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Central Otago Living - Food, Foraging & Our Consumption Landscape

Most Central Otago & Southern Lakes residents know we live in a pretty cool part of the world. Having friends and family from all over the world visit for a wedding recently meant I was able to experience our little slice of paradise through brand new eyes... and the view was pretty darn good.

Their visit wasn't without strive - between the Auckland floods, a bout of COVID and a Cyclone for good measure, I am eternally grateful that in between it all they were able to enjoy a small slice of South Island bliss.

Our Food

Herbs & Veggies

With our position on the 45th Parallel it really is amazing the food that we are able to grow in our region. After planting a garden a little over 3 weeks ago we have been eating rocket, spinach, silverbeet and courgettes straight from the garden. As an admittedly lazy gardener, these are a few cropped that grow easily in Central Otago and require very little maintenance. To compliment the veggies we've enjoyed rosemary, parsley, mint, basil, thyme and chives that grow equally as easily in our climate.

Fruit & Foraging

As well as what grows in our garden, the free fruit on offer throughout Central Otago is incredible. From apple trees that line some of our walking trails, to pears at the top of the Bannockburn Sluicings. Friends from London and the Caribbean were blown away by the fact that we could go for a walk and pick fresh fruit straight off a tree, that would have otherwise gone to waste.

Delicious, sustainable, spray free - fruit really doesn't get better than this. As well as supporting our local orchards, look for what is available around us, without having to get out your credit card.

It's worth noting these fruit also tend to be half the size of some of the stuff you find in the supermarket. The perfect portion size and not bred to be overly sweet, they are also full of tonnes of natural antioxidants that many supermarket varieties lack.

Our Wine

Another experience that is readily available to us here is the ability to sip on a glass off wine whilst overlooking the landscape and vines on which the grapes were grown. This is probably something that locals take for granted, but an experience that certainly wasn't lost on our city visitors.

Reflecting the experiences on offer in the South of France, we have the opportunity to really embrace the environment in which our grapes are grown. We have the chance to sip and savour the flavours that some could only dream of. Far from the binge drinking opportunities available to many in larger towns and cities, we have an olde world industry where drinks are savoured rather than swigged.

Our Environment

Our access to outdoor spaces is second to none. We have the ability to head down to the lake for a swim in temperatures that rival the Mediterranean. We can head up a hill and enjoy views that most people could only dream of. Confession: I haven't been to a gym in over six months and the ability of our outdoor landscape to provide the perfect blend of exercise, strength building and mental clarity has blown my mind.

As the north island suffers beyond measure, it is worth taking a moment to appreciate our climate and also the 'lockdown' experiences we have had in recent years and how different they have been to many others.

Our Consumption Landscape

As many will know, I have a background in the epidemiology of obesity and the psychology of consumption spaces. Ethnography and how we interact with the world around us can have a profound impact on our health. Between the organic biodynamic wineries (Quartz Reef being my favourite) and barrel smoked food (yes, the Stoaker Room - also a favourite spot) we really do have some incredible spaces to sit down and drink in the world around us and tuck into some delicious food.

The lack of large chain eateries and fast food establishments that we have has a direct impact on our waistlines. Rather than consider this an area of lack in our community, it should really be embraced and appreciated. P.s. Te Kano - I think my Dad is after a job!

If you want to book in for a Consultation or Workplace Wellness session to talk through aspects you might be missing. Drop me a line.

Get in touch on Facebook or Instagram at @amysfitnessandnutrition, drop me a message to 0272 650 350, or check out more at

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