Kaikoura is the crayfish / lobster capital of New Zealand. To taste the freshest ‘catch of the day’, try the Kaikoura Seafood BBQ – a beachside shack that feeds hordes of hungry visitors to the nearby seal colony. New Zealand crayfish is delicious and there is no better place to eat it than Kaikoura which means ‘eat crayfish’ in Māori.
The largest volume of whitebait is found in the rivers of the South Island’s West Coast. If you’re travelling south from the glaciers on SH6, stop off at Curly Tree Whitebait Company to sample these highly sought after fish.
Mt Cook Salmon
New Zealand accounts for over half of the world’s production of king salmon. Of all salmon species, the king salmon offers the highest natural oil content of Omega-3s which benefit both heart and joint health. In Tekapo, Mt Cook Alpine Salmon, at 677m above sea level, is the highest salmon farm in the world. Mt Cook Alpine Salmon is served as sashimi, grilled and smoked in many fine dining restaurants around New Zealand.
Green-lipped mussels are easily distinguished from other mussels by the dark green shell with a bright green lip that it is named for. You can get these mussels pretty much anywhere in New Zealand all year around, but it’s best to have them at the source around Marlborough, where 80 per cent of New Zealand’s mussel production is based.
Pāua (the Māori word for abalone) is a popular New Zealand delicacy. The most common way to eat pāua is to have it minced into a fritter. Pāua fritters can be purchased from most “fish and chip” shops around the country. Pāua are commonly found in shallow coastal waters along rocky shorelines and are a local delicacy.
A local favourite, scallops are a must to try when in New Zealand. The season for fresh scallops runs from October through to March. If you are in the Coromandel in September you can sample a variety of tasty scallop delicacies at the annual Scallop Festival. The season for fresh scallops runs from October through to March.
Large, plump and juicy, New Zealand oysters have earned a reputation as some of the finest in the world. Bluff is the home of oyster production in New Zealand and holds the Bluff Oyster Festival every May.
Snapper, or Tāmure as it is called in Māori, is the most popular fish to eat in New Zealand. It is found throughout New Zealand, but is most abundant in the North Island.