An insider’s view of Hawke’s Bay food, wine, scenery & quirky producers

Together we will gather the best Hawke’s Bay has to offer in food & drink while touring this area of outstanding natural beauty.  On the tour your expert guide, award winning food writer and world Cheese expert Juliet Harbutt, that's me, will take you to her favourite places and makers to assemble everything you need for the perfect lunch at her home overlooking Black Barn Vineyards.  There are no scheduled tours each one is designed for you.  You just need to decide on dates & times then send me an Enquiry Form (below) or if you want to discuss your individual plans just call or email Juliet.


Hunter Gatherer Foodie Tour Options

All tours are private & individually designed.
Your itinerary varies depending on the season, pick up point, time and what you would like to do:

  • Tastings at 2 -3 top wineries (typically BLACK BARN and CRAGGY RANGE)

  • YA BON BAKERY to choose bread for lunch (and maybe a pastry!)

  • Visit the FIGGERY that boasts over 25 varieties [seasonal]

  • Olive & Olive Oil Tasting at TELEGRAPH HILL [chance to buy excellent oil]

  • Cheese & Wine matching experience

  • Sample wild honeys & meet the bees

  • A remarkable lunch with food & drink gathered en route (all included)

  • Pick, buy or sample other local products along the way

  • Carefully planned scenic tour of the region

  • Signed copy of WORLD CHEESE BOOK @ $40 [usually $48]

  • Explore local galleries & artists

  • Hunt pinenuts with Winston my Jack Russell [seasonal]

  • Pick up and drop off anywhere in the Napier/Hastings area

HALF DAY TOUR [from 2-10 people]: 4 hours  $650 for 2 people + $155 for each additional person. All inclusive except does not include visit to Juliet’s house.

FULL DAY TOUR [from 1-6 people]: 6 hours $850 1-2 people + $175 for each additional person. Includes lunch at Juliet’s house.

FULL DAY TOUR [7-10 people]: 4-6 hours $195 per person [min 7] Includes lunch at Juliet’s house.

PRIVATE BESPOKE TOUR:  4-8 hours   Price depends on time, numbers & locations [from 1 - 24 people]. Please contact me to discuss details etc.

Recently we met Jamie ? from Boston, Mass who raved about the 4 hr cheese tour they took with you last week. We would like to book a tour for my husband and myself either Saturday, 14/4 or Sunday, 15/4. We will be staying in Hastings at the Hawthorne House. Please advise.
— Ann, Maine USA

What you can expect

Taste your way through the stunning landscape of Hawke’s Bay with its beautifully preserved Art Deco buildings, rugged beaches, swans gliding the wetlands, glimpses of Cape Kidnappers [weather permitting and it usually is!] and the Tuki Tuki river.  After visiting a couple of wineries chosen from over 25 in the area for their exceptional wines and/or location and maybe a cider maker, you can taste fig ice cream at The Figgery, olives and oil at Telegraph Hill, make a quick detour to the legendary Y’a Bon Bakery [time permitting] or Te Mata Bakery Havelock’s favourite pie shop [the best!] and dive into the Strawberry Patch for fruit and vegetables before heading to Juliet’s home for an amazing lunch.

As well as the wonderful things we have gathered the main feature of the lunch is NZ Artisan Cheese from Hohepa, Origin Earth and maybe one or two others, plus chutneys, local charcuterie, the current season’s fruit and vegetables finishing with a NZ classic – Anzac biscuits!   After lunch you will visit another winery before being dropped at your hotel. 

Whatever your age [over 18], shape or style the tour is designed to entertain, inspire and educate you and give you a unique insight into Hawke’s Bay and New Zealand’s culinary world.





Saturday Tours via Black Barn Growers Market

From December to February you can choose to stop at the charming Black Barn Growers Market set in a ring of tall leafy plane trees with live music, coffee and whitebait fritters.  It means we visit less places but you’ll met more producers and some of the locals who are quite friendly and you will definitely get your Ya Bon pastry!

Sunday Tours via Hastings Farmers Market

If you book Sunday you will start the day at this impressive and comprehensive market with everything from Cashew nut “cheese” to hotter than hot local chilies, cheesemakers, Edgebrook Cider, legendary Holly Bacon butties and other local favourites.

Other Wonderful Artisan Producers & Artists

We try to visit as many places, people and galleries as possible. These are the ones that are not mentioned above that you might like to visit if we don't manage to squeeze them in.              

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