Top 10 Iconic foods to try in New Zealand at the IALC 2020 Auckland Workshop

Written by Rosie Baker 9 October 2019

Top 10 Iconic foods to try in New Zealand at the IALC 2020 Auckland Workshop

IALC is incredibly excited to be hosting its next Workshop in Auckland, New Zealand from 26-29 March 2020, with host school Languages International.

Located on the North Island of New Zealand, Auckland is one of the most attractive destinations for students and youth travellers from across the globe.

A North to South New Zealand Food Tour...

Our New Zealand schools; Languages International, Mount Maunganui Language Centre, Worldwide School of English and Nelson English Centre have recommended the following iconic foods to eat in Auckland! And they sound delicious!

1. Fish and Chips

at Mangonui Fish Shop, Bay of Islands

You can’t get further than 80km from the sea in New Zealand, and we’re obviously a long way from anywhere else, so there’s always plenty of good fresh seafood around. One of the nicer spots to enjoy it is in a little village right on the water, a couple of hours north of Auckland in the Bay of Islands, at the Mangonui Fish Shop.

2. Kumara

In Dargaville

One for the vegetarians, Kumar is the Maori word for sweet potato, a traditional staple in the Maori diet. Highly nutritious and of course very tasty if properly prepared. You’ll find them throughout the country, but the kumara capital of New Zealand is Dargaville, on the east coast between the Bay of Islands and Auckland.

3. Hokey-Pokey Ice Cream

In Auckland, by the water

Just vanilla ice cream with bits of honey comb through it, but, as we say in New Zealand, world famous in New Zealand.  If that sounds a bit sweet, there are plenty of other good options around the ice cream shops in Auckland. There’s a reason New Zealanders are the leading consumers of ice cream per capita (more than 28 litres per person per year!) – the ice cream is pretty good.

4. Hangi or 'haːŋi'

In Rotorua

Traditionally, Māori cooked in a pit under the ground in ovens is called ‘hangi’. 

 Food such as fish and chicken, and root vegetables are cooked for 3-4 hours on hot rocks under the earth. Today, pork, mutton or lamb, potato, pumpkin and cabbage are also included. You’ll certainly be able to try hangi if you visit Rotorua, and there are a few more convenient versions around, including at the Maori Kitchen, just a few hundred metres from the Hilton, the workshop venue in Auckland.

5. Kiwifruit

In Tauranga and Mt Maunganui

Note the full form of the word in New Zealand. Ask for a kiwi and you might get one of these! A flightless bird rather than a hairy fruit – very cute but they’re endangered due to habitat-loss and introduced predators (see possum pie below) so you’re not allowed to eat them.

Visit Mount Maunganui Language Centre and you’re in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand’s kiwifruit central.

6. Mussels at the Mussel Pot

In Havelock, Marlborough

Like kiwifruit, (green-lipped) mussels are plentiful and cheap in New Zealand, so you’ll find them everywhere. But try them at the Mussel Pot in Havelock, in Marlborough (sunny wine country) on your way to visit the Nelson English Centre.

7. Crayfish at Nin’s Bin

On the Kaikoura coast

Good food in a great setting on the Kaikoura Coast of the South Island, north of Christchurch. Choose your crayfish from the caravan on the beach, they’ll cook it for you to eat at the picnic tables. Pretty wild and definitely beautiful, come here en route to whale-watching in Kaikoura. There are also seals on the rocks all along this stretch of coast.

8. Pies

On the West Coast

An Australian or New Zealand meat pie is a hand-sized meat pie containing diced or minced meat and gravy and is often consumed as a takeaway snack. There are usually good vegetable pies these days, too. The Australians on average eat 12 a year, we eat 14 – and truck drivers would eat a lot more.

Quality varies a lot. The good ones are very, very good, the bad ones, well …

An environmentally useful option to try, if you visit the rain forests and glaciers on theWest Coast of the South Island, would be a possum pie. This Australian import is cute and cuddly at home, but a voracious omnivore that is the major threat to New Zealand’s native forests and birds, including kiwi, whose eggs it feasts on.

9. Lamb

In Queenstown

In 1982 we peaked at nearly 70 million sheep – about 22 to for every person. We’re now down to 27 million sheep about 5.5 per person. Like everyone else, we’re eating less meat. But the lamb is still tasty. You can get it all over the country, but if you’re going south, try Roaring Meg’s Restaurant in Queenstown.

10. Oysters

In Bluff, at the tip of the South Island

Auckland has good local oysters (Te Matuku) and there are a few places you can have them around the workshop hotel, or at the Oyster Inn over on Waiheke Island. But New Zealand’s best oysters are the Bluff – fat, juicy, creamy, the taste of the sea -  and they’ll be in season in March. You can get them all over the country, but they’ll be cheapest in Bluff, the southern tip of the South Island.

What are you waiting for? Join IALC in Auckland from 26-29 March 2020.

Find out more and register here!

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