When planning your first trip to New Zealand, it can get overwhelming. Your mind starts spinning with questions like, ‘What’s the climate and weather like?’, ‘Do we need to apply for a visa?’ or ‘Do we need an international driving license?’ To save you from the frantic typing, this guide covers everything you need to know about New Zealand.

Here comes another question that is begging to be answered, ‘Where can I find halal food in the South Island of New Zealand?’ Guess what? Everywhere!

The best way to explore a new destination is through food. From ingredients grown from their homeland to the local’s spin on famous comfort food, it’s the closest way to familiarise with a country’s roots, cultures and history. To experience a newfound appreciation for New Zealand cuisine, let’s hit the streets to find the next halal eatery in South Island!

Christchurch 

1. Dubba Dubba

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Everyone has a soft spot for fresh and flavourful Moroccan dishes. When the craving hits, Dubba Dubba delivers. With a serving of fresh ingredients and bold flavours, your late nights are better with Morrito, a grilled tortilla wrap complete with grilled chicken or Moroccan lamb. Otherwise, opt for a soft grilled pita called Pitadina that is packed with vegetables and sauces.

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If you must eat rice at some point in your trip (like us!), revel in the Morrito Bowl that includes a bedof rice with vegetables,tomato salsa and meats. Not forgetting a drizzle of aioli and hummus tzatzikisauces for a flavourful punch.

  • Address: Dubba Dubba, 11B Waimairi Road, Upper Riccarton, Christchurch 8041
  • Operating hours: Mon-Sun, 10.30AM-9.30PM
  • Halal status: Muslim-owned
  • Website | Facebook

Attraction nearby: Orana Wildlife Park

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It’s liberating to see wildlife animals roam freely at Orana Wildlife Park.Described as New Zealand’sfirst open-range zoo, you can hand feed a giraffe, explore through the Lion reserve and more. Spendtime at the Nocturnal House and tell us if you can spot New Zealand’s national icon, the Kiwi!

  • Address: OranaWildlife Park, 793 Mcleans Island Rd, Harewood, Christchurch 8051
  • Operating hours: Daily, 10AM-5PM
  • Admission fees: NZD36.50 (per adult above 15 years), NZD29.50 (per senior citizen above 60 yearsor student), NZD9.50 (per child, 5-14 years), Free (for pre-schooler below 5 years)
  • Website | Facebook

2. Dux Dine

When you drive along Riccarton Road, you’re likely to spot a sky-blue historical villa that shies away from the busy street. When you do, step into Dux Dine where a variety of seafood and vegetarian dishes await.
With seafood freshly caught from the coast of South Island and vegetables grown from their organic garden, you’re in for a whirlwind of honest and imaginative flavours. Start with seafood chowder before moving on to mains like baked lime and coriander crusted fish as well as hot smoked Akaroa salmon. The menu is updated regularly based on their catch of the day and seasonal vegetables, so prepare for a surprise at every visit.
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  • Address: Dux Dine, 28 Riccarton Rd, Riccarton, Christchurch 8011
  • Operating hours: Daily, 9AM-9PM
  • Halal status: While this restaurant is not halal-certified, this eatery serves seafood and vegetarian menu. Do note that some dishes are prepared with alcohol, and we advise that you consult with the server before you order. Alcoholic beverages are also served on the premise. We recommend that you dine at your discretion.
  • Website | Facebook

Attraction nearby: Punting On The Avon River

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Getting half an hour’s worth of tranquillity is easy atPunting OnThe Avon River. Let the Edwardian punter glide the boat along the river as you admire the serene garden city around you. While you do,spot the 130-year-old Weeping Willows and native trees like Kōwhai and Kahikatea!

Psst, be on the look out for Paradise shelducks along the river too! Also known as Pūtangitangi in Maori, these ducks are inseparable from their mates. Find a pair of male (black head) and female (white head) ducks swimming together!

  • Address: Punting On The Avon River, 2 Cambridge Terrace, Christchurch Central, Christchurch 8013
  • Operating hours: Daily, 9AM-6PM (Summer, 1st Oct-31st Mar), 10AM-4PM (Winter, 1st Apr-30th Sep & 25th Dec)
  • Rates: NZD30 (per adult), NZD15 (per child, 5-12 years), Free (for infants)
  • Website | Facebook

3. KoTane Hangi Dinner

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While you can find Maori cuisine across New Zealand, there’s a place that offers delicious bites with aside of cultural experience. Park your car at Willow bank Wildlife Reserve and visit KoTane, known as South Island’s only Maori performance and Hāngī dinner. We’ll get to the Maori performance in a bit because we’re excited to share about hangi.

It’s a traditional Maori dinner where meat, fish and vegetables are cooked in an underground pit for3-4 hours. Once done, get your plates ready for off-the-bone meat, steaming hot kumara (sweet potatoes) and aromatic vegetables. Hangi dinner is part of the KoTane Maori Experience package, sobook in advance before your visit.

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  • Address: KoTane, Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, 60 Hussey Road, Christchurch
  • Operating hours: Daily, 5.15PM-7.15PM
  • Halal status: While the kitchen prepares and serves pork, the halal meats are wrapped and prepared separately to prevent cross-contamination. Do note that advance booking is required for halal meat options. We advise you to dine at your own discretion.
  • Website
Attraction nearby: Willowbank Wildlife Reserve
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It’s always a bonus to meet New Zealand’s native wildlife. At Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, you can meet the country’s Big 5. We’re talking about the Tuatara (ancient lizard), Takahe (flightless bird), Kaka (endangered parrot), Kea (mountain parrot) and North Island Brown Kiwi, known as New Zealand’s famous icon!

  • Address: Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, 60 Hussey Road, Christchurch
  • Operating hours: Daily, 9.30AM-5PM
  • Admission fees: NZD32.50 (per adult), NZD26 (per senior above 65 years or student) NZD12 (per child, 5-14 years)
  • Website | Facebook

4. BurgerFuel

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You can’t go wrong with fast food, so find yourself a table in this contemporary-furnished BurgerFuel. Since the name speaks for itself, sample their 100% pure grass-fed New Zealand beef burgers such as the Bio Fuel (complete with free-range egg, raw grated beetroot and salad) and American Muscle (sandwiched with melted cheddar, pickles and Dijon mustard).

Planning to go light on fast food? You’ll definitely enjoy Gourmet Minis where some are adorably called Bambina and Hamburgini with Cheese. BurgerFuel also serves plant-based burgers and replaces meat with organic tofu, mushroom or crumbed pumpkin. End it on a sweet note with some ice cream too!

  • Address: BurgerFuel, Unit 15, 1005 Ferry Road, Ferrymead, Christchurch
  • Operating hours: Daily, 11AM-10PM
  • Halal status: While the restaurant is not halal-certified, all beef, chicken, cheddar, parmesan, pineapple and avocado are sourced from halal-certified suppliers. They also commit to using clean utensils to avoid cross-contamination with non-halal products
  • Website | Facebook

Attraction nearby: Ferrymead Heritage Park

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When New Zealand’s first railway opened in 1863, it was a famous railway that connected Ferrymead to central Christchurch. Today, you can still check out the famous Peveril steam train at the Ferrymead Heritage Park or explore the township for a glimpse of the restored cottages, school houses and more.

  • Address: Ferrymead Heritage Park, 50 Ferrymead Park Drive, Heathcote, Christchurch
  • Operating hours: Daily, 10AM-4PM
  • Website | Facebook

BONUS: Get halal meats from these grocery stores!

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If you enjoy cooking for your loved ones, Christchurch has 5 Muslim-owned meat and grocery stores that stock up halal meats and ingredients!

  • Halal New Zealand Meat – 292A Lincoln Road, Addington
  • Krazy Price Mart – 431 Tuam Street, Philipstown
  • Maihan Supermarket and Halal Meat Ltd – 303 Colombo Street, Sydenham
  • MEFCO – 24A Acheron Drive, Riccarton
  • Spice Heaven – 103 Stanmore Road, Linwood

Queenstown

5. Erik’s Fish And Chips

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Sometimes, it takes something as simple as fish and chips to win over a Kiwi’s palate – and yours too. Erik’s Fish And Chips figured it out from the get-go, knowing that it’s a close-to-home staple in New Zealand for over a century.

When you’re here, revel in the crunchy fish and chips. Also, don’t hit the road without trying kumara wedges (sweet potatoes), calamari, bluff oysters and of course, the Instagram-friendly potato spiral.

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  • Address: Erik’s Fish And Chips, 13 Earl St, Queenstown 9300
  • Operating hours: Daily, 12PM-8.30PM
  • Halal status: Halal-certified
  • Website | Facebook

Attraction nearby: Ben Lomond

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You would need a good level of fitness to hike up Ben Lomond. But all those huffing and puffing will reward you with a breath-taking view of Mount Earnslaw and Aspiring. Whether you’re challenging yourself to a 3-4 hour walk (return) at Ben Lomond Saddle or a 6-8 hours walk (return) at Ben Lomond Summit, every step will take you closer to their natural splendours.

  • Address: Ben Lomond Scenic Reserve, Ben Lomond 9371

6. Boliwood

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Embracing the flavours and fragrance of Indian cuisine, Boliwood makes a pleasant food stop after exploring the best of Queenstown. Browse the menu for starters such as samosa chat, chicken tikka and fish koliwada. Then, bring out the flavours of kashmiri pilav rice with a side of butter chicken, vindaloo and kadai curries.

If you have room for seafood dishes, try everything from fish masala to prawn malabari. Besides that, vegetarians won’t feel left out after enjoying a round of vegetable amritsari, aloo gobi and vegetable jalfrezi.

  • Address: Boliwood, 62 Shotover Street, Queenstown 9300
  • Operating hours: Daily, 11AM-11PM
  • Halal status: While the restaurant uses Muslim-friendly ingredients, do note that alcoholic beverages are served on the premise. We recommend you dine at your discretion
  • Website | Facebook

Attraction nearby: Skyline Queenstown

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Queenstown is one of South Island’s adventure capitals, so never let fear stop you from going to Skyline Queenstown. Speed downhill on a luge, admire the view of Queenstown from the gondola, go mountain biking on their world-class trails and experience stargazing once the skies turn to dusk.

  • Address: Skyline Queenstown, Brecon Street, PO BOX 17, Queenstown
  • Operating hours: Daily, 9AM-9PM
  • Website

Mackenzie

7. High Country Salmon

High Country Salmon cares more about fresh salmon than almost anyone else. Floating on the glacial waters of Wairepo Arm, you can bet their catch of the day is fresher than the ones from a supermarket.

Step into this freshwater farm to feed the fishes (the kids will love this one!) and purchase salmon for tonight’s dinner. While you’re here, indulge in seafood chowder, salmon burger, miso noodle salmon soup and the beautifully sliced sashimi using fishes from the farm itself.

  • Address: High Country Salmon, 2602 Twizel-Omarama Rd, Twizel
  • Operating hours: Daily, 8AM-6PM (hours might differ according to season)
  • Halal status: While this restaurant is not halal-certified, all the food is either vegetarian or seafood except for pastries, which are brought in by various suppliers and not prepared in the kitchen
  • Website | Facebook

Attraction nearby: NZ Alpine Lavender Farm

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You’ve probably seen NZ Alpine Lavender Farm on Instagram. Guess what? It’s only a 15-minute drive from your last salmon stop! Known as the largest organic lavender farm in the Southern Hemisphere, the rows of blooming lavender will keep your inner photographer busy. As long as you make time for lavender ice cream and souvenir shopping, continue to take pictures to your heart’s content.

  • Address: NZ Alpine Lavender Farm, 31/657 Mount Cook Rd, Ben Ohau 7999
  • Operating hours: Daily, 9AM-5PM (during opening seasons only)
  • Admission: Free
  • Note: The lavender farm is only open from mid-Nov to mid-March (Best to visit in Jan)
  • Website | Facebook

Dunedin

8. KL Aroma Restaurant & Cafe

Any time someone mentions ‘Malaysian food’, the Kiwis are likely to point you to KL Aroma Restaurant & Cafe. You’ll find this restaurant tucked away between boutiques and footwear shops along George Street, which makes a nice place for a short lunch break.

If you’re craving for nasi lemak, roti canai, and mee goreng, this restaurant will bring these meals to your table. For a side of fire and flavour, complete your dining experience with butter chicken, lamb varuval and chicken rendang.

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  • Address: KL Aroma Restaurant & Cafe, Downstairs, 252 George Street, Dunedin
  • Operating hours: Mon-Sat, 10.30AM-9PM; Public holidays, 11AM-4PM
  • Halal status: Muslim-owned
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Attraction nearby: Dunedin Botanic Garden

You may have been to many gardens in the past, but Dunedin Botanic Garden offers a different kind of blooms. Known as New Zealand’s first botanic garden, it has seasonal attractions to explore such as the rose garden (summer), azalea garden (autumn), winter garden glasshouse (winter) and flowering cherry trees (spring).

  • Address: Dunedin Botanic Garden, 12 Opoho Rd, North Dunedin, Dunedin 9016
  • Operating hours: Daily, 24 hours
  • Admission: Free
  • Website | Facebook

9. Potpourri Vegetarian Cafe

 

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Consider Potpourri Vegetarian Cafe as an ode to fuss-free, plant-based dining. Walk up the counter and let them know you’re up for vege lasagne, falafel hummus and salad, mushroom burger or toasted cream cheese bagel.

If you think all-day breakfasts are the best things ever, you’ll enjoy eggs benedict on a toasted bagel, waffles with berries and maple syrup as well as toasted granola with Greek yoghurt at noon.

  • Address: Potpourri Vegetarian Cafe, 97 Stuart St, Dunedin 9016
  • Operating hours: Mon-Fri, 8AM-3.30PM; Sat, 9AM-3PM (Closed on Sun)
  • Halal status: Muslim-owned, all-vegetarian menu

Attraction nearby: Monarch Wildlife Cruises & Tours

It’s interesting to explore wildlife in the Southern Ocean, and Monarch Wildlife Cruises & Tours will take you there. Departing from Wellers Rock Wharf, the cruise will take you to Otago Peninsula where you’ll meet penguins, double albatross, dolphins and more.

  • Address: Monarch Wildlife Cruises & Tours, 824 Harington Pont Road, Dunedin
  • Operating hours: Mon-Fri, 9AM-5PM; Sat-Sun, 10AM-3PM
  • Website | Facebook

10. Cafe Nesli Turkish Kebab

You know you’ve arrived at Cafe Nesli Turkish Kebab when you spot its bright red exterior on George Street. Make your way to the counter and find a favourite among wrap kebabs, Iskender kebabs, pita bread kebabs and Shish kebabs.

Regardless of what you choose, each will be packed with spit-roasted lamb or chicken complete with salads and sauces. There’s also baklava and Turkish delights if you’re up for desserts.

  • Address: Cafe Nesli Turkish Kebab, 355 George Street, Dunedin Central, Dunedin 9016
  • Operating hours: Daily, 11AM-10PM
  • Halal status: Muslim-owned
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Attraction nearby: Otago Museum

New Zealand
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There’s always something new to learn at Otago Museum, home to over 1.5 million museum items ranging from Japanese armour to pinned insects. With seven galleries to explore, visit the Southern Land, Southern People gallery for New Zealand’s largest fossil and Animal Attic gallery to see a tooth from Megalodon, the largest extinct shark that ever lived.

  • Address: Otago Museum, 419 Great King Street, Dunedin 9016
  • Operating hours: Daily, 10AM-5PM
  • Admission: Entry by donation (for museum and galleries only)
  • Website | Facebook

This article is brought to you by Tourism New Zealand.

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Justin
Usually awkward & quiet, but gets talkative once the conversation revolves around movies, TV shows, music, and entertainment. (Contact: [email protected])