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How To Plan The Best South Island Culinary Experience

How to plan the best South Island culinary experience ever 

New Zealand is a tiny island country that seldom gets the credit it deserves for the fine dining experiences that can be found hidden amongst the country’s breathtaking natural wonders. You can plan an awesome South Island culinary experience in just a few simple steps as long as you’re willing to drive a little further to enjoy the delights dotted around the Island. First things first, you will need a gorgeous place to stay for your holiday. 

Find the best holiday accommodation in the South Island 

You will need a place to stay while you embark on your South Island culinary experience. Finding the best holiday accommodation in the South Island won’t be difficult, however. Wonderland Makarora Lodge is the perfect place to call your home temporarily while you explore everything that New Zealand has to offer. 

Choose from our selection of stunning cabins and chalets nestled amongst the rolling hills and rich, green fauna of the South Island. Situated in the heart of the Haast Pass, Wonderland Makarora Lodge is the perfect place to stay as it is surrounded by must-see waterfalls and enthralling nature walks and hikes

Book the best South Island culinary experience ever 

Next, you should craft your itinerary for your South Island culinary experience. From your “home base” at Wonderland Makarora Lodge, you’re well-positioned to enjoy scenic drives to and from the best restaurants near Makarora and Wanaka. Here are some of the fine dining experiences you won’t want to miss: 

Pembroke Pâtisserie in Albert Town 

Start the day right with a delicious coffee and pastry treat. A forty-five-minute drive from the Lodge, the Pembroke Pâtisserie serves doughnuts, scrolls, croissants and tarts galore. Discover all the sweet treats that this renowned shop has to offer or risk missing out on the best sugar rush of your life. 

Big Fig in Wanaka 

Found in Ardmore Street, Big Fig specialises in serving slow food in good time. You can enjoy deli-style breakfasts before 11 am and seasonal lunch and dinner thereafter. Their slow-cooked meats and vibrant Lebanese-inspired meals are not to be overlooked. Find the Big Fig just fifty minutes from the Lodge. 

Bistro Gentil on the Golf Course Road 

If traditional French fare is what you’re after, then you’ll want to stop at Bistro Gentil in Wanaka. An elegant but understated dining experience awaits you, with traditional French flavours and a diverse spread of classic dishes to enjoy. From French onion soup with piles of croutons to stunning imported cheeses, there’s something for everyone at Bistro Gentil.

Wanaka Speight’s Ale House on Ardmore Street 

Another Ardmore Street experience awaits you! Enjoy lakeside dining next to Bullock Creek and Lake Wanaka at Wanaka Speight’s Ale House, the home of gastro meals on the South Island. Enjoy a range of more than ten beer varieties on tap and a comprehensive selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. 

Amisfield in Central Otago 

This is your stop for specialist wines and two-hatted bistro dining in Central Otago, about ninety minutes from the Wonderland Makarora Lodge. You’ll have to place your trust in the chef for this degustation menu, but the only surprise you’re in for is an otherworldly dining experience at Amisfield. Crafted from locally foraged ingredients, the menu is invigorated by daily finds and unbelievably fresh produce. 

Explore Possible Itineraries to Round Out Your Experience 

If you have a little extra time and want to see what else there is apart from an amazing South Island culinary experience, check out these potential itinerary ideas. Pick and choose from some of the best sights, activities and experiences that New Zealand has to offer. 

Read more about the South Island and what it has to offer on the Wonderland Makarora Lodge blog

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