New Zealand is internationally renowned for its clean, green brand. The spectacular natural landscape here is often untouched, pristine and pure in all its glory and visual splendour. Indeed, from the glaciers of the South Island to the soft sands of the North Island, the country is perceived worldwide as a nature lover and intrepid traveller's dream destination.
Tourism New Zealand has worked hard to promote this 100 per cent Pure brand overseas, and while the brand mainly adheres to the terrain – from volcanoes to lakes and lush forests – the culinary industry here borrows from the same philosophy. All over the country, organic and healthy food is proudly sold at a plethora of lovely cafes and restaurants.
Here are some of the delicious and picturesque places to indulge in a nourishing, nutritious and delicious organic meal in New Zealand. During your locum or permanent placement here as a doctor, you may like to dine at one of these establishments – you may even be inspired by their menu and whip up some of your own culinary concoctions by buying fresh produce at local farmers markets!
Wairere Cafe at Rainbow Springs Kiwi Wildlife Park, Rotorua
Enjoy an organic vegetarian meal at Wairere Cafe, located on the lush grounds of the Rainbow Springs Kiwi Wildlife Park where you can also come face-to-face with the small, iconic bird of the country.
You could book a Kiwi Encounter to interact with these endangered birds, gaining knowledge about the conservation programme here during your 30-minute tour before your meal. Not only are the ingredients and food sustainable and organic, but the Park facilities are too with reduced carbon emissions and water consumption.
If you have moved here with children, this venue is a great place to take them. Since it's only a few kilometres out of central Rotorua, a town famous for natural thermal springs and hot pools, it's a worthwhile road trip destination.
Old Mountaineers Restaurant and Historic Photographic Gallery, Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park
Whether you sip on organic free trade coffee here or munch on the sustainably prepared meals, Old Mountaineers Restaurant, cafe, bar and photography gallery is a spectacular place to visit. The space oozes character and charm, tucked amidst the verdant forests of tall trees of Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park.
Sir Edmund Hillary himself officially opened this restaurant, making it the only venue in all of the Aoraki / Mount Cook Village to have this honour. His personal message to the owners can be seen to this day, hanging over the entrance.
Moreover, TripAdvisor awarded this establishment its Certificate of Excellence for the last three years in a row, so its ranked highly by many who visit it. If you stay for a while, unleash your spirit of adventure by trying out the famous glacier sea kayaking, Tasman Glacier skiing and Southern Alps guiding around the region.
Dangerous Kitchen in Golden Bay, Takaka
Nestled in the charming rural region of Golden Bay, Takaka lies the Dangerous Kitchen cafe and restaurant. They are known for quality coffee and baked goods that aren't that naughty, such as wheat/gluten and dairy-free cakes. Gourmet pizzas are also on offer for those feeling more peckish, and you can rest assured that 99 per cent of all the meals here are organically prepared. The chefs use fresh, locally-grown produce that is spray-free and free range.
Best of all, Golden Bay in the South Island's north-west corner is framed by steep, rugged mountains and fertile riverbeds. Fishing is popular amidst the waters between the alpine valleys, so you may be able to catch your own fresh seafood!
Bird on a Wire in Ponsonby, Auckland
Transforming the notion of 'takeaway' food as typically being unhealthy and fattening, Bird on a Wire offers ethical handmade takeaways of free range rotisserie chicken and a delectable array of salads. For those craving a burger without the guilt, you can also enjoy chicken burgers or 'birdless' burgers comprising egg, beetroot, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise and cheddar.
If you're fond of international cuisine, there is also Vietnamese Bahn Mi sandwiches, Korean barbecue chicken rolls and Jamaican jerk chicken on offer – all produced without any processed meats.
Bird on a Wire has grown so much in popularity since it was established fairly recently in 2012, that several smaller food-cart versions have popped up around the Auckland city centre.
As you can see, there is a wealth of organic food around the country with ample opportunities to enjoy a scrumptious meal that will revitalise and energise you. What better way to return to your job as a doctor, full of food recommendations for your patients?