Seafood Chowder & Tasman Valley Walk, South Island

Twizel is a handy base to explore Mt Cook National Park and the Mackenzie Basin. It is the largest town in the Mackenzie District, in the Canterbury Region of South  Island. The town was founded in 1968 to house construction workers on the Upper Waitaki Hydroelectric Scheme.  Today Twizel is a service and tourist town for visitors to the area.    

Lake Ruataniwha Holiday Park is a back-packer’s place located in Twizel.  It  was not the best that I have seen in the 17 days we travelled around South Island but it was affordable. The water was cold and my tropical skin could not even manage a bath that morning or even the night before.  But the small chalet was surprisingly warm, even though a little under-facilitated.

We drove out to take the Tasman Valley Walk.  The Tasman Valley Walk or Tasman Glacier Walk was not as enjoyable as the Mt Cook Walk we took earlier.  The wind was very strong.  But the amazing views took our breath away.  Figure 1 & Figure 2 showed the environment we saw during the Walk.

Figure 1: Blue skies  and gorgeous lakes greet you during the Tasman Valley Walk.

Figure 2: It seems the colour of the water tell us of its origin. Turquoise blue water is glacial meltwater. Here, the green water is generally rain water and not from the glacier.

During the Walk, we met a Malaysian  couple   The Chinese couple in their late 60s was  friendly, like all Malaysians.  The couple stayed in the same Lake Ruataniwha Holiday Park as we did.  They cook a lot of food in the common kitchen, like all Malaysians.  We Malaysians love food.

We did not have much time to get to know the Malaysian couple better because we left early the next morning.  We were on the way to  Christchurch.

On the way. we made a point to stop by Twizel High Country Salmon  farm with a cafe, recommended by this Chinese Malaysian couple. The farm is situated on the edge of the Lake Ruataniwha.  It was a popular place to stop for lunch.  I am not much of a Sushi person  so I ordered one bowl of seafood chowder.  The chowder was beautiful.  We sat at one table in the open air.  The seats were surrounded by pools of Salmon swimming and kicking about in the waters. Nice weather and nice food plus nice company.

I loved the seafood chowder so much that when I got back to Malaysia, I looked for one recipe on the internet.  The chowder recipe I tried my hand at was by the famous Ina Garten, on Food Network.  Here is the recipe I tried, minus the wine in the Stock of course….


  1. 1 lb  shrimps (peeled & deveined, save shells for seafood stock)
  2. ½ lb scallops
  3. ½ lb fresh crabmeat
  4. ¼ lb unsalted butter
  5. 1 cup peeled and diced carrots (for seafood stock)
  6. ½ cup yellow onions (1 onion)
  7. 1 cup diced celery (3 stalks) (for 1 recipe of the seafood stock)
  8. 1 cup diced potato
  9. ½ cup corn kernels
  10. ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  11. 1 recipe of Seafood stock
  12. 1 ½ tablespoons heavy cream
  13. 2 tablespoons parsley (minced)
  14. Salt and ground pepper.

Check out her recipe on Food Network. But a lot of how I cooked the seafood chowder is my version of the chowder.

The chowder is so tasteful that I could finish  half a pot in 2 days.  Of course, I don’t take any rice or noodles the entire two days.  Just toasted bread and the seafood chowder….heavenly chowder.  In fact this chowder is perhaps even tastier that the one I took in Twizel.

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