There’s no shortage of Kiwis living on the GC. Heck, they even nicknamed us the “GC” after that reality show. Remember when the Gold Coast was just shortened to “The Goldie”?
If you’re not a Kiwi, you probably know someone who is, someone who you give banter to about cricket, and don’t talk to about rugby. This Saturday, February 6th, is the 175th anniversary of Waitangi Day. Basically, it’s like the Kiwi version of Australia Day, same same, but different, celebrating back in 1840, when the Treaty of Waitangi was signed between the British Crown and Maori, to live together in New Zealand under a common set of agreements.
It’s a proud day for our Kiwi cuzzies, a day to come together across the World to celebrate Kiwi culture with good kai (food) and a clearing out a full chilly bin (esky) with your mates, in your jandals (they’re thongs here fellas).
Embracing our cuzzie bros living on the Gold Coast (42,000 in the 2011 census!), we’ve compiled a list of the best places to find home-style Kiwi flavours for Waitangi Day.
The Kiwi Shop
When you can’t head down to your local dairy (the corner shop) and you’re really craving some Kiwi kai, The Kiwi Shop in Parkwood has you covered. Walking down the aisles for the first time, for a short moment, you feel like you’re in NZ. The shelves are packed with Kiwi only brands, a full range of Spud and Bluebird chips, pineapple lumps, jet planes, Whittakers chocolate; you round the aisle to find Whatties tomato sauce (simply the best tom sauce, ever!), Bell Tea, Raro, L n P, squiggles, cookie time, marmite—you get the picture if you’re from NZ—and a freezer section stocked with whitebait, paua or kina (eat responsibly, under supervision of a Kiwi). The idea behind this shop is “so you don’t feel homesick” while living in Oz. All your fave flavours can be found here, and they are well stocked up in Kiwi chip and dip to celebrate Waitangi Day weekend—they even sell jandals! Chur Kiwi Shop!
Where: 300 Olsen Avenue, Parkwood
Craving a big fat juicy Kiwi burger bro? Some Kumara chips? You’ll find a haven of Kiwi flavours here, milkshakes, (any Kiwis remember spearmint or lime shakes?), Kiwi fush and chups, juicy lamb ribs, and sweet-as Kiwi hospitality at this kick-ass local burger bar. Burger Bro? is tucked away in Helensvale Markets (opposite Harbourtown); loaded up with flavour upon flavour, “The Bro” is made from a fresh beef patty from the butcher next door, and topped with a soft egg and Whatties tomato sauce—it’s Kiwi-style kai mouth watering. Can Aussies make burgers this good? Argh, not even ow!
Where: Harbourside Markets, 610 Oxley Road, Helensvale
If you’ve ever been to NZ, and asked where to find a good burger, you’ll most certainly be pointed to Burger Fuel. This well-known burger chain in NZ has taken off around the world, serving up 100% Kiwi beef patties, and is fuelling local Kiwi appetites with its GC-based burger joint just off the Gold Coast Highway in Mermaid Beach. You’ll find some kumara chips here too (that’s sweet potato for us Aussies), which are a nice change to the same ol’ fries served up at mainstream takeaways. Shot Burger Fuel (shot—same as nice one)!
Where: 2375 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach
The Seafood Café
This humble little takeaway fish and chip shop is run by awesome Kiwis importing in some “mean as” secret recipes (please tell us how you make the calamari, it’s so good!). When in season, The Seafood Café make Paua paddies and whitebait fritters, while all year round you can head there for sex oysters (that’s six, in a Kiwi accent), or pick out your fresh fish from the window, and have it deep-fried in golden goodness, or grilled to succulent perfection. Best eaten “beached as” down on the Nobby Beach foreshore. “Wanna chip bro?” “Na, I only eat plankton.” Don’t know what we’re on about? You must watch this.
Where: Shop 2/34 Lavarack Road, Nobby Beach Beach
The Hangi Pit
Fill up your puku (tummy) with some traditional New Zealand kai at The Hangi Pit. Serving up deep-fried bread, creamed paua, fresh kina, huge piece of hoki and chips, raw fish salad, NZ muscles, and garlic chips that are nek level. This little takeout is no frills, just a cruisy as place to hang out and try some Kiwi kai with the whanau (that’s Kiwi for family, look at all these Kiwi words we are learning!).
Where: 14 Studio Drive, Oxenford
This Saturday between 10am—6pm, Broadwater Parklands is hosting a Waitangi Day special event. It’ll be a Kiwi-style picnic in the park, so bring your chilly bins (eskys), togs (swimmers), and jandals (thongs) to kick back on a rug. Expect a traditional hangi, Maori kai, kai moana (NZ seafood), Maori cultural performances, Kiwi entertainers, stalls, Kapa Haka performances, plus, your dog can come along too—now that’s true Kiwi style! This is the most celebrated Kiwi gig on the Gold Coast and it’s FREE!!
Where: Broadwater Parklands, Marine Parade, Southport
NightQuarter Night Markets
This Saturday, Helensvale’s NightQuarter is playing special tribute to Waitangi Day. Opened from 4pm to 10pm, there will be Kiwi market stalls, Kiwi food stalls, and live Kiwi bands including The Strides, Hanlon Brothers, and Koi Boys, plus a roundup of performers and entertainers. It’ll be choice as cuzzies!
Where: 1 Town Centre Drive, Helensvale
Photo Credit: Antique Willow