New Zealand

New Zealand’s Cheese Trail

Bibi Jellema, Airguides

31 October 2019

Does cheese tickle your taste buds? Then you deserve to know that New Zealand is a paradise for cheese lovers. Presenting New Zealand’s Cheese Trail, covering the country’s most gooey, crumbly, creamy, melted, stinky and deliciously cheesy experiences! Read more about them below and make sure to add your favourites to your New Zealand trip itinerary.

North Island / Te Ika-a-Māui

Mahoe Cheese | Kerikeri

A family business operating since 1986, all cheeses and fresh products from Mahoe Cheese come from their own small herd of 60 Friesan-cross cows. Their ‘Very Old Edam’ cheese won the NZ Champions of Cheese Award in 2015. Find Mahoe at the local farmers’ markets or visit the shop:

State Highway 10, Pakaraka 0472, New Zealand

Grinning Gecko | Whangarei

Very Old Edam.

Photograph by Mahoe Cheese

A small artisan cheese producer that makes some of Aotearoa’s finest soft cheese. All handmade fresh from certified organic cow’s milk, the award-winning Grinning Gecko Brie and the savoury and earthy Kau Piro are a must-try. Stop by the shop to meet the makers (if you’re lucky) and try the cheeses:

81 Port Road, Whangarei 0110, New Zealand

“You can’t make everybody happy. You’re not cheese” – Anonymous

Crescent Dairy Goats | Taupaki

 Crescent Dairy has free-range New Zealand goats milk, yoghurt, healing soaps and lots of happy goats. The herd of 43 is free farmed and live a pretty sweet life on this small, family-owned farm in Waimauku, North-West Auckland. Visit the website to buy products online or find stockists.

Photograph by Il Casaro

Il Casaro | Auckland’s North Shore

Italian inspired, locally produced. Il Casaro is a cheesemaker based in Auckland that produces a wide variety of cheeses, from fresh to aged. Don’t miss out on their mozzarella! Il Casaro means ‘The Cheesemaker’ in Italian.

27 Ashfield Rd, Wairau Valley, Auckland 0627, New Zealand


Over the Moon Dairy | Putaruru

Over the Moon brings you handcrafted cheeses of all kinds using locally sourced goat, cow, sheep and buffalo milk. Guaranteed to delight your senses, this boutique factory, based in the lush dairying region of South Waikato, has been producing speciality cheese since 2007 and has won more than 120 medals and trophies from around the world. 

33 Tirau St, Putaruru 3411, New Zealand

Cartwheel Creamery | Ashhurst

Cartwheel Creamery is a family-run artisan cheese company from the charming Pohangina Valley. On a mission to make outstanding cheeses that reflect the natural goodness of Pohangina, Cartwheel Creamery produces ripe Camembert-style cheeses, tangy feta, beautiful halloumi, a delicious blue and an authentic tomme mature cheese. Try the cheeses at Feilding Farmers’ Market (Fridays, 9am – 1.30pm) or from the creamery itself:

1082 Pohangina Rd, Pohangina 4884, New Zealand


South Island / Te Waka a Māui

Kaikoura Cheese | Kaikoura

Kaikoura Cheese owners Dan and Sarah Jenkins started with three goats and little experience a few years ago. Fast forward to now, there are 60 goats, a little factory and a shop right in the charming seaside town of Kaikoura. Make sure to try the Tenara ash-coated soft goat’s cheese. You will never look back! Find Kaikoura Cheese at the local farmer’s markets or visit the shop:

45 West End, Kaikoura 7300, New Zealand

Canterbury Cheesemongers | Christchurch

Canterbury Cheesemongers began selling cheese from the back of their van at local markets, having learned the trade from Neal’s Yard Dairy in London, the shop window for the best handmade British and Irish Farmhouse cheeses. In 2002, they opened their own shop and lucky for us they did! Canterbury Cheesemongers stocks proper cheese, carefully made and matured, from New Zealand and abroad. With the motto “cheese is good”, they recommend eating the cheese rather sooner than later. Try the cheese at the Christchurch Farmers Market (Saturdays 9 am – 1 pm) or visit the shop (Thursday and Friday, 10 am – 6 pm):

Unit 9, 3a Settlers Crescent, Ferrymead 8023, New Zealand

Barry’s Bay Cheese | Akaroa

There were quite a few cheesemakers on the Peninsula back in the day, but Barrys Bay Cheese is the last one standing. The original factory built in the 1950s is still the one you will spot on your way to Akaroa. Barrys Bay Cheese has proudly persevered with the original methods, even though it is a time-consuming process. They have been doing it for a while and they still know how to make a good cheese! Visit the factory and shop, open 7 days a week (9 am – 5 pm):

5807 Christchurch-Akaroa Rd, Duvauchelle 7582, New Zealand

Whitestone Cheese | Oamaru

Handcrafted, artisan cheese made in the heart of Oamaru. Whitestone Cheese was founded by a family of farmers in 1987 as a means of diversification and the original factory is now run by the fourth generation Otago farming family. The cheeses are named after regional place to reflect the regional nature of Whitestone Cheese products. Made with natural ingredients only and premium milk from contented cows, Whitestone Cheese is to die for. We recommend doing a guided tour at the factory to get a behind the scenes look:

3 Torridge Street, Oamaru, New Zealand

Evansdale Cheese | Dunedin

Evansdale Cheese is pretty special as it was the first small cheese-making factory in New Zealand. Starting out in 1978 with the family cow producing 150 litres of milk a day, this cheesemaker now goes through 1,500 litres every day. Evansdale Cheese produces between 20-30 types of cheeses, but make sure to try the ‘Monterey Jack’ (their very first cheese), the popular ‘Farmhouse Brie’ and ‘Laurel’, a tasty soft brie. Visit Evansdale Cheese for a cheese tasting (open 7 days, 10 am – 3 pm): 

4 Duncan Ave, Hawkesbury Village 9471, Otago