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Travelling Gourmet Holiday and Accommodation plan
Travelling Gourmet:

A five day gourmet adventure in the South Island:

Queenstown, Lake Hawea, Oamaru, Tekapo

Great local produce and an underlying passion for the good things in life are the hallmark of many who live and work in the region. The result is a selection of superb food and wine combined with a beautiful environment to enjoy it in.

Day One:  Queenstown- Lake Hawea via Cromwell and Bannockburn:

Lovers of good food and wine are spoilt for choice in the Central Otago region. Start off with a pinot noir tasting platter at the Winehouse   by the bungy bridge and spend the afternoon sampling the wineries of the Kawerau Gorge and the Bannockburn area by Cromwell before heading up to Lake Hawea for the night.

Lake Hawea Accommodation: Lake Hawea Holiday Park is beautifully sited right on the lakeshore, the campground with its serviced cabin accommodation options is only a short walk to the township where a pleasant evening can be spent overlooking the lake while dining upstairs at Sailz Café.

Tim’s tip: Bald Hills is a small boutique winery literally at the end of the road in Bannockburn and has produced some stunningly impressive pinot noir - one of which took out the top prize at the International Wine Challenge in London recently.

Day Two: Lake Hawea – Oamaru via Ranfurly on SH 85, 4 hours:

Your day starts with a drive along SH 8A past the old gold mining site of Bendigo which has been transformed into a wine producing powerhouse in recent years. After the Cromwell Gorge you turn left onto SH 85 to drive across the arid landscape of the Maniototo to the coast at Palmerston, head north for half an hour and you will be rewarded with a superb seafood lunch at Fleurs Place in Moeraki. Rick Stein chose this spot as the one place in the world he would go to write a travel article and eat…we suggest you certainly try the latter if you like your seafood fresh – the restaurant has a fishing  boat ramp attached to it.

A slow amble up the road to Oamaru and a wander around the harbour area and old town will help you prepare for your next gastronomic adventure- Cuisine magazine’s Restaurant of the Year, the Riverstone Kitchen. Opened in 2006, the restaurant is renowned for its fresh local ingredients and innovative cuisine.  Bookings for both Fleur’s and Riverstone are strongly recommended.

Oamaru Accommodation: Highway House Bed and Breakfast is just North of Oamaru and is a grand home with established gardens.

Tim’s tip: A pleasant scenic diversion is the Waianakarua Coast Road into Oamaru, turning off just after the small settlement of the same name just north of Hampden on SH1.

Day Three: Oamaru – Tekapo 2 hours:

The drive inland up the Waitaki River valley brings you to the high country of the Mackenzie basin. Sparkling aqua coloured lakes and canals with the mountains in the background provide numerous photographic opportunities.

The township of Tekapo is the home of the internationally regarded Mt John Observatory and also the base for scenic flights over Mt Cook National Park. As the evening draws near you can take time out relaxing in the recently built hot pools overlooking the lake. For lovers of authentic Japanese cuisine Kohan restaurant will provide a perfect end to the day.

Tekapo Accommodation: Peppers Resort in Tekapo has units overlooking the lake and mountains and is an easy five minute walk to the township.

Tim’s tip: The Wrinkly Ram in Omarama is a good place to break up the journey for morning tea and if conditions are right, the gliding club adjacent to the café will provide an aerial show.

Day 5: Tekapo – Queenstown 3-4 hours:

You have may have unfinished business with the wineries of Bannockburn or along the Kawerau River, and you are spoilt for choice with luncheon choices.  Carrick winery in Bannockburn has a superb range of chef’s platters that change with the seasons, otherwise Amisfield winery overlooking Lake Hayes has a well deserved reputation for classy food.

For dinner it’s suggested you stay in the Arrowtown area with Saffron restaurant and its gregarious chef Peter Gawron providing diners with a high end dining experience.

Arrowtown Accommodation: Arrowtown Lodge Bed and Breakfast offers four stone and mudbrick traditional cottages just a few minutes walk to town.

Tim’s tip: Hankering for some spice in your diet? Mantra in Arrowtown or the Spice Room in Wanaka are two very highly rated Indian restaurants that make all their curries from scratch.