In most of our blog posts, we talk about the many exceptional sights and experiences on offer on a holiday to New Zealand. What we haven’t touched upon as much, but really should, is the exceptional food also on offer. When you’re enjoying a tour of New Zealand, it is important branch out and treat your taste buds to the appetising array of local cuisine that you won’t find served quite the same anywhere else in the world. You see, the food in New Zealand is often prepared with great pride, especially when it comes to their local delicacies. Plus, as New Zealand is renowned for being one of the world’s greatest fishing countries, it’s no surprise that New Zealand’s seafood is some of the finest you will ever try. There are many types of seafood available in New Zealand, some more common then others. So to give you a taste of what’s on offer, we’ve put together a list of some of our favourite local delicacies for you to find on the menu…
Starting with the most popular New Zealand seafood, the Snapper can be caught all year round. This premium fish is mostly caught on the North Island but can be found all over New Zealand. In Maori, the Snapper is otherwise known as Tamure.
The port town of Bluff is one of New Zealand’s oldest European settlement sites. It is also home to the country’s finest oyster production, which over time developed a reputation for producing some of the plumpest and juiciest oysters around. Every May the town hosts the ‘Bluff Oyster Festival’, which attracts the masses who devour this exceptional seafood.
Kaikoura is a stunning costal town that has been deemed the crayfish/lobster capital of the New Zealand. Visitors flock to the town to visit the great Kaikoura Seafood BBQ, which serves up the day’s freshest catch.
The small but satisfying whitebait fish can be found in high quantities on the West Coast of the South Island’s rivers. If you travel south past the glaciers on the State Highway 6, be sure to hunt out the Curly Tree White Bait Company, who sell this flavoursome fish.
To taste the finest and freshest Scallops New Zealand has to offer, you’ll want to plan your trip during the scallop season. Scallops are available from July through to February, with the annual Scallop festival held every September in Whitianga where you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Mt Cook Salmon
You may be surprised to hear that more than 50% of the world’s production of King Salmon comes from the beautiful land of New Zealand. In the town of Tekapo, standing at an impressive 677m above sea level, is the highest salmon farm in the world. As well as buying the best salmon to take away with you, you can dine on the freshest fish while looking out on to spectacular views.
Found mostly in shallow coasts along the rocky shorelines, paua are an absolute must-try when traveling New Zealand. The paua shell is commonly used for jewellery and souvenirs, but why take home the shell without tasting the delicious flavours inside? A popular way of dining on this dish is after it has been minced into a fritter.
So you may have tried mussels, but have you ever encountered the green-lipped mussel? Clearly defined by its dark green shell and bright green edges, you will find this yummy mussel all over New Zealand, all year round. However, most head to the region of Marlborough to find the freshest mussels, as they produce around 80% of the country’s share.
An extra tip…
On top of the many lovely restaurants New Zealand has to offer, we highly recommend you try the street food in New Zealand too! Many travellers have returned from their trips, eager to return, just to taste that unbelievably delightful dish from a local street vendor.
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