Eat this, foodies: the best local seafood for a tasty culinary trip through NZ

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    If you are planning your trip to New Zealand and are looking forward to some delicious seafood, we’ve created a bucket list for seafood lovers.

    New Zealand is a great destination for you to tantalise your taste buds. The country has one of the longest coastlines in the world and boasts a rich marine environment. It is a haven for seafood lovers. Some of the best seafood on the international market is produced in New Zealand.

    Scallops: a foodie favourite

    A local favourite is scallops, a real must to try when on the North Island bus tour. The season for fresh scallops runs from October through to March. One of the best places to eat scallops is The Coromandel on North Island. The sheltered waters are a little warmer and the scallops are very sweet. Often just cooked with butter, you can also enjoy fresh scallops with their orange row.

    Fresh hand dived scallops
    Enjoy fresh hand-dived scallops from New Zealand l photo: Matt Crawford

    Mussels: Sauv Blanc’s best friend

    The Green-lipped mussel is a seafood delicacy that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. The Marlborough region in the South Island is where these mussels are sourced from.

    They are large mussels full of flavour and distinguished by their dark green shell and bright green lips. The best way to indulge in this fresh delicacy is aboard a green mussel cruise from Havelock. Enjoy fresh steamed mussels accompanied by a glass of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.

    Crayfish: tastiest catch of the day

    Kaikoura on the coast north of Christchurch is the crayfish capital of New Zealand. The name Kaikoura means ‘eating crayfish’ in Maori. Seafood caravans can be found along the roads around Kaikoura selling fresh crayfish. Imagine devouring these crustaceans boiled and dipped in seafood dressing. Fresh seafood at its best!

    Eating crayfish at Kaikoura
    Enjoy fresh Crayfish on the coast at Kaikoura l photo: Graeme Murray

    Whitebait: a culinary and super-tasty pattie

    On the Kirra coach tour of the South Island Take a trip over to the West Coast and you will arrive in whitebait territory. Whitebait is sourced from the rivers within the West Coast region and is a well sought-after delicacy. The most popular way to eat whitebait in New Zealand is in a pattie and many places offer this on their menus including Buccleugh’s on High, the restaurant at the Recreation Hotel in Greymouth. The Curly Whitebait Company in Nelson is another famous spot to try these talked about whitebait patties.

    Oysters: nothing beats a Bluffie

    Bluff on the southern point of the South Island mainland, is home to New Zealand’s oyster production. The natural beds in the cold waters of the Foveaux Strait produce these succulent oysters, known locally as “Bluffies.”

    The Bluff Oyster is a large, plump and juicy seafood delicacy that has put Bluff on the map with the annual Bluff Oyster Festival held every May. A winter festival where you can taste the mouth-watering oysters raw shucked straight from their shell or cooked in a variety of ways.

    You can also enjoy Oysters in many of Auckland’s eateries. Check out some of our favourite Auckland bars and restaurants.

    Fresh Bluff Oysters
    Freshly shucked Bluff Oysters or “bluffies” l Miles Holden

    Salmon: classic yet tasty

    From October to late April, the New Zealand salmon season is in full swing. New Zealand accounts for over half of the world’s king salmon production. The highest salmon farm in the world, Mount Cook Alpine Salmon is in the Southern Alps between Twizel and Mt Cook. The cold, fast-flowing water from the glacial mountains provides for a sustainable operation. Mt Cook salmon is an absolute treat! Try it grilled, smoked or pan-fried accompanied by your favourite glass of red or white.

    If you love seafood, New Zealand is going to give you a taste of seafood heaven! Browse our tours of New Zealand and lock in that amazing premium seniors coach tour of New Zealand, enjoy amazing seafood at (almost) every stop. New Zealand is heaven for foodies.

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    Kirra Crew

    Kirra Crew

    We have been creating memorable New Zealand experiences since 1968. Our passion for this country is displayed through our unique itineraries. And we love to blog about exploring New Zealand and the many things to do & see here. Check out our articles and experience New Zealand your way.
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