New Zealand has so many exceptional food experiences so it’s hard to create a list of the best 20. Regardless in this blog, we’ve extensively researched north and south to find ten outstanding, unusual or simply unique food experiences on each island.

Taste famous Bluff oysters at Buster Crabb, try smoked meat or seafood at The Stoaker Room, sample traditional Māori ingredients at Hiakai and savour a hāngī at Waitangi Treaty Grounds.

Our top 20 begins at the bottom of New Zealand and travels north so you can easily add a few of these awesome foodie experiences to your motorhome hire adventure.

The best South Island food experiences

1. Buster Crabb

Venturing all the way south to Bluff is a must if you’re fanatical about oysters. If you still enjoy an oyster but at a lower level of obsession, stop in Invercargill for a truly unique food experience at Buster Crabb.

A gastropub with a southern hearty feel (and taste), the menu features seafood chowder, mussels and cockles, open steak sandwiches, calamari and blue cod.

Lionel Buster Crabb was the inspiration behind this distinctive Invercargill restaurant’s name. He served as an MI6 diver and a British Royal Navy frogman — until his mysterious disappearance in 1956 during an investigation of a Soviet cruiser moored at Portsmouth Dockyard.

2. Walter Peak Gourmet BBQ

Get ready to board the historic century-old TSS Earnslaw steamboat for your trip across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak Farm for this gourmet barbecue lunch or dinner experience. A slice of yesteryear, this half-day excursion will make your whole foodie experience even better.

The barbecue meal itself is excellent value — served as a buffet with vegetables, salads and a variety of meat including pork, lamb, beef and chicken.

3. Fergburger

This institution is still going strong in the always-bustling southern city of Queenstown. Join the queue (as there’s almost always one) and prepare for a next-level burger experience.

While you’re in the area, try a treat from adjacent Fergbaker or a gelato from Mrs Ferg Gelateria — or even a pint from Ferg’s Bar.

4. The Stoaker Room

What do you get when you combine an old wine barrel, some wood chips, a makeshift heat source and a little water? You get The Stoaker Room — an imaginative way of smoking and steaming salmon and other fresh seafood.

The special oaky flavour created by cooking in this way with old pinot noir wine barrels is worth checking out, as is the location — right next to Lake Dunstan.

5. The Craypot

Drive to The Craypot and you’ll have gone as far south as you possibly can on the West Coast. It’s essentially the end of the road — but could be the start of a new relationship with seafood.

Only open across lunchtimes between September and Easter, The Craypot makes detouring to Jacksons Bay well worth it. Tuck into seafood chowder, crayfish salad or cascade whitebait before going on a short bush walk nearby.

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