The Best Food and Wine Tours in Wellington, New Zealand
Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, sits near the North Island's southernmost point on the Cook Strait. A compact city, it encompasses a waterfront promenade, sandy beaches, a working harbor, and colorful timber houses on surrounding hills. From Lambton Quay, the iconic red Wellington Cable Car heads to the Wellington Botanic Gardens. Strong winds through the Cook Strait give it the nickname "Windy Wellington." The multilayered city streets are jam-packed with treats. For starters it's lovely to look at: gorgeous Victorian timber architecture laces the bushy hillsides above the harbor. It has hill-top lookouts and craggy shorelines to the south. Downtown, the compact center vibrates with museums, theatres, galleries, boutiques, and bars. The look here is artsy-yet-a-tad-depleted like you've been up all night creating something. These vibes are fueled by a caffeine and craft-beer scene. With so much to see, do, and taste, Wellington is a great place to experience, and there are several options for food and wine tours in or near the area to help you make the most of your time here.
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Hop into your air-conditioned minivan at 9am in central Wellington, then head onward into the city to begin your 5-hour tour. Sample some of the fine blends on sale at a local coffee roaster, and gain insight into New Zealand's thriving coffee culture. Visit a master butcher to learn of the different cuts of meat the Kiwis love, and learn how the trade has changed over the years. Then, see diverse produce from far-flung corners of Asia such as China, Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam, and learn how contemporary New Zealand cuisine draws on their influences. Afterward, visit a French cheese importer and sample a variety of cheeses from the other side of the world. Enjoy lunch in a local restaurant, then finish your food tour at a New Zealand ice cream parlor. At 2pm, return in comfort to central Wellington to conclude your 5-hour tour.
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Begin your tour with a 9am pickup from your central Wellington hotel and meet your guideand small group of no more than 10 people. Kick off the day with a visit to one of the city's most renowned coffee houses, where you'll meet a professional coffee roaster to learn the art of brewing the perfect coffee and enjoy a coffee tasting. After your morning caffeine fix, continue to some of the city's best artisan food shops and suppliers to get an overview of New Zealand's varied cuisine. Sample delicious Asian delicacies from Vietnam, Thailand, Japan, and China; visit an Indian spice shop to browse the spices and sample traditional Indian sweets; and meet with a cheese importer to taste a selection of international cheeses. Visit a popular food emporium, where there will be chance to tuck into foods from all around the world. Finally, indulge your sweet tooth with a visit to a chocolatier, then end the day sampling New Zealand's best wines or craft beers at the city's oldest hotel. Your tour ends with drop-off at your hotel around 4pm.
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Get an exclusive behind the scenes look at five local food and/or beverage producers with a tasting selection at every single location. The tour includes a cupping and a coffee bean roasting at a local coffee roaster where you will trace the life of a coffee bean from origin to cup. This is followed by a personalized tasting of cheeses, yogurts, and ice cream with a local dairy producer. The third stop is a cured meat tasting served with Lambrusco, Italian cheeses and breads. The penultimate stop is a visit to a local chocolatier where you will learn the art of making real chocolate and how slight changes in the ingredients product the varieties of chocolate available. Finally, quench your thirst at a local craft brewery for a craft beer tasting or visit a tasting room for a sample of New Zealand wines.
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Start your Martinborough wine tour from the Wellington Railway Station, departing by train on an approximate 1-hour journey past Wellington Harbor and the picturesque Wairarapa Valley. Disembark at Featherston Railway Station, where you're greeted by a professional driver-guide aboard your comfortable coach. Travel to four boutique and award-winning tasting rooms where you'll meet some of the family winemakers behind the label. Your all-inclusive wine tour of the famed wine region of Martinborough includes wine tastings plus a delicious antipasto lunch in the quaint wine villa. Enjoy gourmet delights paired with a local cheese platter and coffee. If time allows, explore village craft shops and galleries in the sleepy, rural town before you board your train for the return rail trip to Wellington.
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