiker, a foodie, a wine-lover, a photographer, or all of the above, these pages are full of useful information.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit New Zealand will often depend on what your priorities are from a visit. Here we’re talking about the seasons and what you can expect.

Walking and Hiking

This page is full of information about the Great Walks we’ll experience on our trips, as well as the other beautiful day walks we’ve chosen to include.


New Zealand is a popular destination for photographers. Here we’re talking about where and when you’ll find some of the most popular photo subjects.

About New Zealand

If you’re not sure where to start in planning your trip to New Zealand, head to this page – it’s the best place to find all sorts of information about New Zealand.

Milford Sound

Milford Sound is one of the most famous destinations in New Zealand. Here we’re talking about the gem of the Fiordland National Park, and why it’s so special.

Wine Regions

New Zealand’s reputation as a producer of some of the world’s best wine is always growing. Here we’ll tell you about the regions you can visit on trips with us.

Our Trips

Elegant South

A walking experience that takes in the best of the South Island from top to bottom. From the picture perfect inlets and hidden coves of the Marlborough Sounds, pristine golden sands and lush forest of Abel Tasman, to wine country of Queenstown and grandeur of Milford Sound.

US$6999 + TAX10 Days

Timeless North

When it comes to variety, the North Island delivers superbly. Sample fine wine, walk in incredible geothermal landscapes in the volcanic central plateau and Rotorua area. Take a lake cruise surrounded by ancient podocarp forest and discover the wild west coast and iconic volcanic cone of Mt Taranaki.

US$6599 + TAX10 Days

Beautiful South

The far south of New Zealand is defined by dramatic and beautiful mountain landscapes waiting to be experienced on foot, in the air, and from the water. Relaxing, adventurous and comfortable in a location like no other on the planet – the Wakatipu basin, Fiordland and the Great Walks of New Zealand are all on show in this incredible trip.

US$5999 + TAX10 Days

Pristine New Zealand

Experience both islands in all their grandeur. This trip is the quintessential fine walking adventure, seamlessly blending beautiful landscapes with comfort and style.

US$8499 + TAX13 Days

Why Travel With Us?

We’re a modest lot us Kiwi’s, but we really are the only New Zealand-based company to offer this level of service and expertise. With over 21 years of experience running life changing trips – we’ve perfected the art of small group travel, and we’ve introduced a slice of world-class elegance that’ll surpass every one of your greatest expectations.

Unbeatable Local Knowledge

Our team have spent their lives immersed in the places we go. Our trip itineraries are created based on our favourite childhood holiday spots, secret hideaways we’ve kept under our hats, the places where we proposed to our spouses, and areas we’ll keep going back to in our free time, for the rest of our lives. It’s made our New Zealand journeys authentic, timeless and beautifully crafted.

First-Class New Zealand Guides

A good guide points out features, provides information and context, and connects the dots on a trip. A first class guide is a host who pours their heart and soul into the trip, takes it personally, and will move heaven and earth make it all come together seamlessly. That doesn’t happen easily – we dedicate ourselves to selecting, training and supporting the absolute best travel leaders in New Zealand.

Superb Food & Wine

New Zealand is firmly on the map when it comes to fine wine and unique, refreshing dining experiences. We showcase the culinary uniqueness and local wines of the regions we visit. To us, they’re an equally important part of the New Zealand experience, complementing our beautiful landscapes perfectly!

Unique experiences in stunning locations

It’s as much about the ‘where’ as it is the ‘what’ when it comes to a beautiful New Zealand experience. We not only walk through stunning landscapes to unforgettable places, but we make sure the journey is dotted with captivating stories, great food & wine and a few surprises that will have you brimming with stories of your own when you return back home.

Adventure at a leisurely pace

What’s the rush? We’ll slip on our best pair of walking shoes and journey into the most beautiful places in New Zealand. And to soak it all in properly, it makes sense to take our time and not necessarily set ourselves challenges that are a race against daylight hours. That means having the choice to walk, explore and escape at a pace that suits you. Slow down, soak it in, breath in the fresh air, properly feel the ground beneath your feet.

20+ Years Experience

Good things take time, including learning to run first class New Zealand journeys. Time to learn and understand how to be amazing hosts, seek out those hidden places that aren’t so easily seen on a map, and bring together every ingredient to create the perfect trip. It’s a journey we’ve taken for the last 20 years, and a path we’ll stay on in pursuit of providing immaculate trips that you’ll never forget.

New Zealand Walking Tours is proudly presented by Active Adventures, global leaders in delivering adventure trips of a lifetime.

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