20 people found this article useful

Vegetarian Travel Guide to New Zealand


Travelling as a vegetarian in New Zealand.

In a country where dairy farming is its main industry and where hunting and fishing are part of the Kiwi lifestyle, it’s hard to imagine that travelling New Zealand as a vegetarian would be an “easy” experience. However, with 10% of New Zealanders being vegetarian, and with thousands of vegetarians visiting the country every year, finding vegetarian food while travelling New Zealand is getting easier and easier. After reading this vegetarian travel guide to New Zealand, you’ll realise that fuelling yourself throughout your trip will be a breeze.

Vegetarian food can be found in New Zealand supermarkets, on the menus of almost every cafe and restaurant, and even in accommodations that serve meals. What’s more, there are even specialised restaurants and accommodations across the country where you have the opportunity to try some sensations New Zealand vegetarian food.

5 Tips for Vegetarian Travel in New Zealand

  • Spend some time in Auckland for the best vegetarian foodie experiences in New Zealand.
  • When doing a tour that includes food, always let the tour operator know your dietary requirements at least a day before the tour.
  • Popular New Zealand chocolate bar brand Whittaker’s offers amazing vegan options. The brand can be found in almost every New Zealand supermarket and convenience store.
  • If you want to learn more about living a sustainable vegetarian lifestyle, do some WWOOFing with vegetarian hosts!
  • For animal-lovers, consider doing some voluntourism in conservation work!
Working Holiday Insurance

User:JunK on Wikipedia

Vegetarian food on your flight to New Zealand

Probably one of the first food encounters you’ll have on your trip to New Zealand is with your in-flight meal. When making your flight booking, you always get the opportunity to specify any dietary requirements including vegetarianism. If you haven’t informed the airline of your dietary needs, contact them before your flight. Most airlines need 24 hours notice before your departure time.

The vegetarian option for in-flight meals are almost always strict vegetarian foods with no dairy or egg products. It might not be the most amazing food, but hey, it’s airline food.


Vegetarian Food in New Zealand supermarkets

One of the best ways to know exactly what you’re eating, and to save money on food in New Zealand, is to cook for yourself. Luckily, making your own meals is pretty easy in New Zealand thanks to the huge range of  tourist accommodations that have kitchens.

New Zealand accommodation with kitchens

Some hotels may have a communal kitchen or rooms with a kitchen. We recommend always checking if an accommodation has the right facilities for your needs before booking.

For more information on these accommodations, see 10 Types of Cheap Accommodation in New Zealand.

New Zealand supermarkets

New Zealand supermarkets and convenient stores are well stocked with vegan and vegetarian options. They have a wide range of fresh fruit and vegetables, canned vegetables and other vegetarian substitutes like tofu and vegetarian sausages, for example. However, expect vegan versions of dairy products, like yoghurt and cheese, to be on the expensive side (some cheese being around NZ$50/kg!)

The three main New Zealand supermarkets are PakN’Save, New World and Countdown. You will find one or more of these stores in the larger towns and cities around New Zealand. In small towns and villages, there is likely to be convenience stores, otherwise known as “Dairies” in New Zealand. The largest cities, like Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, have specialised supermarkets for particular diets where you’ll find a wider selection of vegan and vegetarian options.

For information on New Zealand supermarkets, check out Food Shopping in New Zealand.

Vegetarian Meals to Cook in New Zealand Accommodation

Since most of your reading this are vegetarian, no doubt you have your own meals that you like cook. However, for those of you perhaps travelling with a vegetarian and have no idea what to cook, make sure you check out our “Hostel Recipe” articles where every one of our articles has some vegetarian options.


Vegetarian meals including in your Accommodation

Holiday are all about treating yourself, right? And if that’s your mantra then you’re probably going to want to stay in accommodation with meals included. When doing choosing this option as a vegetarian, make sure that you let your hosts know that you are vegan or vegetarian.

Accommodation with meals included
  • Bed & Breakfasts
  • Homestays
  • Farmstays
  • WWOOF hosts

While most accommodations that offer food will provide a vegetarian option if requested, except for a few that will explicitly say “no vegetarians” which has been known to happen, you risk the old “mushroom in a bun” burger as hosts consider the vegetarian meal as an afterthought.

If you want to actually try good vegetarian or vegan food, either request to see the accommodation’s menu or choose an accommodation that advertises as catering to vegetarians. Vegetarian homestays/farmstays/bed & breakfasts will have put some real thought and effort into their vegetarian menu.

Vegetarian-friendly accommodation in New Zealand


Vegetarian food when eating out

When it comes to cafes and restaurants in New Zealand, you will see menus with vegetarian and gluten-free meals without a problem. It’s very unlikely that you will struggle to find vegetarian food in any eateries in New Zealand. Plus, Asian restaurants are very well represented across the country offering a wealth of vegetarian options.

However, you might struggle a little bit more if looking for vegan food, as not all menus will have vegan options. Unfortunately, this means that vegans will need to do a little bit of forward-planning and may want to stick to the main New Zealand cities to try some good vegan restaurants.

Best New Zealand cities for vegan restaurants

If you liked this article, then you might like…

Working Holiday Insurance
Was this article useful? Useful Useless
Help other travellers, share this article now:
XE - Money Transfer

Most Popular Videos

Video Thumbnail
Video Thumbnail
Video Thumbnail
Chris McLennan on Auckland NZ

Mountain Biking in Auckland

The ‘wheelie’ best rides in Auckland. What? A city has something to [...]

South Island

10 Underrated Places to Visit in Canterbury

The Hidden Gems of the Canterbury region. Stretched between snowcapped mountains and [...]

Hot on Backpacker Guide
Stay With Locals

10 Tips to Make the Most of Airbnb in New Zealand

Find accommodation with Airbnb in New Zealand. Airbnb has redefined the “stay […]


Make the most of the New Zealand FIFA U-20 World Cup 2015

FIFA’s second largest tournament will start on the 30-May-2015 right here in […]

Leaving New Zealand

10 Fun Gifts to Bring Back from New Zealand

New Zealand Gifts that are too funny to ignore. Maybe this list […]

We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalizing content and advertising. To learn more, click here. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies, revised Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.
I accept