CH honeymoon in New Zealand or Australia?
I know this must be a very broad question, so please forgive what may sounds like roll-of-the-eye-inducing query:
In your opinion, which would be best to visit for a food-venturing honeymoon? I would really love to go to NZ, but it seems most food-related articles I've run across lately have been about Australia, particularly about the slow food movement and the vineyards.
Is it the case that NZ is not as pioneering, or is there just a lack of publicity? For example, the way the outer boroughs in NY tend to have much better value food than in Manhattan, but you wouldn't necessarily know that if you were to judge mainly from information put out by media.
I love simple, fresh foods made with love, and tend to appreciate homegrown hole-in-the-wall finds. I'd also be interested in visiting farms or restaurants attached to farms. Overall, anything that adheres to a 'back to the land/flavor from good ingredients' philosophy.
I don't know anyone from NZ or Australia, or anyone who's visited, so any feedback would be much appreciated. Thanks!
I spent a year on sabbatical in New Zealand in 2001-02 and I found the country very easy to navigate. I will be in Australia for 2007-08 and it is very daunting because of the size of the country. I was based in Auckland and had many good meals of seafood, lamb, and venison throughout the country. Many of the restaurants are BYOB and have minimal corkage fees (about $2 per person!) New Zealand is really a great country if you enjoy the outdoors (Australia is also, but it's so big!) You mentioned the Lord of the Rings. If you are interested in visiting the film sites get the book by Ian Brodie which has GPS listings according to the movie scenes. Don't hesitate to rent a car and drive around both the North and South Islands. Once you get out of Auckland, Wellington, or Christchurch the population density drops dramatically. All of the Kiwis I met were really friendly and I echo the earlier post to ask the locals about food options. Congratulations
Congrats on your impending wedding! I agree with Deb, stick with NZ - great food, great wine, very laid back. Maybe try to fit in a stopover in Aus on the way there or back (both Qantas and AirNZ have routes that will accommodate). Or get a Circle Pacific fare and go nuts!
You should check out the vineyard tours in the Auckland, Marlborough, and Central Otago regions as well. Many of them have partnerships with local restos, if not kitchens onsite.
Farm visitations may be limited by season. What time of year are you planning to visit?
Best way to approach a wedding, IMO!
Yes, that'll be the Kiwi spring/summer; November through March is peak season in the South Pacific - airfares, accommodation and availability will be at a premium, so book early or keep an eye out for specials (Flyertalk.com is a great resource as a starting point).
If you're spontaneous types, I highly recommend the road trip approach (rent a car in Auckland and work your way around the country - DH and I did this before leaving for Canada a decade ago). Alternatively, every city is a short plane trip away, and there are plenty of quality hotels/motels to choose from (check stuff.co.nz, the NZ Automobile Association, and local newspapers online).
Just not as well publicized.
Basically I am an Aussie so dont get me wrong,I LOVE the food we have, so diverse...however you expressed a wish to visit NZ. Go to NZ! Their produce is great, their wine is great ....their food is great too. This might help: http://www.cuisine.co.nz/ and also check out wellington and auklands newpaper sites for reviews, as well as say an organic association. I think that by being a much smaller area to explore, it is a better choice for a honeymoon....lots of cosy b&b's and boutique hotels. There are a few places mentioned on the slowfood site too. And dont forget to ask the locals...they know.