best local food bay of islands

Where to Find the Best Local Cuisine in Bay of Islands & Northland

New Zealanders love their food and Northland is no exception as demonstrated by the near 400 restaurants and cafe’s throughout the region.

It’s no wonder the food is so good too with lots of sunshine, a comfortable temperature for most of the year, and surrounded by beautiful clear waters full of top quality seafood. These climate conditions also produce fine wines found at one of the many vineyards in the area such as Marsden Estate, Ake Ake Vineyard, Omata Estate Vineyard and Kitchen, Lochiel Estate and Longview Wine Estate to name just a few. Refer to the Northland Wine Map for the full list of local winemakers.

Food Markets

If you are flying into Kerikeri Airport for a weekend break, we recommend booking your rental car online ahead of time for airport collection and head straight to the Bay of Islands Farmers Market in Kerikeri town centre.

The market operates on Saturdays in Kerikeri and in Paihia on Thursdays. Here visitors will find locals selling the very best in fresh fruit and vegetables (including organic), artisan bread, local wines, fresh blueberry ice cream, and every type of cheese imaginable. Or how about limoncello, gourmet oils, chutneys and sauces, oyster mushrooms, smoked mussels and of course, flavour full coffee (New Zealanders love their coffee almost as much as they love their food). See the list of proud stallholders to view their first-class products.

These markets give foodies a chance to meet the grower or the maker, enjoy the balmy weather and really soak up the great local atmosphere.

Self Drive Food and Wine Trail

The Northland Food and Wine Trail features over 60 food and wine experiences; from chocolate factories to gate sales to picking your own macadamias, this is heavenly for the gourmet traveler. Email info@northlandnz.com for your copy of the food and wine trail map.

Driving at your leisure, stopping when and where you choose is what makes this trail a fun and relaxing way to see and eat your way around Northland. Our fleet of vehicles ranges from 4-seater hatchbacks to 12-seater vans so whether it’s a couple’s weekend getaway or a group of friends travelling together, we have a vehicle to suit.

Food Festivals

Love food? Well, let’s have a festival! And so they do – in Hokianga, Paihia Kerikeri, Mangawhai, Mangonui, and in Whangarei with it’s own fritter festival. Food related festivals happen Spring, Summer, and early Autumn so the best and easiest way to stay ahead of what’s coming up is via Eventfinda Northland or Northland Festivals and Lifestyle.

More Food

Northland’s most famous eating experience must be the Mangonui Fish and Chip Shop which looks out right over the picturesque harbour. Choose the fish you want, and then watch it being filleted and cooked to perfection.

If luxury accommodation and fine dining are on your agenda, then Paihia Beach Resort and Spa offer a range of menus and high-end getaway packages.

Over recent years Northland has proven itself to be a foodie destination, once word got around that golf, wine and watersports weren’t the only world-class excursions on offer. If an upcoming food-based festival has caught your eye, click here to subscribe to our quarterly newsletter for our latest hot deals or refer to our Facebook page.

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  1. Full of charm. If it’s your first time here, rest assure the services, car hire, accommodation, and restaurants in the beautiful Bay of Islands will make your stay enjoyable and certainly one to remember.

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