Top South Island Restos for the First Time Visitor


If it’s your first time visiting South Island, NZ, you’re in for a real treat. It’s a place of tremendous beauty, fun-loving people, and even amazing food. Did that last part get your attention? I know it got mine. If you’re traveling around in a campervan rental New Zealand, you probably already have your itinerary mapped out.

Do you have restaurants on that map? If not, the following places are some of the best in South Island and if it’s your first time visiting, you’ll want to be sure to enjoy the best eats available. New Zealand may not have your typical cuisine, but you’ll be able to find your favorite dishes and food at the restaurants below.

From great seafood to Italian treats and all kinds of food that you can think of, you will have the opportunity to eat well when in New Zealand. These restaurants are top picks for many New Zealand visitors. Check them out, but be aware that you might get a bit hungry:

  • Dux Dine in Christchurch: If you’re in the mood for seafood and vegetarian dishes, you must not miss out on visiting Dux Dine while in Christchurch. As one of the best restaurants around, you’ll be in for a real treat when you visit Dux Dine. The menu at Dux Dine consists of fresh dishes that will make your mouth water, from delectable Jerk Dusted Market Fish to Smoked Salmon Wings, there is something delicious for you on the menu. Plus the setting of your meal at Dux Dine is just as incredible as the food itself.
  • The Mussel Pot Restaurant and Café in Havelock: Do you plan on visiting Havelock? Don’t pass up an opportunity to fill up at The Mussel Pot Restaurant and Café. There you can enjoy a broad range of dishes from seafood to pizza, gluten free dishes, as well as steak and Italian inspired cuisine. What else could you ask for? Even your kids will be sure to find something delicious to enjoy at this Havelock must-visit restaurant.
  • Fishbone Bar & Grill in Queenstown: If you’re visiting Queenstown and you get a sudden craving for seafood, you know what you need to do? You will have to go one over to Fishbone Bar & Grill for the chance to have the best seafood of your lifetime. Alright, we can’t say for sure if it’s the best, but it is the best in Queenstown. Perhaps because it’s the only seafood restaurant around. Either way, fish and chips, oysters, and clams await your palate at Fishbone Bar & Grill.
  • Pegasus Bay Winery & Restaurant in Waipara: This is a must for wine lovers visiting Waipara. Amazing wines, gourmet dishes, and a relaxing atmosphere can be found here. What more could you ask for? Make sure to set aside time for a lunch at Pegasus Bay Winery & Restaurant in Waipara. Plus, you’ll also have a great view to enjoy as you enjoy a delectable meal accompanied with the best New Zealand wine.
  • Nins Bin in Half Moon Bay: While it is anything but fancy, this small joint at Half Moon Bay boasts of some of the most delicious food you could ever imagine eating. From crayfish to lobster, mussels, and kaimoana, everything is made to perfection at Nins Bin. If you still want seafood after visiting the restaurants above on your road trip in a campervan rental New Zealand, make sure to put Nins Bin on your list.
  • Hopgoods in Nelson: Another charming spot to visit in Nelson, Hopgoods is a place that you will want to visit if you plan to be in the Nelson area. There are plenty of great dishes on the menu, but the most popular one is definitely the lamb. If you want to go all out on enjoying a fabulous meal in Nelson, you have to visit Hopgoods.

What do you fancy? Are you in the mood for wine or gourmet dishes? You’ll have plenty of opportunity when visiting South Island. If you thought the scenery was beautiful, just wait for the glorious dishes that will make your mouth water. New Zealand is rich in so many things, and great restaurants is one of them.

As fun as traveling on the open road is, you’ll need to treat yourself every now and then. While there are plenty of restaurants to choose from, you don’t want to miss out on eating at the best ones on the island, do you?

Get in your campervan rental New Zealand and enjoy your trip. Not only will you have a chance to enjoy beautiful landscapes, but the food will also amaze you. Whether you go hiking, kayaking, or even skydiving, you’ll be sure to get hungry. Satisfy that hunger with the best food in town. You won’t regret it!

Sheri Croll Author