Dine in style: The best fine-dining restaurants around NZ

Medlands Beach on Great Barrier Island. Photo / Supplied For Travel - Sept 8 NZH 08Sep20 - NZH 08Sep20 -

When circumstance calls for a celebration – of a life event, of whānau and friends, or simply of life and of delicious food in general – there are certain dining establishments up and down the country that have your back.

The definition of fine dining has shifted away from ostentatious ingredients flown in from afar and handled by a kitchen full of chefs standing to rank. Nowadays, the level of care and attention that goes into creating a special experience is a multi-layered thing: there's the design of the space, the sourcing of ingredients, polished but unfussy service. Special can mean enjoying wonderful food without leaving a big carbon footprint in the act, discovering fascinating new ingredients, and being given a learned insight into the people and environments that have created what's on the plate.

Here are just some of our favourites, so you can eat your way around the country starting south and working your way up.