The Greenwood Guide to New Zealand
Southland, New Zealand

Eating and Drinking in Southland, New Zealand

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Church Hill Café and Bar

Stewart Island

Cafés & delis

If there’s one place you eat on Stewart Island, do make it this one. To house their café, Deanne and Allan have restored the charming, wooden 19th-century cottage that sits high on the hill above Halfmoon Bay. There’s a simple menu of local delicacies, carefully chosen wines, an open fireplace and great views to the harbour outside. Top of the tipples when I visited were their specialty Bloody Mary-style Bluff Oyster shooters, only available in season from April time.

  • Contact: 36 Kamahi Road, Oban Town Centre, Stewart Island
  • Tel: 03-219-1323
  • Fax: 03-219-1323
  • Email: churchhill@stewartisland.org
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Sandfly Café

Te Anau

Cafés & delis

I liked this cosy corner café (and more) so much that it quite literally became my office for the couple of days I was based in Te Anau. Shaun and Fiona have successfully lined up the right ingredients to create an absolute local favourite; great food, superb coffee, comfy chairs, internet facilities, lazy tunes and sunny mountain views inside and out. Relax, plan or reflect on your Fiordland adventures over the pancake stack (for the hungry) or mountain muesli bowl (for the hungry, but sensible).

  • Prices: Breakfasts from $5 - $13. Salads, sandwiches and sweet treats varying prices according to selection that day.
  • Contact: No 9, The Lane, Te Anau, Fiordland
  • Tel: 03-249-9529
  • Fax: 03-249-9529
  • Email: shaunfi@xtra.co.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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The Moth Restaurant and Bar

Mandeville

Restaurants

This well-loved Mandeville institution is situated on the old airfield just 10 minutes' drive from Gore. Judy has cultivated a great reputation for fresh, simply presented food that’s served down nostalgia runway in a restaurant full of wartime aviation memorabilia. Best of all, there’s an air museum here too and lucky visitors can take flights in the beautiful old Tiger Moth aircraft.

  • Prices: Light daytime meals $8.50 - $16.50, starters $8.50 - $16.95, mains $26.50 - $29.95, desserts $9.50. Closed on Mondays (and Tues in winter). Ask for details on joy flights in the Tiger Moth.
  • Contact: Old Mandeville Airfield, State Highway 94, 15km from Gore on the Queenstown Highway
  • Tel: 03-208-9662
  • Fax: 03-208-8488
  • Email: themoth@xtra.co.nz
  • Web: www.themoth.co.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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La Toscana

Te Anau

Restaurants

For the true taste of Tuscany in er… Te Anau, head no further than this friendly, family-run establishment. Though now run by the Sheppards, previous owners Justine and Antonio still provide authentic recipes from Italy. La Toscana is a favourite with locals who return time after time for its casual café feel, but especially for its really big bowls of pasta and scrumptious desserts. Buon appetito!

La Toscana
  • Prices: Starters $3 - $14, medium pastas (a meal in itself with dessert) are $11.50 - $14.50 and large ones are $13.50 - $17.50. Pizzas from $10.50. Desserts come in large portions and are from $6 - $8. Good selection Italian and NZ wines and beers or BYO.
  • Contact: 108 Milford Road, Te Anau
  • Tel: 03-249-7756
  • Fax: 03-249-7760
  • Email: latoscana@xtra.co.nz
  • Web: www.latoscana.co.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Redcliff Café and Bar

Te Anau

Restaurants

Simple but oh-so-tantalizing dinners are served at this great restaurant. The building is a replica of an old European settlers' cottage and comes replete with big wood fires, an old creaky wooden bar and a huge outdoor patio and garden. A meal of local crayfish followed by Fiordland wild venison cannot fail to impress and is best finished off with a riesling-poached pear glazed with manuka honey and then a while spent listening to some live music in the front bar. This is a real local meeting place with live music, good cheer and legendary poetry nights.

  • Prices: Starters from $5 - $14.50 (crayfish is $22). Mains $19.50 - $32. Desserts $9.50 - $12.
  • Contact: 12 Mokonui Street, Te Anau
  • Tel: 03-249-7431
  • Cel: 027-286-7152
  • Email: kurt-moggy@xtra.co.nz
  • Updated: 31/01/2008

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Southland Highlights

  • Cross over to complete wilderness in Doubtful Sound. Skim over its still waters in a kayak among bottle-nosed and dusky dolphins, Fiordland penguins and furry seals.
  • Stock up on mint cake, get yourself a compass, buckle up your tramping boots and head out on the 3 - 4-day walking extravaganza that is the world-famous Milford Track. Alternately, for another walk in the Fiordland National Park that's big on scenery yet low(er) on crowds, try the 4-day Kepler Track from Te Anau.
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