For the most creative cuisine in New Zealand, head to the Matakana Coast, one hour northeast of Auckland. This laid-back area is home to artisan food shops and more than 32 vineyards that produce Bordeaux-style varietals such as malbec, merlot, and pinot gris. Stop for blue cheese at Whangaripo Buffalo Cheese Company and order the lamb-and-mint sausages at Stubbs Village Butchery. Between meals, hike forest trails or hit the beach to surf, snorkel, and sail. —Amanda Jones
This appeared in the January/February 2011 issue.