Seasonal local produce bursting with goodness, talented artisan makers, freshly caught kaimoana, world-class wine and beer - New Zealand has it all when it comes to incredible foodie experiences. From Northland to Southland, here are some of the must-eats to look out for when you're tripping around Aotearoa on your next holiday.
It's almost impossible to find less-than-delicious fish 'n' chips anywhere in New Zealand, but one of the most iconic places to sit back with an icy beverage and rip open that steaming hot parcel of succulent fish and crunchy chips is at the historic Northland fishing village of Mangonui.
Local fishing boats deliver the day's line-caught fish to its famous over-water Mangonui Fish Shop and your feast is cooked up while you're admiring the area's marine life from its deck — this can include stingrays, kingfish, bronze whaler sharks and sometimes even a pod of orca.
Tasty mention: There are few better spots for a pub meal than at Russell's waterfront Duke of Marlborough Hotel, one of New Zealand's oldest establishments. Theduke.co.nz
You could spend a week exploring Auckland's neighbourhood dining precincts and never get bored; whether you're enjoying the waterfront action at the Viaduct Harbour, or hanging out with the city's most fabulous along Ponsonby and Karangahape Rd.
During the day, you will want to hit the shops at Commercial Bay - Auckland's latest retail, hospitality and commercial hotspot. For a cultural experience, exploring one of the ethnic quarters such as Sandringham for Indian, Dominion Rd for Chinese or the central city for Korean. Heartofthecity.co.nz/dining
Tasty mention: Set a day aside to explore the gastronomic delights of Waiheke Island, just half an hour by ferry from downtown Auckland. As well as beaches that are gorgeous at any time of year, a relaxed vibe and scenic coastal views from almost every twist and turn, Waiheke is home to fantastic wineries and some great restaurants and cafes too. Tourismwaiheke.co.nz/taste
You haven't lived until you've taken on the Kuaotunu Killer icecream, available year-round at the Kuaotunu Store in this lovely part of the Coromandel. For $9 you'll get seven or eight scoops of up to five flavours served in one, very sturdy cone. Our tip? Get a couple of friends or round up your whole family to tackle this yummy beast. 16 Black Jack Rd, Kuaotunu.
Tasty mention: Locals and visitors alike love the wood-fired pizza and other goodies at Kuaotunu's Luke's Kitchen (Lukeskitchen.co.nz) and the Coromandel is also famous for its scallops.
One of New Zealand's finest wine regions, Hawke's Bay does a fine line in winery dining too, all of which have stunning locations to add to the ambience.
One of the most famous is Mission Estate Winery's Mission Restaurant, which is set in a restored historic seminary building in the Taradale Hills with wide-ranging views of Napier and its coastline. The restaurant uses seasonal local produce on its menu offering contemporary fine dining with a European influence, and is open seven days for lunch and dinner. Missionestate.co.nz
Tasty mention: There are some great farmers' markets in the region, with the Hawke's Bay Farmers' Market the oldest of its kind in New Zealand. Hawkesbaynz.com
The world's coolest little capital is also New Zealand's home of craft beer, with dozens of boutique breweries dotted throughout the greater Wellington region. One of the best known is Garage Project which began brewing in a rundown garage in 2011; these days its beer is exported around the world.
Check out the brewery's Taproom in Wellington's Aro Valley where you can sample 18 revolving taps of brews (and try its wine too) alongside bar snacks made using the wares of local producers. Garageproject.co.nz
Wellington is awash with great places to eat and drink so it's hard to single any out, but for a quintessential Welly experience you can't go past the Maranui Cafe overlooking often wild Lyall Bay near the airport, or one of its sister eateries, Seashore Cabaret, on the Petone foreshore. Maranuicafe.co.nz; Facebook.com/SeashoreCabaret
In te reo Māori, Kaikōura literally means "food/eat" and "crayfish", and fans of this yummy crustacean would be remiss if they didn't stop by the legendary blue and white Nin's Bin caravan on the coastal road between Picton and Christchurch for some of the finest koura in the country. Facebook.com/ninsbin
Tasty mention: Seafood abounds in this pretty part of the South Island — if you fancy something other than crayfish, you can swap it out for grouper, cod, mussels, paua, oysters, scallops or whitebait. Kaikoura.co.nz
For a truly memorable dining experience, drive along the eastern coast between Christchurch and Dunedin to find Fleur's Place, a waterfront restaurant, cafe and bar set on a former early whaling station site at Moeraki.
Owner Fleur Sullivan is known for her creative menus that feature kaimoana direct from local fishermen, heritage vegetables, and titi (muttonbird), a delicacy from the Titi Islands near Stewart Island known for its strong, unusual taste. Fleursplace.com
Tasty mention: Another deep south delicacy you'll find all over this part of the country is the humble cheese roll — think slices of bread covered with grated cheese and rolled into tubes, then toasted. Yum.
There are some people in New Zealand that would drive its length without question to get their hands on a feed of "Bluffies", Bluff oysters, the plump, full-of-flavour shellfish dredged up from the depths of Foveaux Strait between March and August each year. Of course, you can find them all over New Zealand during the oyster season — at a premium price of course — but there's nothing like enjoying a freshly shucked Bluffie just after it has emerged from the ocean.
Tasty mention: The Stewart Island battered blue cod on the menu at Oban's South Sea Hotel ($26) is so good you might order it two days in a row. Or maybe even three. Southseahotel.co.nz