Foveaux Strait, between the South Island and Stewart Island, has a fearsome reputation as a rough stretch of water, right in the path of the Roaring Forties with no land east or west until you hit South America. Mostly flat-floored and just 20–30m deep, this causes waves to rear up and further compound the discomfort of ferry passengers and those out harvesting the strait’s bounty.

The best-known foodstuff pulled from the waters hereabouts is the sweet Bluff oysters, a highly sought-after delicacy dredged from April until September then processed in local oyster sheds before being sent all over the country.

Foveaux Strait is also home to a cluster of overgrown rocks known as the Titi or Muttonbird Islands, where local Maori have the traditional right to harvest sooty shearwater chicks in April and early May. These muttonbirds (titi in Maori) are regarded as a delicacy, though the anchovy-duck flavour is something few Pakeha acquire.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

New Zealand features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

There's nothing like an amazing view to inspire you to book your next trip, whether you're drawn by rolling countryside, isolated islands or soaring mountain …

30 Aug 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
24 breaks for bookworms

24 breaks for bookworms

1. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas In 1971, fuelled by a cornucopia of drugs, Hunter S. Thompson set off for Las Vegas on his “savage journey to the heart of …

02 Mar 2017 • Eleanor Aldridge camera_alt Gallery
How to find the right New Zealand for you

How to find the right New Zealand for you

While it may not loom large on the world map, New Zealand feels incredibly vast and imposing on the ground, especially to those who try to visit the North and S…

23 May 2016 • Eric Grossman insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook