Nins Bin lobster caravan, Kaikōura Coast © ChristchurchNZ

Eat crayfish in Kaikōura: dine al fresco on this hallmark cuisine


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So, in Māori, kai means food and kōura means crayfish. Right. The water off this cool coast is wild with sea life, including that New Zealand delicacy: crayfish.

If you haven’t tasted that pure, soft, slightly sweet flesh yet, you’ve not lived! And if you have, well, likely it was in one of the country’s fine restaurants. Which is all well and good, but when you come back from a day’s fishing and pull crayfish from their pots and have them cooked in front of you? They taste different. Richer, more intense. This, you will say to your friends, waving your hands expansively; this, my friends, is eating.

That is sea to table in minutes. That is culinary delight. That is the result of a fishing tour!

However, crayfish is available in most of the restaurants and cafés in town, and even most of the fish and chip outlets offer it, at a price more approachable than a restaurant, if you’re on a backpacker’s budget.

There are a couple of caravan-cum-stalls at the side of the road, literally, where you can snaffle a cray at a not unreasonable cost, too. It’s not cheap, however you get it, but this is a real treat, and it’s not to be missed.

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