North Island Culinary & nightlife

Our most recommended North Island Culinary & nightlife

Mitai Maori Village: Cultural Experience and Dinner Buffet

1. Mitai Maori Village: Cultural Experience and Dinner Buffet

Enter a Maori village in a natural bush setting and learn about their customs during an immersive cultural experience. Following pickup from your Rotorua accommodation, if option booked, get a warm meet and greet from a beautiful Maori maiden dressed in traditional attire. Learn the guidelines to enter the sacred site and select a chief from your group to represent those visiting the village. See warriors in traditional dress paddle an ancient warrior canoe down the Wai-o-whiro stream and marvel at glow worms in their natural habitat. Be captivated by the songs and dances of an entertaining concert, complete with the spine-tingling haka war dance. Watch as the hangi feast is removed from the earth-cooked oven, explore the art of ta moko (tattoo) and more.  Feast on a hot selection of succulent meats and poultry, vegetables and fresh salads, topped off with tempting desserts.

Rotorua: Te Pa Tu Maori Cultural Experience with Dinner

2. Rotorua: Te Pa Tu Maori Cultural Experience with Dinner

Discover the traditional Maori way of life during a cultural experience in Rotorua. Enjoy an evening of performances, dance, and a 4-course meal based on seasonal cuisine that is served under an al fresco (outdoor area). Indulge in Maori songs and traditions aligned to and changing with the Maramataka (Maori lunar calendar). Watch a cultural performance and learn local indigenous customs. Be immersed in towering Tawa trees, blazing bonfires, and a forest-formed amphitheater. Start your dinner off with forest canapes that culminate in a lavish 3-course fusion feast designed by award-winning Maori chefs, and prepared in-house. Enjoy your meal outside or take in views from the indoor area (weather dependent).

Auckland Harbour 3-Course Dinner Cruise with Welcome Drink

3. Auckland Harbour 3-Course Dinner Cruise with Welcome Drink

Dine on Waitemata Harbor for a memorable experience in Auckland. Join a 2.5-hour sailing dinner cruise for a uniquely local experience with a relaxed, intimate and engaging atmosphere. Discover the city skyline and iconic highlights as they light up for the evening. Set sail while enjoying the city highlights and engaging commentary from your captain. Assist the crew or try your hand at steering the boat. Enjoy the breeze and relax with a drink, with ample space and seating above deck.  Set anchor in Westhaven Marina to enjoy a delicious 3-course dinner, supplied by top Viaduct restaurant Degree. Complement your meal with a selection of premium locally produced wine or beer. After dinner, marvel at the city views and as the sun sets to watch the night lights of the cityscape come alive.

Waiheke Island Premium Food & Wine Tour with Platter Lunch

4. Waiheke Island Premium Food & Wine Tour with Platter Lunch

Discover the flavors of Waiheke Island on a fully-guided, gourmet food and wine tour. Journey by ferry from Auckland over to Matiatia Wharf on the island where your guide will meet you.  Your guide will provide entertaining and informative commentary throughout the day about the various delicacies you will taste. Enjoy succulent fresh oysters, award-winning olive oil, and other locally-produced specialty foods. Delight in a platter lunch, consisting of a selection of cold meats, seafood, breads, and dips, at one of the island's top vineyard restaurants. Savor wines from some of the island’s top boutique vineyards, and visit an award-winning olive oil mill and two vineyards. Each vineyard offers a range of gourmet tastings to accompany their wines.  Treats may include oysters straight from Te Matuku Bay, wild honey, the famous local green herb spread, or artisan cheeses.  The tour returns you to Matiatia Wharf in time for the 3:00 PM ferry for a 3:45 arrival in Auckland. If you wish to stay and enjoy the island longer, let your guide know on the day of the tour and they can drop you off in Oneroa Village. 

Waiheke Island: Wine Tastings and Lunch Scenic Half-Day Tour

5. Waiheke Island: Wine Tastings and Lunch Scenic Half-Day Tour

Enjoy a wine and food tour around Waiheke Island, the most populated island in New Zealand. Stop and taste at three local vineyards, take in views of the Hauraki Gulf, and explore Waiheke's largest beach, Onetangi Beach. Start with a drive along the scenic northern route, taking in spectacular views of the Hauraki Gulf and beyond to the Coromandel Peninsula. Stop first for a tasting and casual lunch at a local vineyard. If time allows after lunch, head towards Onetangi, a 1.87 kilometer-long, north-facing beach with beautiful old Pohutukawa trees on the foreshore. For many years, the beach has been the site of the Onetangi Beach Races, a family fun adventure day that supports local causes. Leave Onetangi for a second vineyard and more wine tasting. For a final stop, visit a picturesque vineyard overlooking the Hauraki Gulf. Enjoy another wine tasting as you take in the view. At the end of the tour, return to the Waiheke Wharf with your guide in time to catch a return ferry. Alternatively, choose to stay on the island for dinner (at your own expense) and make your way back when you are ready.

Napier: Gourmet Lunch and Wine Tour

6. Napier: Gourmet Lunch and Wine Tour

Mission Estate is one of New Zealand's largest wineries, producing 3,600,000 bottles of wine. You will be offered at least 3 red and 3 white wines throughout this experience, with chardonnay being the leading white wine and Merlot and associate Bordeaux blends the leading reds. The Mission restaurant has a wonderful reputation, and the setting is world class. Your luncheon will be a platter made up of cold meats, cheese, bread, fruit, and a small selection of hot seafood. You will be offered a tasting of 3 local craft beers or 4 local wines at the Urban Winery. You will then drive out to the picturesque Esk Valley for the final tasting at Linden Estate. Linden Estate is a boutique winery producing about 60,000 bottles of wine. Linden often has up to 10 wines to taste at once, and this experience offers tour participants great insight into the wines this region can produce. Your tour concludes with a drive out into the vineyard of a private quiet location where you will be provided with a selection of New Zealand cheese and biscuits accompanied by a glass of Sauvignon Blanc. At this point in the tour, your guide will provide you with a brief description of grape-growing techniques.

Waiheke Island: Wine Tasting Tour

7. Waiheke Island: Wine Tasting Tour

Acquaint yourself with Waiheke Island's world-renowned wine on a vineyard-focused guided tour. Discover some of Waiheke’s scenic highlights as well as visits and tastings at 3 boutique vineyards.   Catch the 10:00 AM ferry from Auckland for a cruise over to Matiatia Wharf on Waiheke island where your guide will meet you. Begin with a scenic drive, taking in spectacular views of the Hauraki Gulf and beyond to the Coromandel Peninsula. Marvel at stunning scenery around every corner and be entertained by your guide’s insightful commentary on the history, geography, culture, people, and produce of Waiheke. Sample a range of Waiheke wines from Rose, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, sparkling wine, and Syrah and Bordeaux blends. Encounter spectacular scenery from sun-soaked hillsides of vines to spectacular 360-degree views over the island and beyond to the gulf islands. The tour returns you to Matiatia Wharf in time for the 4:00 PM ferry for a 4:45 PM arrival in Auckland. Or, if you would like to linger a little longer on the island, you can be dropped off at Oneroa Village to explore further. Sample Itinerary: 10:00 AM Depart Auckland on a ferry to Waiheke Island 10:35 AM Arrive at Matiatia Wharf 11:00 AM Mudbrick Vineyard visit and wine tasting 12:00 PM Kennedy Point Vineyard visit and wine tasting 1:00 PM Obsidian Vineyard visit and wine tasting2:00 PM Lunch

Waiheke Island: Beautiful Shared Wine Tour

8. Waiheke Island: Beautiful Shared Wine Tour

Catch the 10:00 AM ferry from Auckland City to Waiheke Island where you will be greeted by your tour guide. The first stop is for a lovely wine tasting at the Cable Bay Boutique Vineyard. Sample around 4 boutique wines grown on the island and Malborough. Visit Thomas's Batch Vineyard, where you'll have the option for lunch (at your own expense) and can admire incredible views and enjoy their wonderful food and wine within a great atmosphere. After lunch, make your way to Te Motu Vineyard for classic Bordeaux wines. The last stop is The Mudbrick Vineyard for rose, pinot gris, and more. Return to the wharf at 3:40 PM for the ferry back to Auckland. If you wish to stay on the island, you can be dropped off at Oneroa Village, where you'll find beautiful shops, eclectic Kiwiana gifts, plus good bars and restaurants. Or stay at Mudbrick and enjoy more wine and views.

Rotorua: Secret Spot Hot Tubs

9. Rotorua: Secret Spot Hot Tubs

Be greeted by the facility’s friendly staff on arrival and hear more about your hot tub experience. Use the customized changing room facilities and refresh in the cedarwood showers before heading outside and following the signs to your personal hot tub. Slip into the soothing water of your hot tub and feel your body relax. Invite friends and family to share the spacious tub and take in the serenity of the surrounding forest. Enjoy complimentary drinking water, or use the push button service to order from the bar without leaving the water. Sample a craft beer or cider, tea, Manuka roasted coffee, or a wine from the Mills Reef selection. During the day listen out for local birds chirping in the trees, and by night gaze up at the stars you can see above the forest darkness. After your 45-minute hot tub soak has finished, feel free to slip your feet into a “Shinny Dip” tub to end the experience.

From Napier: Cape Coast Winery Bike Ride

10. From Napier: Cape Coast Winery Bike Ride

Start off with pickup from your accommodation in Napier City or Havelock North, or make your own way to meet at your host at the shop in Ahuriri, Napier to pick up with your bikes. Then, take a shuttle to the start of your cycling adventure at the Black Barn winery. Te Mata Estate and Akarangi are very close by, so you can start your wine tasting early. With your first winery visits under your belt, cycle for another 3 kilometers to reach Craggy vineyard and see for yourself why the winery was voted Best Winery in Australia. From here, enjoy a 16-kilometer bike ride on the limestone cycle trail following the Tuki Tuki River, to the coastal communities of Haumoana and Te Awanga. Admire stunning views as you cycle the raised stop-bank trail and look out over orchards, vineyards and farmlands. Reaching the coast, be ready to taste some more fine wine at Elephant Hill, Clearview Estate, and Te Awanga Estate. If a local lunch is on your wish-list, your host will also be happy to assist with reservations at Clearview Estate. Te Awanga also offer the best pizzas in Hawke’s Bay and you can sit outside on their green lawn. At the end of the day, you will be collected and transferred back to Ahuriri or your accommodation.

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What people are saying about North Island

Fabulous experience for the entire family! We learned about Māori culture, had an incredible hāngi feast and really enjoyed the performance of traditional song and dance. The hosts were wonderful and so knowledgeable. Would recommend to anyone wanting to learn more about the indigenous peoples of Aotearoa.

Pamela did a great job! She drove us around the countryside pointing out the different terroir and grapes. We visited 4 wineries and had a delicious lunch! I would highly recommend this tour to anyone wanting to visit the Marlboro wineries!

Knowledgeable drivers, wonderful food, excellent activities Great way to get an introduction to New Zealand

David did a great job showing and telling us all the highlights of Auckland. Thank you, David.

Great selection of wines in lovely settings. Knowledgeable guide who was very entertaining.