Imagine dining on a world-class meal as you sit and marvel at the waves crashing below you or the snow-capped mountains above.
Whether it is Valentine’s Day or merely an ordinary Tuesday, if you really want to impress your loved one you should consider having a great meal at a restaurant with a romantic view. And in this country we truly are spoilt for choice.
Mountains, lakes, forest and beaches; it’s all on our doorstep – and on the doorstep of many restaurants, too. These are a few of our favourite New Zealand restaurants with romantic views for dining.
New Zealand’s first land is arguably the region with the best beaches in the country, replete with the emerald blue of the ocean, all types of marine life, and beautiful pohutukawa trees.
At Pure Tastes in Paihia you can enjoy amazing view of the ocean and bays while dining on a sumptuous plate of contemporary New Zealand cuisine. This chic pool-side restaurant is very romantic.
New Zealand’s largest city is no slouch when it comes to restaurants with romantic views. By virtue of its size alone, Auckland boasts more romantic dining options than anywhere else in the country.
Popular with lovers of seafood, Fish restaurant at the tip of Princes Wharf is perfectly placed to enjoy stunning views of the Hauraki Gulf – from the Harbour Bridge right through to Devonport and Rangitoto. Take a look at the view yourself in our Spotlight on Fish Restaurant.
Kermadec is another romantic restaurant that specialises in seafood, this time with views over the Auckland Viaduct, and Sails Restaurant on Westhaven Drive has a romantic view of the Auckland Harbour Bridge as well as the harbour itself.
Finally, moving away from the water now, SkyCity’s Observatory Restaurant and Orbit Revolving Restaurant both have food to match the spectacular views at the top of the Auckland Sky Tower. Read more about them in our Guide to SkyCity Auckland restaurants.
New Zealand’s largest lake boasts spectacular views, the likes of which have to be seen to be believed – preferably at sunset or sunrise.
At Bistro Largo you can dine in style while enjoying these views over the lake. With a menu designed by NZ celebrity chef Simon Gault, what is on your plate will match the beauty of what you’re seeing. Well, almost. Dine outdoors or sit near the open fire when the weather is cool.
The self-proclaimed "Culinary Capital of New Zealand" has harbour view’s to match Auckland’s, as well as a great number of the country’s best restaurants.
As far as romantic views for dining, The White House Restaurant in Oriental Bay offers fine dining with a spectacular view across the harbour and city. Book ahead, though, as this award-winning restaurant fills up fast – and not just around Valentine’s Day.
Meanwhile, Martin Bosely’s is practically a Wellington institution – with great seafood and similarly wonderful views.
Marlborough has a number of restaurants – and wineries – with romantic views, no doubt enhanced by a couple of glasses of locally produced wine.
Punga Cove Resort in Martinborough is a sweet destination for a romantic weekend away, where you can soak up sunshine and serenity at either its Boatshed Café and Bar or at its fine-dining restaurant Punga Fern.
Here you can enjoy amazing views of New Zealand bush and the magnificent waterways of the Marlborough Sounds.
Earthquakes continue to shake the Garden City, rattling its foundations but not its spirit. Here you’ll find a number of restaurants with romantic views – not over harbours or lakes, mind, but over parks and greenspace.
Chief among them is Chateau on the Park’s aptly named Garden Court Brasserie, which is perfectly situated with views over award-winning gardens. And in summer you can dine alfresco and literally smell the flowers as you ponder life, love and, well, anything that’s on your mind.
Remarkable by name and nature, Queenstown’s world-famous mountain range lends the popular tourist town a stunningly romantic backdrop.
And we mustn’t forget Lake Wakatipu, either, along which you’ll find a number of great restaurants with romantic views for dining. Prime is one such restaurant with views over the lake and mountains and a fantastic menu to boot.
Threesixty Restaurant and Bar is another good one with a romantic setting, serving modern Kiwi cuisine opposite Streamer Wharf. But arguably Queenstown’s most romantic restaurant is Gantley’s; set in a historic stone building surrounded by two acres of landscaped gardens, this fine-dining restaurant is the perfect place for a romantic dinner is simply spectacular.