By this point you’ve all read and most likely re-read my recap on our Stewart Island Great Walk. After the walk we decided to spend an extra night and day on the island and I’m so glad we decided to do this instead of just going home. Oban is the only town on Stewart Island and is the most southern city I will ever go to unless I make a trip to Argentina or Chile.
Oban is a sleepy little ocean town with only about 300 year-round inhabitants. There is one pub, one convenience store and zero Apple stores. There are some hikes along the shoreline and if the weather was better and if we weren’t so worn out from our Great Walk we would’ve done more.
This is the view overlooking Halfmoon Bay, the main harbor in Oban. There are a lot of fishing boats in the harbor because Stewart Island is renowned all over New Zealand for its seafood. In fact, the seafood is one of the main reasons to come to Oban. More specifically, oysters are one of the main reasons to come to Oban.
Just look at those delicious little beauties. I love oysters. I love oyster shots, steamed oysters and most of all, raw oysters. As much as I love North Carolina oysters, these were the best ones I’ve had in my life. They were plump, juicy and tasted like the ocean. An hour after eating these I could still taste them.
Ok I’m starting to drool. This is getting awkward.
Stewart Island and Bluff Oysters are famous all over New Zealand. Restaurants put up signs advertising when they have them and people come in and ask for them specifically. They are even willing to pay the $3-4 per oyster that most restaurants charge.
FUN FACT: When Stewart Island Oysters are shipped to the mainland, the shell and the oyster are shipped separately. This is because you have to be very skilled to open them without slicing the oyster with your knife due to how little open space there is in the shell with the oyster in it. Restaurants will combine the oysters with the shells to serve them to people and then wash the shells when they are done and re-use them.
The mussels are also big and delicious on Stewart Island. Look at this sucker that Gwendolyn got to chow down on. It’s a little bigger than the ones we found on our hike.
Miriam is so good at making friends. Whether human or animal, she seems to have a knack for communicating. I think this Kaka thought we were going to give him some food. Here’s some advice Kaka (if you’re reading this blog). When you’re looking for food handouts, don’t target the group that’s just been hiking for 3 days. Whatever food they have is staying theirs.
Oban reminded me a lot of coastal Scotland. Actually a lot of places in Southern New Zealand have Scottish names. This is because a lot of Scots settled in NZ and found places that reminded them of places in Scotland. And yes, there is an Oban, Scotland.
Oban was one of my favorite towns I’ve been to in NZ. It was very peaceful and had amazing food. Due to all the world-renowned tourist spots in NZ, an amazing place like Stewart Island gets forgotten about. It’s definitely a place I would recommend everyone visit in NZ.