South Island Food Guide for Outdoor Lovers

 | Lachlan Gardiner
| Lachlan Gardiner

Any keen foodie knows New Zealand punches way above its weight when it comes to producing some of the worlds freshest foods and best wines.

We've chosen 4 of our favourite South Island regions below, where you can enjoy the best of the outdoors and the best food.

1. Marlborough / Tasman

Marlborough is NZ's largest growing wine region.

Wineries, breweries, the freshest of seafood and purpose-built cycle trails are the first things that come to mind when thinking of the Marlborough and Tasman regions. Combine the Sauvignon Blanc capital of NZ (Marlborough), with the artisan foods and waterfront restaurants of Nelson and your taste buds won't know what's hit them!

Throw in some spectacular coastal and mountainous scenery with more sunshine hours than any other part of the country and you have yourself the perfect holiday destination at the top of the South Island.

Experience all of this on our Nelson Great Taste Cycle or Marlborough Sounds and Abel Tasman Trails.

2. West coast

Trying whitebait fritters on the West Coast. Photo: Fraser Clements

The food on the West Coast is the perfect complement to it's rugged, untamed and stunning coastline. From juicy whitebait fritters to seafood pizza's and fresh fish and chips on the beach, there's no better place to sit down in front of a fiery red sunset with some West Coast grub. 

Home to the annual Wild Foods Festival in Hokitika, this wild celebration is sure to expose your pallet to something new. Try the iconic festival Huhu Grub and Mountain Oyster (we'll leave you to google those), or listen to live music and graze on gourmet treats.

Time your trip with the Wild Foods festival every March on our West Coast Wilderness Cycle or West Coast and Glaciers road cycle.

3. Central Otago

Enjoying a winery lunch in Central Otago. Photo: Graeme Murray

Central Otago is New Zealand's most inland region and is located in the southern half of the South Island. Renowned for its award winning Pinot Noir and abundance of fresh fruit (yes, they even have a dedicated fruit sculpture), you'll be spoilt for choice when it comes to indulging in the food and wine of Central Otago. With its warm, dry summer climate, there's no better place to enjoy an al-fresco lunch or bowl of seasonal fruit.

Come December, you can pick your way through mountains of ripe cherries or wait until Autumn (March-May), where the orchards and grape vines turn glorious shades of orange, gold and red.

Enjoy all of this on our Otago Rail Trail Classic, Queenstown Otago Rail Trail, or Otago and Clutha Trails.


4. Southland

Road cyclists making their way around Papatowai Beach |  <i>Reiner Schuster</i>
Road cyclists making their way around Papatowai Beach. Photo: Reiner Schuster

The weather worn landscapes and rolling hills rewards those who ride through New Zealand’s most southern district. Enjoy a wide selection of artisan foods and beverages, from handmade chocolates and specialty sheep milk cheeses, to locally brewed craft beers and ciders and locally caught deep water fish species.

Some say the famed Bluff oysters are the finest in the world, where they grow slowly in the cold clean waters of the Foveaux Strait. You can enjoy all of this whilst in the Deep South on our 7-day moderate graded road ride on the Southern Coast Cycle.

Comment (0)

Comments are closed.
Join Newsletter
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ADS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Adventures South"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Adventure South</div>
Adventure South NZ is unrivalled in their geographic coverage, originality and overall quality of adventures holidays in New Zealand. Choose from walking, cycling, winter or multi-activity holidays, on either the North or South Island.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/AWH.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Walking Holidays"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Walking Holidays</div>
Australian Walking Holidays specialises in small group guided walking adventures. Since 1982 we have been guiding small groups of travellers on Australia's finest walks across our tropical, coastal or red centre landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GCT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Canadian Trails"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Canadian Trails</div>
Great Canadian Trails specialises in active holidays in Canada. With both guided and supported self-guided options available, our unique itineraries draw upon some of Canada's most inspiring parks, trails and landscapes from coast to coast.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/HUM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Humac Challenge"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Huma Charity Challenge</div>
Huma enables those with adventurous spirits to challenge themselves and make a difference for a cause close to their heart. Travel, fundraise and meet life-long friends on one of Huma's meaningful and unique challenges around the world.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TAS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Tasmania Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Tasmanian Expeditions</div>
Tasmanian Expeditions is the most experienced operator of treks and adventure travel holidays in Tasmania. We own and operate the most comprehensive range of adventure holidays available across Tasmania's varied landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/UTX-new.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Utracks"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>UTracks</div>
UTracks are the active European holiday specialists. Whether you prefer cycling or walking, 2-star or 4-star, small groups or self guided, land, river or sea – UTracks can help you to explore Europe exactly the way you want.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WYA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Expeditions Schools"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Expeditions Schools</div>
World Expeditions Schools is our specialist division dedicated to organising tailor made overseas school group adventures. Specialists in Service Learning projects, choose from more destinations than any other school group provider.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/YOM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Yomads"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Yomads</div>
Yomads offers adventures for the 20s and 30s on six continents. Designed as a way to bring young and likeminded travellers together, Yomads caters to those interested in lightly structured and active trips that allow freedom to roam and explore.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ACT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Cycle Tours"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Cycle Tours</div>
Australian Cycle Tours specialises in high quality self guided and guided cycling experiences in a selection of the most beautiful regions in Australia.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WEX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Expeditions</div>
The pioneers of original, worldwide adventure travel holidays since 1975
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TJX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Trail Journeys"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Trail Journeys</div>
Self-guided cycling experts on New Zealand's Otago Rail Trail and more
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/BMAC.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Blue Mountains Adventure Company"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Blue Mountains Adventure Company</div>
The original Blue Mountains canyoning, hiking, climbing and abseiling experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GWNZ.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Walks of New Zealand"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Walks of New Zealand</div>
Explore New Zealand's most spectacular wilderness regions with the self-guided hiking experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/NAA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="North America Active"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>North America Active</div>
USA Canada hiking & cycling tour specialists, choose from self-guided or guided trips