Part 1: Festivals and Events for the Foodie

02 Feb 2015

When you think of New Zealand, you probably think of pristine environments, adventure thrill-seeking and wide open spaces imagery associated with it. It is still a fair assessment of New Zealand, but what can be added to your experience of New Zealand, is the attendance at some of New Zealand’s most popular and exciting events held throughout the country.

We’ve created a series of blog posts that have identified some of the key events held throughout the country that will raise your experience of New Zealand and be a must if you are able to attend within your region of visit.

Regionally, New Zealand has events for all kinds of interests and people, something to suit everyone. In the coming months, we’ll look at the events for a range of different people – from foodies, to artists, to those that like to groove, to those that like sport, to those looking for a little more luxury. Keep your eyes peeled for the events that peak your interest. 

The first part of our series is for the foodies.


For the foodies

Kiwis love their food and celebrate this love of food at a number of different festivals and events held throughout New Zealand. With a wide range of fare from the garden, to the paddock, to the hill tops, to the farm, there is a little something for everyone, no matter what your tastes, experience, or budget.



Wildfoods Festival in Hokitika

When we think of food – what first comes to mind? Arguably it will be the nationally renowned Wildfoods Festival in Hokitika – an opportunity to try a variety of different and exotic foods, washed down with a sample of some of NZ’s best brews.

Held on 14 March 2015, 10am – 6pm at Cass Square in Hokitika, this festival provides the opportunity to taste foods that wouldn’t make it into most of our local restaurants. The festival includes demonstrations from celebrity chefs, interactive seminars, plenty of competitions, and music to boot. It is optimized by:



…sample everything from Huhu grubs and grasshoppers, to Mussels and Mountain Oysters”


As much as it is a food festival, it is possibly not for the food connoiseeeur. It is a relaxed atmosphere where the opportunity to enjoy the entertainment and partake in the festivities is well enjoyed by all those that attend.

Looking for accommodation while in Hokitika? Look no further than Hokitika Holiday Park. Just a short stroll to the main event!



Bluff Oyster and Food Festival

Scheduled to be held 23 May 2015, the Bluff Oyster and Food Festival is the celebration of the seasonal harvest of the Oyster. The festival has expanded to offer a full entertainment experience with music and beverages, and also includes local sea fare dishes such as crayfish, paua (abalone), scallops, salmon, blue food and whitebait.

While the local seafood is centre stage, it is also a festival that embraces the greater Southland area cuisine with dishes for sale based on muttonbird, venison, lamb, beef and pork. Accompanying the food on offer is a selection of New Zealand wines and great south ales.



Whangarei Fritter Festival

From one end of the country to the other, the Whangarei Fritter Festival is held at the Northland Events Centre (Toll Stadium), Okara Park. The festival is family friendly, so while Mum and Dad enjoy a wine and the entertainment – headlined by Dave Dobbyn, the kids can dine out on the unlimited use of the bouncy castle and waterslide.


Held on 28 March 2015, the event is in its third year where it is all about enjoying a feast of fine wines and gourmet fritters from Whangarei and the region’s finest restaurants and wineries. These restaurants also battle it out for the annual Best Fritter Trophy, your entry provides you with a vote to acts for your favourite.

A day of excitement and relaxation, the Whangarei Fritter Festival has something for everyone.

The bonus is if you cannot stay with one of the relatives, use the excuse to take a day trip from Dargaville and stay at the Dargaville Kiwi Holiday Park. That way you when you are nursing those tried legs from dancing so much the day after, you’ll be able to soak them in the local swimming pool, the Kai Iwi Lakes, or Baylys beach.



For a more detailed list of potential Food and Wine Festivals throughout the country you can visit – with over 15 different types of culinary fare and beverage types on show.

Be sure to note that there are also other smaller regional festivals held in different cities and towns throughout the year, so be sure to ask the locals or tap into your local scene to see what is happening in your region of visit. 

Look out for the next instalment, for those that like to mix sport and pleasure.

Is there a foodies festival that you believe should be here? Comment below.



Image Credits:

Hu Hu Grub, by Eli Duke, CC By 2.0

Bluff oysters with sherry vinaigrette, by smalljude, CC By 2.0

Fritter festival image sourced from

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