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Very similar to Australian food with lots of European and Asian influences. Bar-B-Que is big here or the Maori version of grilling in a open pit called an hangi. The specialties include: New Zealand lamb, New Zealand green mussels, Bluff oysters, Paua (similar to abalone), mussels, pipis and tuatua (more types of small shellfish), meat pies, fish and chips, roast meats and Colonial Goose, which is actually leg of lamb.

Desserts include: Pavlova, a fruit and cream filled merrangue that’s kind of the national dessert although we’ve also had it in Australia so it’s hard to tell where it really came from. The also serve Lamingtons (sponge cake with chocolate and coconut), ANZAC biscuits and Hokey-Pokey ice cream (vanilla with toffee pieces).

The wines tend to be mostly white (sauvignon blanc and chardonnay) but there are some very good Pinot Noir and some excellent rich cabs from around Hawkes Bay. Our favorites were the Te Mata Coloraine (cabernet/merlot blend) from Hawkes Bay and the Stoney Ridge Larose (Bordeaux style) from Waiheke Island, about a 35 minute boatride from Aukland.