New Zealand offers visitors a lively food culture. The country is home to a thriving community of chefs, vintners, sommeliers and foodies. If you’re hoping to sample unique cuisine, sip exquisite wines or indulge in pints of the world’s best craft beer, New Zealand is definitely a country you’ll want to visit.

Attending a food and wine festival is one of the best ways to experience the amazing variety of fare New Zealand has to offer. These festivals offer you the opportunity to taste a broad variety of local dishes and drinks including seafood, meat, cheese, produce, beer, wine and cider.

New Zealand’s many food and wine festivals are varied in their scope and focus. Some of them attract thousands of people from around the globe; others are smaller and more intimate. The following are 7 of the most prominent food and wine festivals that will be taking place around the country in 2020:

1. The Better Food Fair

This event is actually a trade show, but it also includes a “Street Eats” component with a food market offering live music, workshops and the opportunity to sample alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. The Better Food Fair is the food-specific component of the Auckland Go Green Expo. The event hosts eco-friendly vendors offering organic, vegan, raw, gluten-free and other such specialty health foods.

This event takes place on multiple dates and locations around New Zealand, as follows:

Dates: 28 – 29 March 2020

Location: Auckland, New Zealand


Dates: 8 – 9 August 2020

Location: Christchurch, New Zealand


Dates: 7 – 8 November 2020

Location: Wellington, New Zealand

2. International Sauvignon Blanc Day 2020

International Sauvignon Blanc Day isn’t a festival on its own. It’s actually a holiday which prompts independent parties, festivities and merry-making all across New Zealand, especially in the country’s most prominent wine regions. On this day, you’ll find a particularly compelling lineup of wine tastings, cellar door events and local celebrations on offer.

Date: Friday 1 May 2020

Location: Global; people celebrate this holiday in locations across New Zealand and around the world. If you’re free to travel in New Zealand in May of 2020, we recommend joining us for a winery tour in your choice of the country’s prominent wine regions – perhaps Marlborough, Hawke’s Bay, Central Otago or Auckland, just to name a few. Get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss the possibility of customising a private guided tour and maximising your opportunities for fun things to do on this holiday.

3. 2020 F.A.W.C! Food and Wine Classic

The Food and Wine Classic is a series of separate, unique events that take place in individual restaurants, cafes, breweries and wineries around the Hawkes Bay area.

Dates: There are 2 F.A.W.C! events every year. The winter event will take place on 5 – 28 June 2020. The summer event will be held 6 – 15 November 2020.

Location: Various locations in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand

Official website: F.A.W.C! Food and Wine Classic

4. Toast Martinborough 2020

Toast Martinborough is a wine, food and music festival that has taken place annually since 1992. Typically, when this festival is in progress, 8-10 vineyards open their doors to offer wine, food, live music and entertainment. Festival-goers can choose which vineyards to visit without having to do any driving because shuttle service is available to transport people between locations. At the end of the day, the crowd gathers for a final party at the Martinborough village square.

In past years, this event has been so popular that tickets have sold out within minutes of going on sale. If you want to attend 2020’s Toast Martinborough event, be sure to make the arrangements promptly.

Date: Sunday 15 November 2020

Location: Various local vineyards in Martinborough, South Wairarapa, New Zealand

Official website: Toast Martinborough

5. 2020 Hokitika Wildfoods Festival

Ever wondered what a crocodile tastes like? Interested in nibbling on some fresh possum kebabs? If you hunger for unusual cuisine, the Hokitika Wildfoods Festival is an event you’ll want to include on your travel itinerary. Beyond just the food and beverages, the day’s festivities also include a feral fashion competition.

Date: 7 March 2020

Location: Hokitika, New Zealand

Official website: Hokitika Wildfoods Festival

6. 2020 Whitianga Scallop Festival

How many different possible ways are there to prepare scallops? You may be able to find the answer to this question by attending the 2020 Whitianga Scallop Festival, an event that brings together chefs, foodies, musicians and instructors for an exploration of seafood and the Whitianga area’s marine heritage. The event includes cooking classes, live entertainment and the opportunity to eat all the seafood you can hold.

Date: September 2020; Exact date(s) to be announced

Location: The Whitianga Marine Reserve, The Esplanade, Whitianga, New Zealand

Official website: Whitianga Scallop Festival

7. Visa Wellington on a Plate

This festival is a series of 100+ unique foodie events that take place in Wellington’s many restaurants, bars, cafes and eateries. Many of them are small, intimate affairs that sell out quickly; on average, the venues are only making about 30 tickets per event available. The exception to this is an event known as Beervana, which accommodates thousands of people in multiple sessions.

Dates: 2020 Dates to be confirmed

Location: Various locations around Wellington, New Zealand

Official website: Visa Wellington on a Plate

These 7 food and wine festivals offer you multiple opportunities to savour New Zealand’s most distinctive delicacies. You’re sure to enjoy the variety and quality of the entertainment and the cuisine on offer. If you’re interested in having a local guide assist you in making travel arrangements for experiencing New Zealand’s unique food culture, we invite you to call us on 64 2191 0433 or contact us to arrange a tour.