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About Zest Food Tours

Zest Food Tours of New Zealand was founded in 2003 and is owned by Catherine Cordwell, who has a background in the food industry and loves to combine travel and food. We believe that one of the best ways to discover any new place and its culture is through its food and by meeting the passionate producers behind them.   

Our Zest guides are here to welcome you

The heart and soul of a Zest food tour is the guide. We have several trained guides - all warm-hearted, hospitable 'gourmet encyclopaedias' who enjoy welcoming people and sharing food. Our guides add their personality and warmth, friendliness, local knowledge and plenty of life experiences to add to your day of enjoyment and delicious tastes.

A Zest personal tour offers unique access to top food professionals. You'll visit with friendly experts in many culinary fields: on full sensory alert as you see, sniff, sip or even slurp to your taste's content.

Starting with Wellington's growing reputation as a culinary centre of excellence, with great coffee, cafes, restaurants, bars and food shopping, we realised this beautiful compact city is ideal for walking tours. There's nothing more sustainable, and our leisurely pace means our guests see the city up close as we share the local stories.

Zest gourmet tours are conversational. Our guides enjoy sharing Wellington's food treasures with our guests, in the way we all like to do on our own travels. We aim to go below the surface, introduce guests to our friends in the food sector so they meet genuine New Zealanders.

Languages Spoken: In Wellington we have guides who in addition to English also speak German, Dutch, Italian and Danish so feel free to request a guide with a specific language and we'll see what we can do!

In 2011, Auckland foodies Kerry Swan and Kim Lucas opened Zest in Auckland with two tours, Urban Village Delights and Auckland City Tastes.

We were honoured to be accredited in 2009 - 2013 as a Qualmark Endorsed Visitor Activity.

Welcome to Zest, we hope to host you on a tour soon and you are welcome to email me directly on [email protected] if we can assist with any questions you have about our Wellington and Martinborough tours on the website or perhaps something tailored for you to your interests.   And please feel free to email Kerry on [email protected] for any more information and ideas about our Auckland tours.

Kind Regards


Owner, Zest Food Tours
Advisory Board Member of Visa Wellington on a Plate Culinary Festival

"My client Joanne has just returned from her trip and asked me to let you all know how wonderful you all were on her tours. She was with you for the Greytown and Wellington Gourmet tours. She could not speak highly enough of your lovely service and kindness."

(Harvey World Travel, Queensland, Australia)

Regional Tours


A Zest Wellington tour introduces you to this compact cosmopolitan city, called New Zealand's 'culinary, cafe and coffee capital'.
+ details / book online


The peacefully rural Wairarapa region - just over an hour from Wellington - is a world away in style.
+ details / book online

Owner Catherine Cordwell
Photo Courtesy of FishHead Magazine

A personal exploration of the great tastes of Wellington, Wairarapa and Dunedin