New Zealand Food


Hokey pokey ice cream (but the woman who sold it to me was French, so she called it ‘okey pokey)


Fush and chups (and a battered oyster and mussel on the side) with Lemon and Paeroa (marketed as “World famous in New Zealand”)


A lamb salad (from the “light bites” section of the menu! Look at the size of the thing!)


Lamb curry


Lamb pie


Lamb pizza


A “small” lamb shank, a steak, a man eating a steak

Lamb stirfry

Lamb stirfry

Lamb a la stair

Lamb a la Stair


A kiwi fruit


A feijoa drink. Mr Beet had to coach me in pronounciation before I ordered it.


A “Kiwi as” Chocolate Fish. Bloody horrible.


A feijoa – an acquired taste, but not unpleasant.


A lamington. I think they might actually originate from Australia, but the NZ version is bigger and pinker.

Moro bar

A Moro bar. It’s as if a Mars Bar has gone into the witness protection programme.

Famous Tuatapere sausages

“Famous” Tuatapere sausages. Maybe we didn’t get the right ones, because they were cheap and nasty.


Venison and kumara (which I’m pretty sure is just sweet potato, but it sounds more Newzealandy to call it kumara)

Boysenberry juice

Boysenberry juice. A boysenberry is apparently a cross between a raspberry, a blackberry and a loganberry, first grown by somebody called Mr Boysen. I can see why you would be tempted to name the food you just invented after yourself, but maybe not if your name sounds quite a lot like “poison”.

Makomako tastes horrible

A drink infused with traditional Maori medicinal plant makomako.


“Pavlova”. Or at least, the menu called it pavlova, but it’s clearly just a meringue with berries on the side. But I was thrilled because it’s as close as I got in 6 weeks of pavlova-hunting. If you go into any NZ souvenir shop or tourist information centre, you can buy pavlova aprons, ornaments, tea cosies, recipe books etc etc. It’s the national pudding. But you can’t actually buy one anywhere. And believe me, I looked!

Mr Beet’s Beer Chronicles – New Zealand

So many microbreweries, so little time…


Renaissance Pale Ale


The Sawmill Pale Ale


Monteith’s Radler bier


Speight’s Distinction


Swine lager




Mac’s Gold lager


Mac’s Sassy Red


Mac’s Hop Rocker


Stoke Amber




Winnie’s Pale Ale

Monteith's Original

Monteith’s Original

Emerson's 1812 Pale Ale

Emerson’s Bookbinder

Emerson's Bookbinder

Emerson’s 1812 Pale Ale

Great White

Mac’s Great White

Tuatara Beer



Three Boys Porter


Monteiths Gold


Monteiths Summer Ale



Fiordland Pilsner

Fiordland Pilsner

And the winner is: Mac’s Sassy Red, with honourable mentions for Emersons and Renaissance.

Farewell to NZ

Our final few days in NZ were spent as follows:

Lake Tekapo —> Kaikoura

Went on a whale-watching trip.  Didn’t see any.  Got refund.

Kaikoura –> Hanmer Springs

Spent whale-watching refund on thermal spa.  Soaked in hot water all day.

Hanmer Springs –> Christchurch

Went to wildlife park on the understanding that they had pavlova there.  They didn’t.  Went to different wildlife park.  Saw kiwis! 

Lol and a big kiwi

Did a parkrun.  Returned Ivor the campervan.  Was emotional at having to return Ivor.  He served us well.   

Christchurch –> Auckland

Search for pavlova.  Only find it as part of three-course meal for $70: screw that. Do parkrun. 

Auckland–> Santiago de Chile

South America: here we come!

parkrun on tour – catch-up parkrun

I was four parkruns in deficit when I arrived in New Zealand, and had grand plans of catching up. I did do an extra parkrun in Hagley Park in Christchurch, so that’s one down, three to go. Trouble is, I’m about to go up to some silly altitudes pretty soon and running is not going to be its usual joyous experience.


Mt Cook and Lake Tekapo

Mr Beet’s appetite for penguin-spotting duly sated, we head back inland to take a look a Mt Cook.  It is NZ’s highest peak, and although it is only about a tall as Mt Fuji, it is definitely only for proper mountaineers and not puny tourists, so we have no plans to climb it.  We are here just to have a look at the snowy peaks, because Mr Beet loves mountains and hasn’t had his usual skiing holiday fix this year.  We also get to look at another glacier.  You would think that we would have seen enough big bits of ice by now, but this one is a bit different.  Because of the geography, the melt-water from the Tasman Glacier doesn’t pour off into a river like at the Franz Josef and the Fox.  It forms a lake, the lake-water then melts the glacier and big chunks break off to form floating icebergs.  I never planned on seeing icebergs on this trip, so that’s quite exciting.  We take a little boat trip on the lake and get to touch, taste and generally admire the ice.





Later that day we drive to Lake Tekapo.  This is pretty much the middle of nowhere, which makes it a good spot for an observatory.  If you live in London and then come to NZ, you will be amazed by how many stars you can see.  So we signed up for a tour of the observatory where you get shown around the night sky and get to have a go on some of the big telescopes.  The observatory in top of a mountain so it’s chilly by night, but they provide you with enormous padded jackets to keep you warm.



It was meant to be cloudy, but we were very  lucky as it cleared just at the perfect time and visibility was great.  There was no moon, which was good as to an astronomer the moon is just light pollution.  We could clearly see the Milky Way and through the telescopes we got good views of Mars and Saturn.  Astronomy is a pretty mind-blowing subject and we were well and truly impressed by some awesome statistics about the number, distance and size of stars that I immediately forgot, but which were very impressive at the time.

More pictures from Mt Cook on Mr Beet’s flickr page.

parkrun on tour – 14 April 2012

I thought Friday 13th had passed without a hitch, but I was caught out by the time difference.  When I went for my usual Saturday morning parkrun, it was still Friday 13th at home and I am obviously still on UK time as far as the fates are concerned.  The location was Allan’s Bay on the Otago Peninsula and the bad luck involved two very big boisterous dogs with sharp toenails, who obviously thought that my running meant that I wanted to play.


Apart from that, it was a nice run.  That big lump in the front of the shot is a slumbering sea-lion.