Catherine’s Tour

Tour Guide Des Smith talks to Catherine about the culinary uses of some of the plants. Des is a very experienced guide with lots of botanical knowledge and has been involved in environmental and civil rights causes over many years.

Kawa kawa (piper excelsum).  The fruit, bark and leaves all have medicinal properties. It is related to the pepper (Piper nigrum) that we use as a condiment.  It is used in modern medicine for creams to help ease the discomfort of rashes and stomach problems. Maori used the leaves to flavour their cooking in their hangi (a method of cooking using hot stones in the ground) The fruit maybe added to salad dressings and muffins to give a pleasant peppery tasre .

Harakeke (Phormium tenax)  also known as flax and probably the most versatile of our native plants. The fibre was used for baskets ,clothing , fishing lines  etc. Flowers in early summer and are full of nectar and pollen. Pollen can be shaken out and collected and used as a sweet flavouring. The gum the base of the leaves is alkaline. It is excellent in reducing inflammation in wounds, burns etc. A decoction of the root is effective against constipation.

Mamaku (cythia medullaris), the tallest of our tree ferns grows up to 20m high. It was the six most important food source for Maori.  The bottom 500mm of frond were cooked and the pith eaten. The koru, or new frond, has become a symbol of new life. At the base there is mucous gel used  in facecreams proven to reinforce, stimulate and regenerate the skin.

Contact Person: Cameron Hayes / Kate Miller

Address: 53 Waiapu Road, Karori, Wellington

Email: /


Phone No: +64 4 922 1137 | +64 22 012 6527


Mojo Coffee

Founded as a boutique roastery café in Wellington by Steve and Julie Gianoutsos in 2003, Mojo Coffee is now one of New Zealand’s most experienced independent coffee roasters and café operators. Starting from humble beginnings on Wakefield Street, we’ve grown like a family, working with passionate individuals along the way.  Excellent coffee is never a rational thing; it’s a drink imbued with inspiration, freedom, celebration, history, dreams. It’s about experience as much as refreshment. It’s about personal space, about the pursuit of perfection, about the meeting of minds, about escape and reward. That’s the Mojo and it’s to treasure.



Catherine’s Visit

Each morning, coffee is freshly roasted by Clare Kearney, Mojo Coffee Head Roaster. Clare, with her expertise in creating balanced blends, roast our signature blend coffee and other speciality grade single origin coffees. Our roaster talked Catherine through the whole roasting process from sourcing green coffee from farms to creating the perfect cup. Kiwis are very proud to claim the inception of the flat white; a delicious espresso based coffee topped with velvety and creamy milk. Catherine was able to try a flat white made with Mojo Coffee’s signature blend, Dr Mojo Medicine, across the street at the Mojo Coffee café.

Contact Person: Tay-Lann Mark, Head of Marketing



Address: 37 Customhouse Quay, Wellington


Karaka Café 

Recently listed as one of the top 10 best outdoor places to be in Wellington. Karaka Café also boasts some of the best Aotearoa (Maori name for NZ) cuisine and dishes known. From the classic and ever-so-popular Hāngi dish (Hāngi is a traditional New Zealand Māori method of cooking food using heated rocks buried in a pit oven) to the Pacific Eggs Benedict with corned beef, these are tastes, which are in fact hard to find in Wellington.

Karaka Café is proud to be home to the Tohu range.  Tohu is the world’s first Māori-owned wine company. Karaka Café stocks most of the Tohu selection, from the Tohu Pinot Gris to the Tohu Merlot, Tohu Pinot Noir and Tohu Gisbourne Chardonnay to the Aronui Rose.


Catherine tasted

1) Tītī plate – NZ Mutton bird served with rewena bread.

2) Hāngi – our café version of ground cooked hāngi, fry bread (Oven smoked version).

3) Ikā or te rā – Fish of the day with pāua cream and pikopiko.

4) Hanawiti Kai Moana – Whitebait or mussel sandwich, watercress, kawakawa aioli –

Contact: Keri Retimanu, Conference & Venue Manager, The Wellington Functions Team (they manage Karaka Café)

Address: 2 Taranaki Street, Wellington, 6011, New Zealand




Boulcott Street Bistro

Boulcott Street Bistro opened in 1991, and has since become an icon in Wellington’s dining scene serving innovative, modern fare alongside classic bistro dishes, great wines and warm hospitality—earning the reputation as a Wellington institution. Boulcott Street Bistro is a Wellington restaurant set in Plimmer House, a Victorian cottage named after John Plimmer, the notable Wellingtonian who was officially bestowed the title ‘Father of Wellington’. This charming inner-city Gothic cottage was originally built as a wedding gift by a local groom for his bride-to-be in the late 1870s and came into the possession of the Plimmer family in 1911.

Head Chef / Partner Rex Morgan – somewhere between being a New Zealand Beef & Lamb Ambassador, culinary judge, TV personality internationally recognized and multiple award-winning chef Rex Morgan finds the time to create and deliver one of Wellington’s favourite menus: a combination of classic and innovative dishes which highlight the freshest and very best local produce available.

Karengo smoked Ora king salmon, tempura kawakawa leaves, river cress dressing.

Unique ingredients – Karengo – seaweed, Kawakawa – pepper/basil flavoured leaf & tip, River cress is watercress

Horopito seasoned beef & hangi style vegetables. (Manuka smoked kumara, beetroot, potato mash)

Unique ingredients – Horopito – Bush pepper, Manuka is the native tea tree used for smoking.

Address: 99 Boulcott Street, Wellington, New Zealand

Opening Hours:  Lunch – Sun to Fri from 12pm–2.30pm; Dinner – Mon to Sun from 5.30pm; Winebar – Sun to Fri from 12pm (Sat from 5.30pm)




Bellamy’s by Logan Brown, NZ Parliament Buildings

Logan Brown’s new restaurant in the Beehive in Wellington combines New Zealand Parliament’s rich history with the legacy of Logan Brown restaurant. Previously for exclusive use by parliamentarians, Bellamys is now open to anyone wishing to experience the buzz, spirit of hospitality and amazing food our country has to offer. The restaurant is located on the third floor of Parliament or what New Zealanders affectionately call “the Beehive”. At Bellamy’s by Logan Brown, Diners can expect to enjoy a creative, tantalizing menu that showcases the best of New Zealand cuisine, cooked to perfection and delivered with that signature Logan Brown style.

Logan Brown co-owners Steve Logan and Shaun Clouston are proud to share all that they love about New Zealand hospitality and cuisine with our nation’s leaders and those visiting parliament.

The original Bellamys was opened in New Zealand in 1867 for exclusive use by parliamentarians. Following Britain’s example, it took its name from John Bellamy who set up his parliamentary refreshment room in the House of Commons in London 1773.

In the mid-1970s, Bellamys moved to its current location in the Beehive. It underwent a further change in the 1990s when it was opened to all parliamentary staff as well as members of parliament.

Now you have the opportunity to experience this historic dining room as Bellamys by Logan Brown.

KIWI Chef Shaun Clouston served the following to Catherine + James

Local Belmont lamb sourced less than 20kilometres from Parliament. Purple dawn kumara, pickled leek, lacto fermented carrot, lamb tongue, puffed red quinoa and black garlic. All locally sourced.

Address: Level 3, The Beehive,Molesworth St., Pipitea, Wellington


Opening hours: Lunch – Tuesday to Friday 12pm – 2pm; Dinner – Tuesday to Friday 5.30pm – 8.30pm.


Westpac Regional Stadium – Wellington Regional Stadium

Wellington Regional Stadium (known as Westpac Stadium through naming rights) is a major sporting venue in Wellington, New Zealand. The stadium’s bowl site size is 48,000 sq m. The stadium was built in 1999 by Fletcher Construction and is situated close to major transport facilities.

It was built to replace Athletic Park, which was no longer considered adequate for international events due to its location and state of disrepair. The stadium was also built to provide a larger-capacity venue for One Day International cricket matches. The stadium also serves as a large-capacity venue for concerts.

The stadium is a multi-purpose facility, though used mainly for sporting events. It is the home of the Wellington Lions Mitre 10 Cup rugby team and the Hurricanes Super Rugby team. The stadium also hosts the Wellington Sevens, one of the events in the annual World Rugby Sevens Series for national rugby sevens teams. Westpac Stadium regularly serves as a home venue for All Blacks rugby matches.

Westpac Stadium is also the home venue for A-League football (soccer) team Wellington Phoenix FC, the stadium often referred to as “The Ring of Fire” by Phoenix supporters.[4] It also serves as a major home venue for the New Zealand national football team (the All Whites), notably hosting the home leg of their 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification match against Bahrain.

During the summer the stadium generally hosts international and occasionally domestic limited overs cricket, with the home team being the New Zealand Black Caps for the international contests and Wellington Firebirds for the domestic competition.

The stadium has also been used for rugby league matches, including national team fixtures and New Zealand Warriors away fixtures. The St Kilda Football Club, an Australian rules football club in the Australian Football League (AFL), played home games on Anzac Day at the venue from 2013-15.

Off-field facilities built into the stadium also included the New Zealand Institute of Sport, and a campus for the Wellington School of Cricket, run by the Wellington Cricket Association.

Catherine chats to the Chief Executive of Westpac Stadium in Wellington, New Zealan, who is Irish man Shane Harmon about life in NZ + Westpac Stadium. Shane has over 20 years experience working in sports in Australia and New Zealand and he is a veteran of two Rugby World Cups; RWC 2003 in Australia where I was Head of Marketing, and RWC 2011 in New Zealand where I was General Manager, Marketing and Communications for Rugby New Zealand 2011, the Local Organising Committee.

Contact Person: Clare Elcome, Sales + Marketing Manager

Phone No: 021 08 333 080 (M)

Address: 105 Waterloo Quay, Pipitea, Wellington




The haka

Catherine also  meets Karanama Peita  who teaches her about the Haka who competes on a National level with the kapa haka, which is the term for Māori performing arts and literally means to form a line (kapa) and dance (haka). Kapa haka is an avenue for Maori people to express and showcase their heritage and cultural Polynesian identity through song and dance.

The haka is a type of ancient Māori war dance traditionally used on the battlefield, as well as when groups came together in peace. Haka are a fierce display of a tribe’s pride, strength and unity. Actions include violent foot-stamping, tongue protrusions and rhythmic body slapping to accompany a loud chant. The words of a haka often poetically describe ancestors and events in the tribe’s history.

Today, haka are still used during Māori ceremonies and celebrations to honour guests and show the importance of the occasion. This includes family events, like birthdays and weddings.

Haka are also used to challenge opponents on the sports field. New Zealand’s All Blacks practice of performing a haka before their international matches has made the haka more widely known around the world. This tradition began with the 1888–89 New Zealand Native football team tour and has been carried on  by the New Zealand rugby union team (“All Blacks”) since 1905.This is considered by many Maori to be a form of cultural appropriation

According to its creation story, the sun god, Tama-nui-te-rā, had two wives, the Summer Maid, Hine-raumati, and the Winter Maid, Hine-takurua. Haka originated in the coming of Hine-raumati, whose presence on still, hot days was revealed in a quivering appearance in the air. This was the haka of Tāne-rore, the son of Hine-raumati and Tama-nui-te-rā.


Destination Wairarapa

Wairarapa is a region of big skies, wide valleys and small characterful towns. Just an hour’s drive or train ride from Wellington it is a popular escape destination, renowned for its premium wines, gourmet food and boutique accommodation. As one of New Zealand’s premium wine regions Wairarapa produces Pinot Noir and is home to Martinborough wine village. The region is at the heart of the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail.

and is famous for its 20-odd vineyards, most within walking or cycling distance of the village square. It’s packed with colonial charm, and criss-crossed with walking and cycle tracks to explore.

Destination Wairarapa is the region’s tourism organisation which includes Martinborough & Featherstone  areas.

In Featherstone we visit C’est Cheese one of the best cheese shops in NZ.

In Martinborough, home to some of the country’s finest winemakers we visit Stonecutter  Estates for wine tips and tricks from Nicola Belsham, and taste some local cuisine made by Michelin Star Chef, Adam Newell from the Union Square Bar + Bistro.

Contact Person: Katie Farman, Media Communications 



C’est Cheese – Artisan Cheese & Deli 

One of the best cheese shops in New Zealand is found in Featherston. C’est Cheese is located in a super cute colonial building on the left hand side as you enter town is an artisan deli in specialising in terrific New Zealand-made cheeses. Owner Paul Broughton offers something for every set of tastebuds: from cumin-flecked gouda to French-style blues. Among the dozens of delicious wedges on offer you’ll find Kingsmeade Artisan Cheese from Masterton, the Drunken Nanny goat cheeses from nearby Martinborough and soon, Paul’s own cheese Remutaka Pass Creamery. Paul also stocks New Zealand salamis and local olive oils.




Catherine tasted Remutaka Pass Creamery Cheeses:

1) Summit Blue (tall wheel)

2) Kaitoke Creamy Blue (shorter wheel)

3) Abbots Creek Washed Rind (wheel with hole in the middle & Catherine’s favourite of the bunch)

Contact Person: Owner & Cheesemaker Paul Broughton

Phone No: 029 494 2289

Address: 19 Fitzherbert Street, Featherston 5710



Wine Tips & Tricks at Stonecutter Estates

Stonecutter Estate is one of Martinborough’s vineyards with around seven acres planted in Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Merlot. There are also small quantities of Sauvignon Blanc, Gewurztraminer and Albariño vines. Originally planted in 1995, StoneCutter is situated on the ancient Martinborough River Terrace, whose free-draining gravels provide the foundation for incredible wine. The lofty Rimutaka and Tararua Ranges to the west keep the region dry, while long, hot summers, cool nights and frosty winters heat and cool the ground, releasing minerals into the soil.


Wine Tips & Tricks at Stonecutter

Visitors to StoneCutter have a unique chance to enjoy a hosted wine tour called Wine Tips & Tricks with the knowledgeable and effervescent Nicola Belsham. The tour is designed to empower people with practical skills and background knowledge, so as to more greatly relish the wines of Martinborough and beyond. This fantastic experience for both novice and aficionado is based in the vineyard itself and includes behind-the-scenes insights on grape growing and wine making in Martinborough. With lots of practical information on how best to engage the senses, tour guests sample three wines along the way, assembling the knowledge and appreciation for the greater enjoyment of their own preferred wine styles.

Contact Person: Nicola Belsham

Phone No: 027 5440525

Address: 139 Todds Road, Martinborough




Union Square Bar + Bistro

Located in the colonial Martinborough Hotel – an absolute landmark in Martinborough. Owners are Michelin Star Chef Adam, his wife Nicola Newell together with chef Paul Dicken, they opened Union Square in May 2018. Featuring modern NZ cuisine with a French influence.

Catherine tasted – Wairarapa Beef, smoked bacon & Pinot noir arancini, crispy kale and Opaki black truffle.

Contact Person: Adam Newell

Phone No: 06 306 8350

Address: Martinborough Hotel, Memorial Square, Martinborough 5711



Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, sits near the North Island’s southernmost point on the Cook Strait. A compact city, it encompasses a waterfront promenade, sandy beaches, a working harbour and colourful timber houses on surrounding hills. From Lambton Quay, the iconic red Wellington Cable Car heads to the Wellington Botanic Gardens. Strong winds through the Cook Strait give it the nickname “Windy Wellington” with an average wind speed of over 26 km/h (16 mph), Wellington features a temperate maritime climate

Tourism is a major contributor to the city’s economy, injecting approximately NZ$1.3 billion into the region annually and accounting for 9% of total FTE employment.

Wellington was well placed for trade. In 1839 it was chosen as the first major planned settlement for British immigrants coming to New Zealand. The settlement was named in honour of Arthur Wellesley, the first Duke of Wellington and victor of the Battle of Waterloo.

As the nation’s capital since 1865, the New Zealand Government and Parliament, Supreme Court and most of the civil service are based in the city. Architectural sights include the Government Building—one of the largest wooden buildings in the world—as well as the iconic Beehive. Despite being much smaller than Auckland, Wellington is also referred to as New Zealand’s cultural capital. The city is home to the National Archives, the National Library, the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, numerous theatres, and two universities. Wellington plays host to many artistic and cultural organisations, including the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and Royal New Zealand Ballet, it is ranked as one of the world’s most liveable cities.


Wellington is one of New Zealand’s chief seaports and serves both domestic and international shipping. The city is served by Wellington International Airport, the third busiest airport in the country.  Wellington’s transport network includes train and bus lines, which reach as far as the Kapiti Coast and Wairarapa, and ferries connect the city to the South Island. The Cable Car is a Wellington icon. It runs from Lambton Quay up to Kelburn, where at the top there’s a lookout, the Cable Car Museum, and Space Place at Carter Observatory.

In the Māori language, Wellington has three names. Te Whanga-nui-a-Tara refers to Wellington Harbour and means “the great harbour of Tara”;[9][10] Pōneke is a transliteration of Port Nick, short for Port Nicholson (the city’s central marae, the community supporting it and its kapa haka have the pseudo-tribal name of Ngāti Pōneke);[11] Te Upoko-o-te-Ika-a-Māui, meaning ‘The Head of the Fish of Māui’ (often shortened to Te Upoko-o-te-Ika), a traditional name for the southernmost part of the North Island, deriving from the legend of the fishing up of the island by the demi-god Māui.


Some stats:

  • The average temperature in Wellington is 15-20 degrees,
  • 750+ restaurants and cafes
  • 363 Km of mountain biking and walking tracks
  • 55+ galleries and museums
  • 130+ Kiwis live in Zealandia Nature Reserve
  • 2 Premium wine growing areas – Marlborough and Wairarapa


In wellington we pay a visit to The Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa and Wildlife Sanctuary, Zealandia where we find out the culinary uses of some of the plants.  The people of Wellington love their coffee so Catherine visits Mojo Coffee Bar to find out what make’s New Zealand’s coffee so unique, she learns about Maori foods at Karaka Café and from Maori Chef Rex Morgan at his Boulcott Sreet Bistro, she pays a visit to the NZ Parliament Buildings to meet top Kiwi Chef Shaun Clouston to taste one of his signature dishes + meets fellow Irish man Shane Harmon, CEO of Westpac Stadium in Wellington where Catherine also get’s taught how to perform the haka!


Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa


Te Papa Tongarewa

The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa is New Zealand’s National Museum, located in Wellington. Known as Te Papa, or “Our Place”, it opened in 1998 after the merging of the National Museum and the National Art Gallery.

Catherine was given a tour of the Museum from Tour Guide Shaun Pallett –  and her tour consisted of the following areas:

Location 1The Canoe

The Tangata o le Moana exhibition tells the story of the Pacific people in New Zealand.

Hull of the vaka (outrigger canoe) Tauhunu from Manihiki in the northern Cook Islands is one of only three such vaka that survive in museums worldwide.

Location 2Pacific Women Exhibition

Pacific Sisters: Fashion Activists. One of the opening exhibitions in Te Papa’s new spectacular art gallery – Toi Art.  A retrospective of the Auckland artist collective works over the last 26 years in giving voice and visibility to Māori and Pacific peoples in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Location 3The Red Wall Portrait Gallery

The portrait wall is part of Te Papa’s new art gallery Toi Art.  Toi Arts showcases iconic works from the national art collection, alongside new art created especially for the gallery.

Location 4Gallipoli exterior sign and the food area

Gallipoli: The Scale of Our War. The internationally award–wining exhibition created by Te Papa with Weta Workshop (the special effects and design masterminds behind The Lord of the Rings trilogy amongst other movie blockbusters) The eight-month Gallipoli campaign is told through the eyes and words of eight ordinary New Zealanders who found themselves in extraordinary circumstances. Each is captured frozen in a moment of time on a monumental scale – 2.4 times human size

Location 5Lobby area (round window and red maori carving)

The level 2 foyer of the museum which also displays the Waharoa / Māori gateway carved from a huge slab of tōtara wood.


Contact Person: Andrea Tandy

Address: 55 Cable St, Te Aro, Wellington 6011, New Zealand



Opening Hours: Open every day 10am–6pm (except Christmas Day)

Address: Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, 55 Cable Street, Wellington, 6011, New Zealand

Phone: +64 (04) 381 7000


Zealandia (Wildlife Sanctuary)

ZEALANDIA is the world’s first fully fenced urban eco sanctuary, with an extraordinary 500-year vision to restore a Wellington valley’s forest and freshwater ecosystems as closely as possible to their pre-human state. ZEALANDIA is the world’s first fully-fenced urban ecosanctuary, with an extraordinary 500-year vision to restore a Wellington valley’s forest and freshwater ecosystems as closely as possible to their pre-human state. The 225 hectare ecosanctuary is a groundbreaking conservation project that has reintroduced 18 species of native wildlife back into the area, 6 of which were previously absent from mainland New Zealand for over 100 years.

Prior to the arrival of humans, Aotearoa (New Zealand) was isolated and unique. Without any mammalian predators an ecosystem of remarkable flora and fauna had evolved – the likes of which could be found nowhere else in the world. Sadly, over the last 700 years, that paradise was almost destroyed by humans and the mammals they introduced with them.

Introduced predators decimated New Zealand’s native and endemic species, who had evolved without needing defence from mammals for millions of years. Since human arrival, at least 51 bird species, three frog species, three lizard species, one freshwater fish species, one bat species, four plant species, and a number of invertebrate species have become extinct.

ZEALANDIA has a vision to restore this valley to the way it was before the arrival of humans. With its 8.6km fence keeping out introduced mammallian predators, birds such as the tūī, kākā and kererū, once extremely rare in the region, are all now common sights around central Wellington. Other vulnerable native species such as tīeke, hihi, little spotted kiwi, and tuatara remain thriving safely in the sanctuary.

New Zealand’s flora and fauna differs from every other large land-mass on earth due to its long isolation and uniqueness as a (near) mammal-free environment. The isolated species living here were affected dramatically around 800 years ago, when humans from Polynesia settled in New Zealand. Not long afterwards the first Europeans arrived and both, with the help of introduced pests, began to deplete species around them and clear vast tracts of land. They brought with them a multitude of mammalian pests. Still chewing the life out of our New Zealand bush, these pests are bringing about a grim ending to an almost inconceivably long history of unique and beautiful life.

This trend continued into the early 1990’s, when Wellington was in a biologically poor state with native flora and fauna in danger of local extinction and very little happening on the ground other than small-scale planting schemes. Drastic measures needed to be taken to ensure the survival of our species.

Cabinteely is a suburb of Dublin’s Southside. It is located in Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown, County Dublin, Ireland. Much of Cabinteely is parkland (Cabinteely Park and Kilbogget Park) or open countryside (around Laughanstown and Brennanstown). Cabinteely borders Ballybrack, Carrickmines, Cherrywood, Cornelscourt, Deansgrange, Foxrock, Johnstown, Killiney and Loughlinstown. Cabinteely’s Carnegie library was opened in 1912, and features a tiled roof, copper cupola and leaded windows.

Cabinteely Park, which surrounds Cabinteely House, is an example of late 18th and early 19th century landscape. As with Marlay Park, the landscape of Cabinteely Park was highly influenced by Capability Brown, resulting in the natural appearance of the park. Ponds and informal clusters of trees draw attention to the natural lie of the land in order to give it depth. Other features of this period that can be observed at the park include a high boundary wall, gate lodges with an ornate gate entrance, and a walled garden.

Cabinteely Park covers an area of about 110 acres, and includes a children’s playground and with winding woodland trails and an abundance of flora and fauna, It is a good place to look for rare birds such as the great spotted woodpecker another of Ireland ’s most striking winter visitors is the Waxwing, a species that has been spotted feeding on berries in Cabinteely Park in recent years. As the winters in Europe become increasingly cold, it is difficult for birds to find food. This makes the milder Irish climate more attractive.

There are many types of wildflowers growing in Cabinteely Park. Meadowsweet is a common wildflower in Ireland, found growing in damp areas near streams or meadows. It grows along the river in Cabinteely Park and its light yellow clusters of flowers have a pleasantly scented perfume.

The Japanese style Cafe in the Cabinteely Park is open all day and is such an idyllic spot to stop off and enjoy some food or coffee in the beautiful southside suburb. Located in the stunning setting of Cabinteely Park, depending on the weather you can dine inside in the warm atmosphere or al fresco beside the waterfall. A wide lunch and tea menu is available as well as Japanese cuisine. A fantastic quirky café for catching up with friends over some delicious homemade treats.