On Easter Friday, we joined our new friends and their family to catch paua (abalone) at Cape Palliser, about 1.5hrs drive from Martinborough. Stella is from Singapore and her family was in New Zealand for holidays during the Easter break. We were naturally excited to be going out with fellow Singaporeans!
Wild and crazy waves
While our friend went out to recce, we wandered off and found this fella relaxing and enjoying the sun on the shores! Oh so tempted to give it a pat on the head!
It decided to head back into the water and we joined the rest in the paua search, overturning and looking underneath rocks. They are commonly found in shallow coastal waters along rocky shorelines. As they cling quite tightly to rock surfaces, blunt tools are used to prise the sea snails from the rocks.
Laying them on their backs (shells) so they don't stick to the rocks again
While no permit is required for recreational harvesting, there is a catch limit of 10 paua pp per day. Do not take baby or undersized paua as this will threaten the sustainability of paua stock.
No trip to Cape Palliser is complete without climbing the steep steps up to the lighthouse to take in the views of the coast. I found it hard to enjoy the views at the top as the strong winds were making me uncomfortable and so we made our way down after 25 mins.
Views from Cape Palliser Lighthouse
Stopped briefly to take a look at the fur seal colony before heading back. Can’t really see them as they blend in well with the rocks. They weren’t too pleased when we tried to get closer – barking and growling at us to back off.
Washed and scrubbed for nearly two hours...
Paua meat is consumed and the shells are used in Maori carving or made into jewellery. Nothing is wasted. Paua shells make wonderful New Zealand souvenirs – polish with sandpaper for a couple of hours to achieve a beautiful and shiny look.
Dinner consisted of paua slices added in different dishes. Oh they were hard to chew! Remember to tenderise the meat with a rolling pin before cooking. They gave us some to take back and we tried to cook abalone porridge, without much success of course lol.