As every foodie who loves to travel will attest, you simply can’t leave a new place without having a taste of their local food. It would be terrific to try all the food an area has to offer, but often you don’t know the place well enough to find all the best places to eat or don’t have enough time to explore. You can take care of that problem by visiting a foodie event instead, and have all the variations and local delicacies presented right in front of you.
New Zealand is particularly popular for their seafood and The Coromandel definitely has loads of that, but there’s more. Each of the events featured in this piece holds something special and you’re sure to find one that stands out to you.
Start the year with good food and good wine
The Tairua School hosts the Tairua School Wine and Food Festival every January, an event that is a must-see for many tourists visiting Tairua and Pauanui. It is even more of a big deal for the local community. The school has run the event for close to 25 years as a fundraiser and it offers a fantastic combination of great food, good wines and beers, awesome music from local talent, and fantastic New Zealand produce.
You’ll have a blast if you are travelling solo or with a partner, as well as with a family. The festival features great entertainment for children, including games and competitions the kids are sure to love, so they can have their fun even as you make the best of your gastronomic tour. You can even grab a couple of toys, wood crafts, housewares, jewellery and more to take back home when you peruse the arts and crafts market.
Kill two birds with one stone
You certainly wouldn’t be hurting any actual birds as the only ones you’ll be killing are metaphorical. If you decide to try the Tairua School Wine and Food Festival, it’s likely you will be able to attend the Concert in the Vines because it is also in January. This one is for all picnic lovers who would be glad to enjoy impressive kiwi acoustic music while munching away in a vineyard overlooking Mercury Bay. You can bring your own food of course, but you can always build a picnic from the much sought after cuisine and wine vendors on The Coromandel.
For the love of mussels
The Coromandel Mussel Festival is one of the highlights of the third month of the year and you can gorge on mussels as much as you want, all day long. Enjoy the live music from talented local talents while you sample all the sumptuous mussel favourites the Coromandel has to offer.
You’ll never have enough of the fresh mussels prepared in the most delicious ways; if mussel chowder, steamed with sauces, half shell, battered, or fritters with Godzone Ginger Beer, Gold Digger Pilsener, or Gun Smoke Ale sounds good, then you have found the perfect event!
Enjoy the best of Matarangi in April
Matarangi is one of the most gorgeous parts of The Coromandel. Since 2013, A Taste of Matarangi has been held by the beach every April and the event presents an opportunity to taste the most delish cuisines and premium quality wines. If craft beer is more of your style, you bet you’ll find only the best at this event. You also get to enjoy a fine selection of family activities, food competitions (if you have the stomach for it), and terrific live music. You can bring the entire family along. Beaches are delightful, but you can never be too careful or too safe, especially with the kids around!
A Taste of Matarangi Office Photos' Credit: Fleaphotos" Felicity Jean Photography
The Coromandel Seafood Fest MAYbe?
Held in May, The Coromandel Seafood Festival is all about the very best seafood the area has to offer. You’ll not want to miss the interesting selection of seafood that will be showcased by the local restaurants and cafés in the area. This festival puts the spotlight on the local harbour which is well-known for its fishing, as well as mussel and oyster farms. If you attend the Seafood Fest, we cannot guarantee you won’t go back home a pro at filleting fish, marinating mussels, or shucking oysters.
Even more seafood
September brings the Whitianga Scallop Festival which is considered by many to be the best seafood festival in New Zealand. As you enjoy great music, you can treat yourself to the most delicious seafood creations the area has to offer prepared by community groups, restaurants, and talented national chefs. You get to enjoy that thrilling festival ambience while taking in the scenic waterfront of Whitianga, plus seafood cooking demonstrations and live music.
And what a beautiful place to enjoy your food
As you can see The Coromandel is a great place to go for foodies. Not only is the place good for your soul, the food and drink are too! If your holiday is outside of these events, perhaps you might like to participate at your own leisure the Homegrown Food Trail, by visiting some of the regions finest local producer and suppliers at the gate.
Find out more food related products, events and activities on The Coromandel