We spent about a week in the Nelson and Abel Tasman region which sits at the top of the South Island. We stayed for two nights in Kaiteriteri Beach at a wonderful cottage surrounded by fruit trees and then three more nights in Abel Tasman National Park at Awaroa Lodge. There are so many parts of Nelson and the rest of the north part of the South Island that we didn't have time to explore and someday I would love to go back. The beaches and water were simply beautiful.
A nice little organic grocery store with a pretty good selection of gluten free choices. I picked up this delicious cereal called Inca Gold Crunchies there, super tasty!
This spot was recommended by Lonely Planet and we went back twice because it was so awesome. Their menu identifies all of the gluten free, dairy free, and vegan choices and they have some delicious gluten free bread for their sandwiches. Oh and the best part, their fries (chips) were gluten free as well! I got a BLT both times because it was just so amazingly good. They also offered gluten and dairy free cake slices, I got an orange polenta cake that was wonderful. Oh and the best part, it's located in a gallery of local art and the exterior is a large wonderful garden full of garden art.
This little spot was recommended both by Lonely Planet and the owner of cottage we stayed in. It was a great little grocery with tons of local fresh fruit and some of the best gluten free bread I've ever had. It was called cassava bread and it tasted pretty close to a whole grain California sourdough. Incredibly yummy and certainly did not need to be toasted like most gluten free bread.
Awaroa Lodge, Abel Tasman National Park
Before we decided to stay at Awaroa, I e-mailed them to determine if they could accommodate my list of food intolerances as their restaurant would be the only option. They reassured me that the deal with food intolerances all the kind and it would be no trouble at all. So we got there and our experience ordering our first meal was pretty horrendous. Our first server clearly didn't understand what we were asking for at all and our second server was not in a very good mood and downright snappy. I heard him placing the order for some of our food and not once did he mention that it needed to be free from gluten. The food was quite good and then that night it hit and I got sick. It basically killed a whole day of our trip there and I ended up eating peanut butter sandwiches in our room for the rest of our stay. When we went to pay our bill, I expected that the charge for that meal would have been dropped, but it wasn't. I inquired about this and was again confronted by the snappy server who was incredibly rude on this go round. Eventually, we got to speak with a manger of the lodge and the charge was dropped, but after dealing with that one snappy server, I don't think I would ever return there.