Immerse yourself in breath-taking scenery and experience some of New Zealand’s fresh local cuisine and regional flavours – done to a turn on the barbeque.
Pink Beach barbeque – Kauri Cliffs, Bay of Islands
Set on 6,000 acres of land near Matauri Bay, The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs affords spectacular 180-degree views of the Pacific Ocean. World renowned for its championship golf course, the Kauri Cliffs is one of the most awarded boutique and spa resort hotels in New Zealand.
Over the summer months, guests at Kauri Cliffs can leave the usual dining room formalities behind opting for nestling their toes in the warm sand at Pink Beach (one of three private beaches) - famed for the broken pink sea shells that colour the sand.
Set up on the shores of Pink Beach on crafted wooden picnic tables, guests enjoy an extravagant barbeque complete with award winning service. Executive Chef Barry Frith, a huge fan of local Northland produce, presents line-caught snapper, crayfish (lobster), scallops and oysters complimented by beef, lamb and locally made sausages grilled to perfection and accompanied by fine New Zealand fine wine and cheeses.
Air New Zealand operates flights daily from Auckland to Kerikeri/Bay of Islands airport. Charter flights can also be organised. Guests can opt to be transferred down to Pink Beach by 4WD or walk the 35 minutes via the golf course – one of many on site activities including mountain biking, guided bird watching, nature walks and fishing.
Kai Waho – Outdoor cultural cuisine, Taupo
On the eastern rim of the North Island’s volcanic Central Plateau, Tamau Pa and Kai Waho is a place of warm hospitality that reaches back to an ancient culture. From this elevated and remote riverside setting, Kai Waho guests have exclusive access to a magnificent sub-alpine forest wilderness.
The Māori phrase ‘kai waho’ can be translated as outdoor cuisine. It can also describe a master, or teacher, of the ways of the wilderness. Tom Loughlin - an expert hunter, gatherer and professional chef - weaves storytelling into everything he does, passing on the treasured ancient Māori tales, legends and wisdom that came down from his ancestors.
Using traditional Māori gathering techniques and cooking methods, Tom’s guests learn how to cook food deep in the earth in an oven known as a hangi. Steam rising from the heated stones cooks the food – long and slow – resulting in tender, off-the-bone meats and delicious vegetables, infused with a smoky, earthy fragrance.
The turn-off for Tamau Pa cabin is a 40-minute drive east of Lake Taupo. This private land holding is only accessible by air or via an exhilarating 35-minute 4WD off-road journey. Kai Waho experiences (from one to multi-day) are available year-round and may include hunting, fishing and hiking.
Wilsons Abel Tasman - Succulent seafood barbeque
On the northwestern edge of the South Island, cruise into the heart of Abel Tasman National Park to experience fine wilderness dining at Wilsons Abel Tasman’s Torrent Bay Lodge.
Choose an innovative menu showcasing the Nelson region’s famously good seafood, fruits, meats, wines and beers, served against a backdrop of golden sand beaches, native bush and sculpted granite headlands.
Local chef, Craig Wilson, chooses from the best of Nelson’s fresh ingredients to create a barbeque that focuses on organic, local and seasonal produce. Specialties include mussels and salmon from nearby farms in Golden Bay. Lick your lips over Tasman Bay scallops with sweet lime chilli dressing, steamed paua (abalone) ravioli, and whitebait fritters tossed down with Nelson wine, beer and fruit juice. But that’s just the beginning and, as most ingredients are seasonal, each trip has a unique menu.
There is the option to walk up an appetite, swim in the bay or relax on the sundeck at Torrent Bay Lodge and soak up the tranquility of Abel Tasman National Park.
Kaiteriteri Beach is a one-hour drive from Nelson Airport. Flights arrive daily from Auckland and Wellington or take the Interislander ferry from Wellington to Picton and drive (3 hours) to Kaiteriteri. Take the 0920 Vista Cruise departing from Kaiteriteri to Totaranui arriving back at 1610. Wilsons offer a range of other activities including half-day cruises, walking the Abel Tasman Track or kayaking around the bays, or you can simply stay over in the lodge to soak up the coastal beauty.
Lake Tekapo - Cruise Tekapo to Motuariki Island
Cruise the clear blue waters of Lake Tekapo with Cruise Tekapo skipper Greg Crowe and enjoy an on-shore barbeque of local delicacies. The two-hour voyage explores notable sites on the shores of Lake Tekapo before arriving at Motuariki Island.
The island's name - Motu (island) and ariki (chieftain) - denotes the history and importance of this place. It’s also a place of beauty – pristine white sand beaches and 25-hectares of forest, surrounded by snow-capped mountains and the surreal turquoise waters, a phenomenon of light and suspended particles of rock flour originating from the mountain glaciers of the headwaters.
In the middle of all this beauty, Greg transforms local produce into a barbeque meal that may include local merino lamb, beef and venison as well as freshly harvested Mount Cook salmon – a true taste of the region.
Daily flights arrive in Christchurch from all main cities in New Zealand. Tekapo is a 3.5 hour road trip from Christchurch airport. While in Tekapo, discover the southern skies by night at the Mount John Observatory, visit the Church of the Good Shepherd built in 1935 as a memorial to the pioneers of the Aoraki / Mount Cook Mackenzie region or soak your cares away in the hot springs.
Kiwi gourmet barbeque - Queenstown
For an experience that transports you back in time, the TSS Earnslaw – a 100-year-old coal-fired steamship with glowing timbers and gleaming brass – offers a welcoming passage into a different world. Known respectfully as ‘The Lady of the Lake’, this gracious old-timer will carry you across Lake Wakatipu from Queenstown to Walter Peak High Country Farm for a gourmet barbeque – Kiwi style.
Walter Peak High Country Farm is even more steeped in history. Its sheltered bays were used as campsites by ancient Māori on hunting and gathering exhibitions – chasing giant moa birds for food and searching for the treasured pounamu (New Zealand greenstone).
With Walter Peak and The Remarkables mountain range as the back drop, Chef Justin Koen has created an outdoor arena that presents a tempting buffet dining experience with produce that is sourced from as close to Walter Peak as possible. Fresh seasonal greens and market fish from Central Otago, Cardrona merino lamb and local pork, Justin’s sustainable measures also ensure that very little goes to waste.
The TSS Earnslaw cruises year-round from central Queenstown for lunch (daily) and dinner (August – May). After dinner, an entertaining and informative demonstration gives you a glimpse of life in the high country. Air New Zealand operates daily flights from Auckland to Queenstown (1 hour 50 minutes). Stay in Queenstown and enjoy the buzz of the resort town with easy access to the outdoors, ski fields, adventure activities and wineries.