26. A walking tour along Zealong Tea Estate
Wine and dine your way through New Zealand with these magnificent locations: here is No. 26 of our 101 Reasons To Stop Dreaming About New Zealand And Go.
Surrounded by the rolling pastures and dairy farms of New Zealand’s Waikato region, it’s a surreal surprise to chance upon the well-tended tea bushes framing the entrance to the Zealong Tea Estate. Traditionally the world’s most-consumed hot beverage is grown at higher elevations in warmer countries, but Zealong Tea Estate’s successful foray into the higher-value global market is both New Zealand’s only tea estate, and the largest organic tea-growing enterprise in the world.
From a modern combination of company HQ, visitor centre and retail store, guided walking tours negotiate Zealong’s tea trail, with bronze statuary highlighting the history and culture of tea, both here and around the world. Tours conclude in a gracious teahouse with estate views, with Zealong’s authoritative experts conducting ceremonial tea tastings explaining the best ways to appreciate some of the world’s purest teas. Optional high teas present an elegant array of tea-infused sweet and savoury treats.