An introduction to seafood in New Zealand
An island nation surrounded by bountiful oceans, New Zealand is paradise for those passionate about fresh, delicious seafood. Local chefs enthusiastically serve up some of the world’s best green-lipped mussels, crayfish, oysters and fish; often accompanied by a glass of kiwi wine. Fresh seafood meals are an excellent way to top off a day exploring New Zealand - read on to find out about some great destinations that are home to fresh, famous seafood.
Oysters from the Hokianga
For succulent, fat juicy oysters fresh, you can’t go past the Hokianga in Northland. Steamed, roasted or fresh, New Zealand oysters make for an indulgent feast for lunch or dinner. Hokianga’s oysters are best consumed right on the waterfront at the restaurant of the Copthorne Hotel and Resort - the views out across the harbour and the sand dunes are something very special. Best paired with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc or even a champagne toast!
Snapper from the Bay of Islands
Dotted with islands and picture-perfect beaches, the Bay of Islands is a fishing paradise. Waters teem with pelagic fish like snapper, kingfish and trevally, and the friendly pods of dolphins and whales that call these islands home are testament to this. Not surprisingly, the Bay of Islands is one of the best places in the country to savour delicious, fresh fish. New Zealand’s favourite eating fish is snapper, a medium-sized white flesh fish that’s delicate and delicious. Enjoy freshly caught snapper when you visit Paihia, preferably while looking out over the coastline and sipping a glass of Pinot Gris.
Greenshell Mussels, Marlborough
New Zealand’s Greenshell Mussels are famous the world over. Plump, sweet and tender, these mussels thrive on a constant flow of aquatic nutrients - making the unspoiled coastline of Marlborough the perfect place for them to grow. Steamed, baked, fresh or grilled, Greenshell Mussels from Marlborough will knock your socks off. Havelock is the town where they are produced, but these mussels are easily found in many of Wellington’s restaurants as well. Enjoy with a glass of Marlborough’s world-renowned Sauvignon Blanc - bliss!
In the Maori language, ‘kai’ means food and ‘koura’ means crayfish - and unsurprisingly, the local bounty you’ll find here is some of the best available in the world. One of the best ways to enjoy this delicacy is from one of the local ‘crayfish caravans’. These caravans are dotted along the coastline, selling freshly caught crayfish prepared with garlic butter and lemon. Devouring one of these beauties while sitting on the rocks looking out to sea has got to be one of the most quintessentially kiwi dining experiences you can have.
Our MoaTrek team members are passionate lovers of kiwi seafood as well, and that’s why we’ve incorporated the above places into many of our small group tour itineraries. Feast on mussels from the Hokianga, enjoy a meal of snapper in the Bay of Islands and dine like a king on greenshell mussels at one of Wellington’s many classy restaurants. Kaikoura’s top-notch crayfish perfectly tops off a day of marine life encounters in this famous town. Inspired to indulge your seafood-loving taste buds in New Zealand? Find out more about our small group New Zealand tours here, or contact us directly.