In every town you'll find at least one of these big supermarkets: Pak 'n Save, Foodtown, New World, Countdown, Woolworths or Big Fresh. In villages you'll find a Four Square store, often with a petrol station. In addition to this they have dairies in New Zealand – little corner stores where one can buy nearly everything (except alcohol). Beer and wine can be bought at the supermarket in most cities. If you want something high in alcohol you need to go to a liquor store (often called bottle shops in NZ). If you should need further trekking equipment, the outdoor shops offer a wide range – after all you are in New Zealand! As you can see, you can travel throughout New Zealand completely free of any shopping worries ;-)
Contrary to our expectations, it wasn't always easy to buy fresh fish. I guess the Kiwis prefer fishing for themselves. At a campground I asked a fisherman if I could buy some fish from his catch of the day, whereupon he gave me the fish as a present :-) Mostly there are cooking facilities and BBQs at the campgrounds. Often there are BBQs at rest sites as well. The Kiwis love to BBQ.
Food is always a matter of taste, but I'll describe some of my impressions. New Zealand apples are really delicious. I wallowed in the taste of creamy avocados and golden kiwifruits which were sweet like honey. The Kumara is very popular in New Zealand, especially in the North Island. It's a red (also gold or orange) sweet potato which you often find on restaurant and bar menues as kumara mash or kumara wedges. And the fish. The fish! At home (in Germany) I only eat some, because you don't know which fish breeding farm it comes from and what's been pumped in. Here, where no place is farther than 130 km from the sea and where they catch their dinner on their own, I couldn't get enough of it. In seafood matters the Green-lipped Mussels are a popular delicacy. I tried and loved them in an extraordinary combination with really hot chili sauce. They cook lamb in all delicious variations one can think of. If you want to eat tasty and tender New Zealand lamb, you really should go out to eat – the Kiwis are real experts. If you don't like it rare you should tell the waiter.
I'm actually not too fond of cakes but it always came over me when I saw the nutty carrot cake. I immediately wanted to eat a slice or at least buy one to take away. I guess I just didn't put on any weight because we were walking and hiking so much ;-)
Our favoured products:
First Grocery List
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