The Geogastronomy Club

The limestone that underpins our district - and that forms the core of our geopark - has long had a strong impact on the “taste of the Waitaki”. Throughout the Waitaki district, restaurants, growers, vintners, brewers and producers have emerged that embrace the “paddock to plate” philosophy, growing produce and preparing meals using ingredients grown on-site, from our waterways, and raised on our farms, offering a true Waitaki taste experience.

New Zealand Christmas would not be complete without Ōamaru’s famed Jersey Benne potatoes, nurtured in the volcanic soils that render our produce among the tastiest in the country. Restaurants like Fleurs Place at Moeraki, Riverstone Kitchen on the Waitaki Plains and Ōamaru’s Pen-y-bryn have staked their reputations on the high quality of our local produce, and have earned national and international acclaim. The wineries of the Waitaki Valley have developed their reputation on the basis of our limestone rich soils, which have bestowed on their wines a character considered unique in New Zealand. This has led to the region being promoted as “the Burgundy of the South”. Several of these wineries have established popular tasting rooms on or near their vineyards.

What does Geogastronomy mean?

Geogastronomy [noun]: The act of travelling for a taste of place in order to get a sense of place, and of exploring the unique character of foods (including beers and wine) resulting from a geopark’s special geological character, including its soils, environment and climate, and the sustainable stewardship of the land by growers and producers. Here in the Waitaki Whitestone Geopark are lucky enough to have plenty of fresh produce that grows within the environment encompassed by an area of internationally unique geology leading to discernibly-different flavours. 

Geogastronomy will help bring all local producers and industries together as a brand, so that we can clearly show visitors to our region, what we have to offer and where to go to experience it. This is not just about one or two big names, it’s about everything that’s great in the Waitaki, big and small.

Still hungry for more information? Read the Geogastronomy magazine and get inspired by our fabulous local producers and restaurants. 

Where are we now?

13 August 2018

The first Geogastronomy menu was presented.  Cucina invented this delicious and local menu for the UNESCO commissioners visit. Every item was grown with love in the Geopark, many within 20 kilometres of Oamaru, infusing food and local wines with the flavours, history and character of the area.

10 & 24 June 2019

The Waitaki Whitestone Geopark Trust held two Geogastronomy workshops at the Oamaru Opera House. Regional food, wine and beer producers attended sessions on a range of topics such as collaborative production, geogastronomy branding and marketing and a demonstration of the geopark app. These were great engaging workshops with plenty of creative ideas and food for thought. 

August 2019

Following the workshops, a steering group will be coming together to discuss the formation of the Club including criteria, benefits, objectives and financial contribution. 

22 August 2019

Geogastronomy trademark registered with the IPONZ. 

Are you a grower, restaurateur, vintner, brewer or artisan food producer in Waitaki? Then the Geogastronomy Club is the perfect fit for you. Join your fellow Waitaki Gastronomy stars and be part of this special industry network. For more information please contact us and we will get in touch with you. 

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"What a fantastic window into the past. Today we saw fossil bones in limestone at two different sites. One set were whale bones. Just awesome that this trail has been put together, maintained and promoted."

— Mark Shipman, 

Vanished World visitor