With its laid-back lifestyle, lovely summer weather and extremely amiable people, New Zealand is flush with opportunities and places to enjoy a glass or two of your favourite tipple. Whether you’re restoring the tissues with a beer after a long day out on the water, or kicking back on Ninety Mile Beach with a choice gin and tonic, there’s always time to relax and soak up that serenity.
It’s a tough gig, picking 10 examples from the plethora of fine wines, beers and spirits that many ingenious Kiwis are now concocting, no doubt. However, with this list we’re trying to give 10 different examples of all the different types of grog you can find; produced by the Land of the Long White Cloud.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Now, being honest, as far a the beer goes you’ll be able to find many craft beers that are of a better quality than Tui. None of those new, delicious craft beers will have the pedigree and history of Tui, though. It’s a Kiwi classic, like L&P and Marmite and Big Ben Pies. Sure it might not be the best beer, but it’d be an emptier world without it.
Tui is that beer you grab from the bottle shop when you’re in a rush and you’ve got a barbie (barbecue) to get to. It’s printed on the flip-flops of at least three blokes in your local watering hole, or on the back of a singlet that the builder who is working on your deck is wearing. In a nutshell; it’s a piece of Kiwiana. It has cemented a place in the hearts of all New Zealanders with its dependability and hilarious ‘Yeah Right’ billboards – not to mention its famous adverts depicting stunningly beautiful women brewing up and delivering the beer at the company’s famous brewery in Mangatainoka.
This delicious and trendy boutique rum is now well on its way to taking the world by storm. It tastes great whether you’re drinking it in Martinborough or Miama, but why not give it a crack in the land it was created? And why not dive it at the bizarre deep-end and go for the uniquely named coffee and cigarettes spiced-rum? Recommended with just a splash of coke.
Whilst the botanical ingredients for this complex gin are sourced from all over the world – Seville orange peel, Croatian juniper and lemon peel from Portugal, to name a few – it’s the Kiwi ingenuity that brings them all together back in New Zealand. Ariki is the word used for a Maori high-priest or chief, and there are definite Pacific tones rippling through this gin – what with the Tongan coconut, vanilla from Rarotonga and manuka flowers from NZ.
This now world-famous product deserves to star in its own film. It’s a fable of sorts. A lovely Kiwi tale that begins with one bloke’s – Geoff Ross – hair-brained scheme to brew his own vodka at home for his mates. It ended with a vodka that won all the major competitions in the world and became famous in high-end bars from Brooklyn to London. The feijoa-flavoured 42 Below is an authentic taste of New Zealand, as is the manuka honey variety. This is another brand in which the Kiwi sense of humour is quite evident in the advertising.
This is another inspiring story of the passion of a few evolving into something the whole of New Zealand can be proud of. Thomson Whisky pride themselves on their simple quality-over-quantity approach, and you can really taste that in the finished product. You get (and will get, as whisky matures while you read this) a sense of a local product. Something made in small batches, using ex-bourbon barrels, as well as used New Zealand red wine barrels. A must-try for whisky enthusiasts.
Named with typical Kiwi flair, this tastes just as good as you’d think. The flavours are big and bold, and the beer itself is award-winning. It’s also established enough so that it’s not exorbitantly priced – a mark against some the other craft beers out there. Brewed in Auckland, it’s now found its way over to fellow beer-loving countries such as Belgium.
Roaring Meg Pinot Noir
Now, there’s undeniably a fantastic range of New Zealand wine to accommodate all budgets and palates. However, in the interest of an all-round pinot noir, it’s hard to beat Roaring Meg. This luscious drop – produced by Mount Difficulty Wines – hails from Bannockburn, Central Otago, and is a solid addition to anyone’s wine rack. At $30NZD, it’s what most consider pretty middle of the road price-wise, and the relaxed dark berry taste is something that most should enjoy.
Here is another gin distiller that might have slipped under the gin connoisseur’s radar. Rogue Society are very much the new kids on the block. As the name suggests, their mission and philosophy is to turn tradition on its head, to try and reinvent the wheel as far as that can be done. While the exact recipe itself is a closely guarded secret (naturally), they source their ingredients from all over the globe; from England to Sri Lanka, and from Guatemala to Poland. It is the attention to detail that comes through when you take a sip, the flavours held together by that incomparable New Zealand glacial water.
Lewis Road Creamery Chocolate Liquer
From the Bay of Plenty, and the good folks at Lewis Road Creamery, comes this luxurious, properly decadent treat. With a dairy industry as prolific as that of New Zealand, it’s perhaps no surprise Lewis Road Creamery decided to dip a toe into the liqueur pool. Fresh New Zealand cream, rich chocolate and just a nudge of premium distilled spirit, this scrumptious delight is good over ice, in coffee or poured over ice cream. Yum. Just yum.
New Zealand is a beer lover’s country. Beer goes hand in hand with backyard cricket games, barbies, going fishing, days at the beach, rugby and basically any other occasion you care to name. Just as Tui is a staple beverage of the North Island, so Speights deserves a mention for lubricating the South Island since 1876. Among many other milestones in its illustrious, 142-year lifespan, Speights managed to pack a pub onto a boat and deliver it… to London. Talk about diplomatic relations. If that’s not worth raising a glass to then what is?
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.