Fresh pickings from NZ’s Northern Island

The Villa Maria Estate in Auckland is a 15-minute drive from the Auckland International Airport.
The Villa Maria Estate in Auckland is a 15-minute drive from the Auckland International Airport.

While New Zealand's North Island is home to active volcanoes, island sanctuaries and history nooks, equally not to be missed are the island's culinary offerings. 

Treat delegates to New Zealand's renowned wholesome produce with an intimate experience of the quirky Kiwi style 'honesty boxes' in the countryside. Delegates can experience obtaining fresh produce such as cherries, nuts, preserves and oysters directly from stalls at farm gates. 

In the sub-tropical north of New Zealand, delegates can sample produce from primary producers such as milk from Mahoe Farm Cheese, a family-run business on SH10 at Oromahoe in the Bay of Islands. Still on SH10, at the top of Bulls Gorge, honesty boxes selling Kerikeri oranges and mandarins can also be found. 

Delegates can also stop by K4 Kombucha Brewery to sample and learn more about the produce. Shellfish lovers can have their fix at Kororareka Oysters (6021 Russell Whakapara Road).

Delegates who appreciate a good wine can also go on an exploration of the North's vineyards and cellar door experiences.

Villa Maria Estate, Auckland
Started in the late 1970s by George and Gail Fistonich, the Villa Maria Estate is the country's largest private owned wine company. 

The flagship winery, cellar door and café is a convenient post or pre-Auckland Airport stop overlooking vineyards planted along the contours of an extinct volcano and among the stone fields of early Māori settlement.

118 Montgomerie Road, Mangere, Auckland
Open 7 days for lunch 9am - 6pm.
A 30-minute drive from central Auckland and a 15-drive from the Auckland International Airport.

Millton Vineyards and Winery, Gisborne
With its beginnings in 1984, Millton is today one of the original biodynamic wine estates in the southern hemisphere and among the first 10 biodynamic wine estates in the world. All their vineyards are certified organic, and they were the first New Zealand winegrower to be certified organic with Bio-Gro in 1989.

119 Papatu Road, Manutukue, Gisborne
Open weekdays 10am - 4pm and holiday weekends. 
A 15-minute drive west of Gisborne.

Ata Rangi Wines, Martinborough
Started in 1980 by dairy farmer Clive Paton, the vineyard has since grown to produce pinot noir  which has garnered international awards. Today, the skilled Ata Rangi family is one of the most well-established wine clans in the country. 

A visit to the cellar door is an intimate experience as the rustic building was the original tiny winery. Clive is still hands-on and you may bump into him there, or any one of the small, family-oriented team still producing world class wines.

14 Puruatanga Rd, Martinborough
Open Noon - 4pm in summer: (November 28 - February 28)
Open 1 - 3pm weekdays, Noon - 4pm weekends in winter
Closed Good Friday, Christmas and Boxing Days 
A 15-minute drive from Martinborough in the Wairarapa.

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