[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Surrounded by coastline and oceans rich in marine life, New Zealand is a paradise for people who love fresh, tasty seafood. Around the country, chefs passionately serve up some of the world’s best seafood – crayfish, green-lipped mussels, fish and oysters. Simply prepared, fresh seafood is the perfect way to bring a day spent exploring New Zealand to a close. Here’s a list of some of the best seafood in the country – and where to find it!
Translated literally to “eat crayfish”, Kaikoura is the crayfish and lobster capital of New Zealand. This is the town to visit if you want to taste the freshest catch of the day. While we can’t actually think of a place that serves up bad crayfish in Kaikoura, the Kaikoura Seafood BBQ is our favorite. A simple, beachside shack serves at the perfect location to sit back and tuck in.
The most abundant area of New Zealand for whitebait is in the rivers of the southernmost island’s west coast. Driving south on the SH6, you’ll have the chance to sample some of the finest whitebait in the country at Curly Tree Whitebait Company. Even if you have to drive out of your way – it’s worth it.
Mt Cook Salmon
Half of the world’s king salmon comes from New Zealand. Of all the salmon species, the king is richest in Omega-3s. But you don’t need to know its nutritional value to be convinced to try this amazing fish. Mt Cook Alpine Salmon is the highest salmon farm in the world, at 677m above sea level. The salmon from here is often served as sashimi, smoked, or grilled in some of New Zealand’s swankiest restaurants.
You’ll be able to tell these mussels apart from their plain-lipped counterparts because of – you guessed it – the bright green lip on the outside of their shells. These mollusks are common throughout New Zealand and you can enjoy them fresh all year round. If you have the chance, head to the source – Marlborough. They produce around 80 percent of New Zealand’s green-lipped mussels.
A New Zealand delicacy, Pāua means abalone in Maori. They aren’t the most attractive seafood on this list, but they are delicious. The most popular way to eat Pāua is to have them minced into a fritter. You can pick these up from most fish and chip shops in the country, so you’ll never have to travel too far!
A favorite among tourists and locals alike, the scallops in New Zealand are up there with the very best. The fresh scallop season runs from October to May, but you can head to the Coromandel Scallop Festival in September to sample some of the country’s finest scallop-based fare.
Bluff, the home of oyster production in New Zealand, is home to some of the finest oysters in the world. Bluff oysters are big, plump and incredibly juicy – there’s even a festival dedicated to them every May. The Bluff Oyster Festival – mark it in your calendar.
The Maori people call it Tamure. Either way, it tastes incredible. Snapper is the most popular fish to eat in New Zealand and you’ll find it in abundance throughout the whole country. If you’re in the North, you may struggle to find somewhere that doesn’t serve snapper![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]