The 4 restaurants you need to visit in New Zealand

The 4 restaurants you need to visit in New Zealand

You probably already know New Zealand has some pretty good restaurants, but you might not know that some of them are so good they are ranked among the best…in the world!

That's right, Kiwis are dominating the culinary scene with amazing dishes, beautiful restaurants and original ingredients that can only be found in the land of the Māori. So, if you are planning your next trip to Auckland, here are five restaurants you definitely cannot miss.

The Grove (Auckland)

Located in the heart of the city, The Grove is undeniably one of Auckland’s top restaurants. This super exclusive venue serves modern New Zealand food with a French twist that will dazzle your senses. Their menu is constantly changing and adapting to include new ingredients, harnessing the power of seasonal fruits and vegetables and experimenting with new techniques. The Grove also showcases a fantastic range of natural and biodynamic wines from all over the world that create a unique wine selection, carefully curated by Michael and Annette Dearth, owners of the restaurant.

Sails Restaurant (Auckland)

Situated in Westhaven, heart of the Southern Hemisphere’s largest marina, Salis Restaurant is without a doubt the best seafood restaurant in New Zealand. With a one of a kind location and years of experience in the restaurant business, Salis Restaurant is the perfect place to enjoy a night in town. Their wine selection is one of the biggest in the city and that is saying a lot. The restaurant is the perfect place for dates, business meetings and yes, tourists who enjoy a fancy night in town. People recently picked Sails Restaurant as the winner of the Great Auckland Seafood Challenge for the best seafood dish in Auckland, which is probably the only thing you really needed to know to make your decision.

Bella Cucina (Queenstown)

Located inside an unmistakable character building in Queenstown’s Brecon Street Dining precinct, Bella Cucina is the best Italian restaurant in all of New Zealand. With a menu of simple yet elegant dishes, fresh organic ingredients, and a fine selection of European wines, the restaurant will make you fall in love with pizza and pasta all over again. Since it opened in 2008, it has been a local favorite. The menu even has a “trust the chef” option that you can pick to put your lunch in the hands of some of the best cooks in town. Trust us, they do not disappoint.

Arbour (Marlborough)

Eat, sip, gather. That's the motto of Marlborough's best restaurant. Arbour is a small little place located in the heart of the city that specializes in innovative cuisine and friendly service. While their menu is small and ever changing, it has gained a reputation for being delicious and always original. Arbour has won the Two Hats Cuisine Good Food Awards 2019, Best Venue 'Top of the South', Wild Tomato 2017, and was crowned as the best restaurant in Marlborough in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.

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Top 5 beers made in New Zealand

If there is something all Kiwis can agree on is that beer is New Zealand’s best and most appreciated drink. There are over 150 breweries and microbreweries nationwide with two of them being the absolute power players: Lion Breweries and DB Breweries. Around 60% of all alcohol sold in the country is beer and with good reason. During the 1990s, New Zealand brewers were in fashion and that convinced many amateur brewmasters to start their own beer companies. Today, there are hundreds of national craft beers to try.

If you are looking for your next favorite brew, here is a list of 5 beers brands made in New Zealand you need to try.

Mac’s Beer

Created in 1981 by a publican named Terry, Mac’s played a key role in kicking off the country’s thriving beer scene. Over the years, the small company grew into one of New Zealand’s most renowned breweries, adding new types of beer like the IPA, dry-hopped pilsners, Pacific Pale Ales (PPAs), porters, malt lagers, and golden ales.

Sunshine Brewery

Located in the East Coast city of Gisborne, the Sunshine Brewery stands proud as the city’s hallmark beer brand. Sunshine has a very laid-back attitude that, combined with their passion for brewing, creates a product that’s just as easy-going as their creators. Created in 1989, the company was one of the first to hop (get it?) into the microbrewing business on the East Coast. Wild, free, in the Sun and living it, that is their motto. A beer that is made to be enjoyed with friends on the beach.

Emerson’s

Emerson’s has been in the brewing business since 1992. Probably the fanciest brewery on the list, they offer some of the best brewery tours available and some of the best beers too. Even though the company has less than 30 years, their attitude and style transmits an old-fashioned vibe that certainly works for them. Their NZ Pilsner is an absolute must for fans of the craft.

DB Breweries

The only major brewery on the list. DB might be part of the Heinkenen corporation but it is certainly a national treasure. Founded in 1929 by W Joseph Coutts and his three sons as The Waitemata Brewery Co, the company has grown into an empire. With brands like Barrel N°51, Black Dog Brew, Dark Horse, and their famous Export beer line, the company exports its products to more than 12 countries.

Speight’s

Established in 1876, Speight’s is a Lion breweries beer created in Dunedin. The brand has many alehouses around the country and specializes in affordable beer, exporting their products to Australia and the Pacific Islands. Their brew building is a prominent historical landmark in central Dunedin.

 

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Top 5 beers made in New Zealand

Best things to do in New Zealand

There are very few countries in the world that can compete with the natural beauty of New Zealand. Before the Pandemic, the country welcomed an average of eleven million tourists every year looking for adrenaline, adventure, historic landmarks and one of a kind experiences. While visiting cities and towns is always a nice thing to do, the richest and most interesting part of a real New Zealand trip lies outside your comfort zone.

So, if you are planning your next island holiday, here are some of the best things you can do in New Zealand.

Take a trip to Te Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley (Rotorua)

The Māori legend says that when Te Hoata and Te Pupu (Goddesses of Fire) traveled from Hawaiki, they turned into fire to relieve their brother from the cold. The result was the creation of New Zealand’s volcanoes, geysers, mud pools and hot springs. Whakarewarewa´s geothermal landscape is a mesmerizing sight to see. Its unique village, boiling muds and nature walks are one of New Zealand's biggest natural treasures. The Geothermal Valley is also one of New Zealand's most visited locations, so you might want to book your tour in advance.

Explore the Waitomo Glowworm Caves (North Island)

The glowworm caves are, without a doubt, New Zealand’s best natural attractions. The glow worm is a type of worm that is unique to New Zealand and because of that, there is literally no other place on earth where you can have the same experience. Almost all of the guides are descendants of the Maori chief who originally explored the cave. Their stories and anecdotes tell the tale of the amazing 30 million year rock formation and their relation with the Maori tribe.

Visit Hobbiton (Waikato)

Let 's get nerdy! You are probably familiar with the Lord of the Rings books and movies, but did you know that almost all of the trilogy was shot in New Zealand? If you ever wondered how it would feel to visit the fantastic world created by J.R.R Tolkien then this is the place you want to go. Explore the Hobbit holes, dance around the Party Tree, and have a drink at the Green Dragon Inn. Trust us, this fantasy land will light up your instagram feed like nothing in the world.

Snorkel in Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve (Northland)

Located 23 kilometers off the Tutukaka Coast in Northland, Poor Knights Islands is the perfect place for those who love underwater adventures. Rated as one of the top 10 dive spots in the world by none other than Jacques Cousteau, the islands are amazingly preserved, possess a unique biodiversity and sea life. You can spot dolphins, orca, or Bryde's whales while snorkeling around the islands on any given day.

 

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Best things to do in New Zealand

The best surf brands you can find in New Zealand

New Zealand is one of the most popular surfing destinations in the world. It is said that the Māori were already surfing even before European settlers arrived in the 19th century, that’s how long New Zealand’s surfing culture goes.

The country has a long surfing tradition due to its varied coastline and surf locations. The west coast is known for its big swells and high winds that create the perfect conditions for surfers to enjoy a challenge.

Because of this, some of the best surfing brands in the world can be found in New Zealand. Here are five of the most popular brands you need to check out before hitting the beach.

Patagonia

Patagonia is one of the most popular outdoor brands in the world. Their surfing line includes premium wetsuits equipped with Yulex technology, backpacks, impact vests, boardshorts, hooded full suits, hybrid booties, split shoe booties gloves, and insertable hoods. The brand has been in the surfing apparel business for a long time and it has always been recognized for the quality of its materials and amazing collections.

The company has many stores around the country and an online marketplace where you can shop directly.

Billabong

If you had to name three surfing brands Billabong would probably be on the list. Every year, the brand sponsors dozens of surfing events and some of the wildest most popular teams in the world. Founded in Australia in 1973 by a surfboard shaper Gordon Merchant, the brand has been part of Australia’s surfing culture since 1980.

With some of the best boards and wetsuits in the world, Billabong stands proud as a pioneer of mainstream surfing culture and one of the main ambassadors.

O’Neill

Founded in 1952 by a young man named Jack O’Neill, the company sold some of the first commercial neoprene suits and board leashes in America. The brand was one of the first mainstream surf companies in the world. They also created the first stitchless board shorts and some of the first surfing accessories designed for competitions and pro surfers.

Vans

Vans was founded in 1966 by Paul and James Van Doren and Serge Delia. Originally a skateboard brand, the company entered the surfing business in 1980 and immediately stood out from the crowd. Recently, the band released a new collection called Vans X TC Surf Collection to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

Channel Islands Surfboards

CIS has been around since 1969. Originally a small surfboard manufacturer, the company grew into a cutting-edge organization that works with some of the best surfers in the world. The quality of their materials, excellent craftsmanship, and attention to detail had made them a power player in the surfing business.

 

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The best surf brands you can find in New Zealand

The 6 essentials your baby needs for the beach

Summer is here again and that means a lot more time at the beach surfing, sunbathing, and taking care of your little ones while trying to build a sandcastle made of buckets that can (barely) withstand the impact of a mild wave.

Long hours at the beach also mean you need to think about how to protect your from sun exposure, dehydration, and most importantly… boredom! Here are some of the absolute essentials your baby needs for the beach.

Baby beach bag

It's important to have a beach bag to make sure you never forget anything your needs for a day in the sun. Sure, you can take your regular baby bag, but chances are you are going to forget something at home while you are busy checking everything else and getting your kid in the car.

Swim diapers

Waterproof beach diapers are an absolute must-have in your bag. You can choose between disposable swim diapers or reusable swim diapers, which are more environmentally friendly but a bit messier to clean and carry. Some beach diapers also have UV protection and that is a huge plus to keep your baby safe.

Sun protection shirt

Babies have thinner skin and that makes them a lot more sensitive when spending time in the sun. Sun protection shirts are an excellent option for babies, especially because they can't use sunscreen before they are six months old. Ideally, you want to get shirts with dark colors and a tight-weave fabric to improve skin protection. You can even get one-piece swimsuits that cover the whole body, some of them even have hoodies to protect their heads.

Baby Beach Pool

Not the most usual accessory, we know, but beach pools can be one of the best items to take with you. Since babies can not spend a lot of time in the water, beach pools are the perfect solution to keep them wet, happy, and safe. Pop-up pools are easy to set up and usually come with a roof to keep your safe from the sun. Plus, they are affordable.

Beach Shoes

Do you know what's hot and uncomfortable? sand. Your loves to explore the world, especially if he or she is starting to walk. Hot sand can hurt your little one and make him or her afraid of stepping on it. Luckily there are beach shoes designed to solve this problem and provide the right traction in the sand.

Baby Sunglasses

Some may think sunglasses make babies look cool, and they do. But they also protect against the sun and allow them to see better during a hot summer day. There are many brands to pick from, but always remember to look for certified products since cheap sunglasses can be just as bad as no glasses at all.

 

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The 6 essentials your baby needs for the beach

New Zealand: land of Maori traditions

Maori culture is a fundamental part of the oceanic country. Not only because of its large population, but also because of its representative traditions. To say New Zealand is to say Maori for many visitors and even for many locals.

The New Zealand government places a strong emphasis on the preservation and continuity of Maori traditions under a programme that tries to safeguard this culture in its three main facets: the physical (establishments, places), the natural (mountains, natural resources) and the intangible (traditions). Let's look at some more facts.

Marae: the place

This is the name given to the enclosed spaces belonging to a tribe. This is where you can find the Maori at their best, as it is a Maori-only territory. In the maraes it is common to see typical dances, food, celebrations and spaces of this New Zealand culture. It is worth mentioning that you can visit the marae but only in private groups with previous appointments and access.

Powhiri: the welcome

Opening the gates of their land is a Maori tradition. Powhiri is a ritual to welcome anyone arriving at a marae. The ritual begins with a challenge (nothing to be scared of) by a warrior to certify that the person arriving is arriving in peace. This is followed by maori calls and speeches and ends with gifts and food.

Hongi: the greeting

A well-known symbol of this tradition is the nose-to-nose and face-to-face greeting. Handshakes are not so popular in this culture, which prefers closer contact. This tradition that goes back to the origins of the culture allows people to connect and breathe the air of life together.

Hangi: food

Food is very important to Maori. The special thing about this food is that it is cooked underground with a method of cooking on embers. In a hole that is specially made for cooking, the embers are placed and the food is placed on top. In ancient times the food was wrapped in foil, but nowadays aluminium foil or other materials are used. This form of cooking is ideal for feeding large numbers of people and thus creating a meeting place for the inhabitants of the marae.

Tā Moko: the tattoos

We can easily distinguish a New Zealand Maori by their physical features but also by their traditional tattoos. These tribal tattoos, which are immortalised on the skin of Maori people, have an undertone of unconditional attachment to their culture. They also represent part of the person's history and their link to Maori.

 

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New Zealand: land of Maori traditions

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