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Just started to plan 10 days in North Island - Food/Wine!

Worcestershire, UK
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Just started to plan 10 days in North Island - Food/Wine!

Hi everyone

We're going to be touring North Island for 10 days in December, we're staying with friends before and after in Auckland, but are footloose for those 10 days. Nothing booked yet!

We love good food, wine, interesting/different places to stay, visiting food producers.

I've looked through these forums, read a couple of guidebooks but just wondered if anyone fancied giving me some personal recommendations. I'd be really grateful.

Thanks!

Rarotonga, Cook...
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for Rarotonga, Waiheke Island, Southern Cook Islands, Auckland
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1. Re: Just started to plan 10 days in North Island - Food/Wine!

Hi WFMNT,

Welcome to the Kiwi forum,

Waiheke Island would need to be on your list! It's an eco-paradise located in Auckland's Hauraki Gulf. Near 30 boutique wineries, some with vineyard cafes. several receive rave reviews and cuisine awards. Numerous art studios on the island, and of course stunning scenery all over the island. Good range of accommodation from luxury to budget. Either take the Fuller's passenger ferry fron downtown Auckland (frequent sailings - takes 35 minutes) or take the car ferry from Half Moon Bay, Pakuranga (2 operators). Fullers operate a combined ferry and vineyard tour, and Ananda tours provide tailor-made winery tours for small groups. Both have a luncheon stop.

North of Auckland, the Matakana area has pretty countryside, fresh produce and the Saturday Matakana market is a must for foodies. Nice mix of attractions and places to visit. Kerikeri is another fruit bowl, not only a historic village, but offers a sub-tropical landscape and again plenty to do for visitors. Interesting art galleries, and blend of Kiwi culture and pride. Nearby is Waitangi, Paihia and Russell - must see places and famous for the bay cruises.

Whangarei which is midway between these two spots provides a very diverse range of sceneic attractions, and we have Longview vineyards right on the main road SH1. No cafe, but if you venture a little further into our city, the Quayside cafes are great places to unwind and enjoy the fresh air in our warmer NZ climate. Whangarei Falls and the adjoining kauri tree boardwalk is only a hop, skip and jump away. Tutukaka on the Whangarei coast has the A Perfect Day cruise vessel to the Poor Knights marine reserve islands - fabulous luncheon spread, never mind the extraordinary views - and the huge pod of playful dolphins who greet visitors daily. Good accommodation in this lovely coastal area, and Snappa Rock cafe is pretty hard to beat for fresh NZ cuisine in a pleasant maritime setting. Cheers!

Brisbane, Australia
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2. Re: Just started to plan 10 days in North Island - Food/Wine!

Hi wfmnt

We were over on the North Island in Oct last year and to unwind at the end of the road trip we took our rental car on the ferry from Half Moon Bay to Waiheke Island. We stayed two nights there in a two bedroom unit...was to be one bedroom, but we were upgraded. This was at Villa Pacifica.

I have reviews of Waiheke Island and Villa Pacifica.

We didn't get to go to the vineyards and dined in both nights as we were wanting to enjoy the accommodation and it's great views and kick back. I like photography and painting as so we were out and about to get those great shots in the early morning.

I also liked The Bay of Islands and Russell which is a quaint little village ferry ride across from Pahia. It has quite a bit if history and a few outdoor eateries along the waterfront.

Also have a review on Russell

Enjoy

Niec

Sydney, Australia
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3. Re: Just started to plan 10 days in North Island - Food/Wine!

Hello Niec, my husband and I have just booked a 2 week trip to the North Island as well - do you have links to our Russell and Waiheke reviews as we have booked 4 night in Opua and 3 nights at Waiheke as part of our trip.

thanks.

New Zealand
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4. Re: Just started to plan 10 days in North Island - Food/Wine!

Hi WFMNT, I would also suggest you make the time to head to Hawkes Bay (Napier) aka Art Deco City of the World. Well known for wineries and local produce. They have a weekly farmer's market in Hastings (Saturdays?). Most wineries have cafes or restaurants. Te Mata cheese factory - great! Plenty of wine tours on offer - check out HB Tourism website.

By travelling to Napier from Auckland, you can also fit in Rotorua and Taupo.

Good luck!

New Zealand
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5. Re: Just started to plan 10 days in North Island - Food/Wine!

You really should not miss Hawkes Bay, there are so many great wineries you'll have trouble deciding which to visit. There are some excellent restaurants at a lot of them too. Havelock North has a farmers market at Black Barn winery, well worth a visit,

Brisbane, Australia
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6. Re: Just started to plan 10 days in North Island - Food/Wine!

Hi

Yes the drive out to Napier from Lake Taupo is interesting also.

As for the reviews of Waiheke Is, Villa Pacifica on Waiheke Island, Russell, Pahia (Bay of Islands) and Doubtless Bay ( Mangonui) 1 hr north of Bay of Islands, you will find these on my contributions pages under reviews.

Click on Niec

Opua is just before Pahia if I recall and I believe people sail in there from overseas to the Marina there.

Nice part of North Island.

Auckland, New...
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7. Re: Just started to plan 10 days in North Island - Food/Wine!

If you are staying in Auckland or nearby the West Auckland area has the oldest wineries in New Zealand.

The area near the rugged west coast black sand beaches has an abundance of restaurants and cafes and is home to Kumeu River wines, regarded overseas as the best wine in New Zealand. This area is very natural and not at all touristy.

Kay

8. Re: Just started to plan 10 days in North Island - Food/Wine!

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