Kaikoura New Zealand
Kaikoura New Zealand

Kaikoura New Zealand

Sometimes it’s the most simplest of pleasures that are the most enjoyable. Those moments of pure serendipity that just unfold before you without any planning.


Kaikoura New Zealand

Whilst touring New Zealand’s South Island we drove north to the quaint little fishing village of Kaikoura. The town is known for its seal colonies, and it’s amazing seafood chowder.


A Seafood Picnic on the Grass

We had so many lovely meals in this village but my favourite was picnicking with the family by the side of the road. It was particularly relaxing because we had the beach on one side with a very active seal colony present, snow capped mountains in the background, and a food van cooking and serving the local fishermans catch of the day.


Anais & Locky @ Kaikoura Playground

Cooking in the “Original Kaikoura Seafood BBQ” food truck was a 7th generation Kaikoura local. We watched as he skillfully cooked Paua (which I discovered is the local word for Abalone), scallops, salmon, whitebait and crayfish.  The seafood was fresh and natural, all that was added was a little bit of garlic, butter and lemon.  Each dish was served it with a simple salad or a slice of bread.  Very basic, honest  food, and very tasty.


Kaikoura’s Original BBQ Seafood Food Van

I was curious about the whitebait fritter.  I had watched a few being cooked, their little eyes looking up at me. Despite this I decided that I would need to try one.


Whitebait Fritters Cooking

The flavour of the seafood was mild and light and the fritter was like an omelet.  The addition of the garlic, butter and lemon made it a very enjoyable and unique dish.


New Zealand Whitebait Fritter

Mr GG and I had sampled wine from a few vineyards during our cross country driving and sight seeing adventure.  We happened to have a Pinot Noir with us from a local vineyard, Mudhouse.  It was a lovely Pinot Noir which went nicely with the abalone.

Kaikoura-New-Zealand-mudhouse-wine LR

Local New Zealand Mud House Red

Hubby and I ate leisurely, snacking on delicacies that anywhere else would have been so cost prohibitive.


Scallops BBQ in Garlic Butter

We ordered more BBQ seafood snacks as we enjoyed our wine.


Scallops BBQ in Garlic Butter & Lemon

All the while laying out on lush green grass while the children went spotting seals and collecting shells.


BBQ Crayfish

I don’t think life gets much better than this…

The final item on the menu for me was the Paua Fritters, I have never tried Abalone before so it seemed like a good opportunity.


Paua Fritters Cooking (Abalone)

Watching the fritter on the hotplate I noticed that it darkened quite a lot as it cooked.


BBQ Paua Fritter or Abalone

The flavour was stronger of the sea than the whitebait, and it also had a different texture.  It probably isn’t my favourite seafood but I am pleased I have tried it here where it is actually a traditional food.


Seafood Chowder

Everywhere we stop to eat hubby has been trying the seafood chowder.  He is determined to find the best Kaikoura has to offer. With this in mind he orders a cup of chowder.  It comes with bread for dipping.


Anais trying Seafood Chowder

It’s a really nice mix of seafood but thinner in consistency than some of the others we have tried on this trip.  This doesn’t stop little Anais finishing off the second cup!

So readers, is this something you would enjoy? Do you like to sample all the local flavours when you travel?

Gourmet Getaways

About Julie


  1. I’ve always been fascinated by New Zealand and one day I hope I can travel there. Your photos are just beautiful and delicious too. I love the mountains and the water, it’s so striking. Your daughter is such a doll:)

  2. Of course the beauty of the traveling is to try local food especially those in the villages because those are the most authentic-just one of my opinions. Your pictures are gorgeous as well as your daughter. Very well time spend together!

  3. Lorraine Not Quite Nigella :

    We have such a great memory of Kaikoura because we love seafood-even whitebait! Did you perchance try Nin’s Bin while you were there? 🙂

  4. Agreed, Julie! When serendipity greets the traveler, it is indeed a special moment.

    Thank you for taking us on the road with your family and enjoying delectable seafood fritters and festivals. Admire your joie de vivre Julie =)

  5. Your beautiful photos and vivid description make me miss NZ very much 🙂
    Lovely post!

    Choc Chip Uru

  6. I grew up in NZ and white bait was so big on many people’s diets and yes, it’s mild in flavour but those eyes! I haven’t tried abalone but many have and yes, so strongly fishy. I think it’s great to try the fare of the locals when visiting their lands (although when in Fiji I was one of those who refused the karva) xx

  7. Whitebait and abalone fritters whoaaaaaaat….I LOVE seafood and everything looks so fresh I really wish I could experience this meal. So many reasons to go back to NZ for a visit!

  8. i want that crayfish!! i can smell it bbq-ing right now..

  9. I’ve always wanted to visit New Zealand and hopefully someday I will 🙂 All these dishes are so new to me but I’m a big seafood lover and would really enjoy them 🙂

  10. I would have to say that travelling around the south island of New Zealand was one of my all time favourite holidays. I loved every minute of it!

  11. Gorgeous photos of a wonderful spot – and all that great food!


  1. […] what we did and hire a car. Take a drive up the beautiful East Coast to the quaint seaside town of Kaikoura where you will have the opportunity to gorge on fresh Paua. Somewhat of an acquired taste, […]

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