The Greenwood Guide to New Zealand
Central Plateau, New Zealand

Eating and Drinking in Central Plateau, New Zealand

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Utopia Café

Ohakune

Cafés & delis

There is no better place to start the day… or end it. In fact, you may as well have lunch there as well, or at the very least buy something to take away. Utopia Café's legendary breakfasts have fuelled many mountain-goers while others have been enticed off the peaks with early après-ski/après-trekking urges. One happy ski bum wrote, “Utopia has coffee that rocks, spectacular paninis, phat [meaning ‘very good’] breakfasts, a bad-boy [extensive] wine selection, toasty open fire & style sounds [uhm, good music I presume?]. Its après-skiing at its finest.” Stylish and buzzing... I couldn’t agree more.

  • Contact: 47 Clyde Street, Ohakune
  • Tel: 06-385-9120
  • Fax: 06-385-9120
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Altitude 585

Ohakune

Restaurants

I'm told Altitude is packed every night in season, and it was still buzzing when I visited in May. I had a delicious and rich Thai red curry and my friend had salmon with potatoes. Although there was not even a single snowflake to be found on Mt Ruapehu's summit, both choices would have been suitably filling after a hard day’s skiing.

  • Prices: $24.50 for a red Thai curry.
  • Contact: 75 Clyde St, Ohakune
  • Tel: 06-385-9292
  • Email: info@altitude585.co.nz
  • Web: www.altitude585.co.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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The Projection Room

Ohakune

Restaurants

Killer cocktails (I hear the mojito is very good) and spot-on tapas-style nibbles. This is one of Ohakune’s major music venues. Whether you’re eating, drinking or listening (probably all three) you’ll be swept up along by the relaxed and vibey atmosphere.

  • Contact: 4 Thames Street, Ohakune Junction
  • Tel: 06-385-8664
  • Email: wicked_edge@xtra.co.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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The Brantry

Taupo

Restaurants

Prue and Felicity, a dynamic sisterly duo, have made quite a name for themselves and Taupo’s food scene with their decadent dinners featuring such unique New Zealand tastes as “confit of hare with roasted water-melon (!), drizzled with a vanilla and honey dressing.” Prue, previously an NZ beef and lamb ambassador chef, is the mastermind behind the food while Felicity takes care of the rest.

The Brantry
  • Prices: Mains $29-$33.
  • Contact: 45 Rifle Range Road, Taupo
  • Tel: 07-378-0484
  • Email: brantry@xtra.co.nz
  • Web: www.thebrantry.co.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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The Bach

Taupo

Restaurants

With a cracking lake-side position and panoramic views of Tongariro National Park, The Bach might just be the most enticing eating location in Taupo. The restaurant, with its beachy rondavel-style thatched roof, was once a classic Kiwi bach. It is still rustic and cosy inside and flaunts a torch-lit garden out front for al-fresco dining. The service is impeccable and the food as impressive as the view.

The Bach
  • Contact: 2 Pataka Rd, Taupo
  • Tel: 07-378-7856
  • Fax: 07-378-7856
  • Email: daniel@thebach.co.nz
  • Web: www.thebach.co.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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The Volcanic Kitchen

Taupo

Restaurants

Sean Wakelin’s pizzas with their crisp bases and explosive flavours won ‘A touch of Italy’s’ recognition in a national pizza challenge. Prepare for some imaginative topping combinations. For an easy and fail-proof meal, this is the place to go.

  • Contact: 113 Tongariro Street, Lake Taupo
  • Tel: 07-377-1537
  • Email: volcanickitchen@xtra.co.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Central Plateau Highlights

  • Get seriously adventurous on Taupo's great lake. You can fish in it, swim in it, dive in it, boat on it and skydive over it.
  • Drive the volcanic loop highway (it's famous for a reason), take on the volcano-crested Tongariro National Park, breeze around Taupo's thermal parks or fly over the lot. Fire and ice come together in an astounding way at the North Island's raging core.
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