Savouring southern flavours

Tuatara Backpackers Lodge owner Nicola McGilvray is excited to be a part of the Savour the South event happening this month.

A MONTH-LONG event which celebrates Southland’s amazing produce and hospitality offerings, where Southlanders can eat, drink, play and stay began last Friday.

It is all a part of the Savour the South event run by Hospitality New Zealand and Great South.

Hospitality NZ manager Darelle Jenkins said they were excited to bring the event back for its second year.

‘‘Everyone needs a reason and deserves to enjoy themselves at the moment.

‘‘We are hoping by its fifth year, we will have out-of-towners travelling to our region to experience it too.’’

The first event was held last year but plans began in October 2020, and it was a great way to ‘‘give the economy a boost’’, she said.

Great South destination development manager Amie Young said events like Savour the South put Southland on the map as a ‘‘foodie paradise’’.

‘‘Food tourism is a largely untapped market in Southland but events like Savour the South that share Southland’s food stories will help change that.’’

The event launched with a Long Lunch in Te Anau last Saturday and the finale event will be the Pure South Famous Young Chefs Degustation Luncheon, at the SIT Hansen Hall, in
Invercargill, on Sunday, April 24.

There were several hospitality venues within the area who were onboard with the initiative which included the Tuatara Backpackers Lodge and Cafe, The Auction House cafe, The Black Shag and Global Bite Cafe.

Tuatara Backpackers Lodge owner Nicola McGilvray said the event was a great chance for Invercargill to showcase its unique cuisine to the rest of the country.

‘‘We have the obvious heroes from the sea like blue cod, Bluff oysters and paua, but there is also a huge range of other food unique to Southland — wild venison, duck salami, blueberries, honey, sheep cheese, craft beer and cider.’’

The Gadoochi Brewery at the cafe would host a brewery launch on Saturday, April 30, with live music by Invercargill band Pretty Wicked Head, she said.

‘‘It doesn’t get any more Southland than that.’’

She acknowledged Great South and Hospitality NZ, which had put together the event.

‘‘We have some really talented and passionate foodies down this part of the country, and its a great opportunity for all these like-minded people to all collaborate over a really positive thing.’’

■ For more information on events and cuisine, go to