Big, juicy and amongst the tastiest in the world – Bluff oysters are worth making a song and dance about and the home of these famous delicacies does just that.
Every year when the oysters are at their best, Bluff at the southern-most point of the South Island, holds a special festival to celebrate the seasonal harvest. And come May local fans and visitors line up to get their fill.
While the oysters are the central focus of the annual festival, other local specialities are also on offer including sought-after Muttonbirds, wild foods and a variety of fresh seafood abundant in the region.
Festival entertainment is also oyster-related with everything from ‘piping in the oyster’ at the start of festivities, to oyster opening and eating competitions and oyster sack creativity awards.
Live music adds to the atmosphere and friendly Bluff locals make this winter festival one of the country’s most popular food and wine events.
Bluff oysters are said to be the most flavoursome in the world because they are slowly grown in the cold, clean waters of Foveaux Strait until they are large, plump and juicy. The official oyster harvesting season runs from March until June or July – depending on when the yearly quota is reached.
The salty seaside town of Bluff is home to the fleet of oyster boats and the main gateway to Stewart Island – New Zealand’s third largest island. It is the oldest European settled town in New Zealand and offers fascinating maritime history.
Southland is NZ’s most southern region – sparsely populated and famed for native bird sanctuaries and an untouched natural environment. With great food, friendly locals and plenty of space it’s a great place to get back to nature.
“Selection of oysters (and clams) at The Oyster Inn” by Marcia Gagliardi. CC2