Your guide to fish & chips in Selwyn

Wednesday, 20 December 2023

Your guide to fish & chips in Selwyn

Fish and chips on a summer evening? We’re obsessed! 

It’s a Kiwi tradition we have been gobbling up for generations. Whether it’s a quick, casual meal at the river or a Friday night family feast, you’ll find fish and chip joints all over New Zealand, and here in Selwyn is no different.  

So, grab a fork (or just tuck in with your bare hands) and dig in with some of these fantastic go-to's!  

Stonebrook Fish and Chips

Granite Drive & Andesite Drive, Rolleston 

Stonebrook Fish and Chips is a local treasure in Rolleston that’s been serving up classic Kiwi flavours with some fantastic hospitality. This humble fish and chip shop is a go-to destination for locals and a hidden gem for those just passing through.  

The cosy, no-fuss interior has a friendly, down-to-earth charm that is as inviting as your own kitchen. And their fish and chips are the real deal – mouth-watering crispy batter, flaky fish, and golden fries!  

With fish sourced from nearby waters and chips hand-cut daily, Stonebrook has you covered. And if you’re vegetarian, don’t worry, their menu offers tasty alternatives! So why not grab a meal, and enjoy it at the nearby park, have a riverside picnic, or simply take it back home on those lazy nights in?  


Burnham Fish and Chips

124 Burdons Road, Burnham  

At Burnham Fish and Chips, it’s all about the food. The menu is a testament to the classic Kiwi love affair with fish and chips. The fish is always fresh, and the hand-cut chips are the perfect partner – the classic combination that we all know and love!

For those seeking variety, Burnham also offers an array of other favourites, including seafood platters, yummy burgers and Chinese dishes. Vegetarian options are available as well, making it a spot where everyone can find something to satisfy their cravings.  

With a friendly atmosphere whether you’re a regular or a first-time visitor, you’re bound to receive a warm welcome that really adds the cherry on top when it comes to your meal!  


Tai Tapu Hotel Restaurant

780 Old Taitapu Road 

Now, if you’re not on the go and are looking for a place to sit down with your fish and chips, Tai Tapu Hotel Restaurant has you covered.  

With a unique blend of rustic charm and modern comfort, the restaurant has a warm atmosphere that only a traditional Kiwi restaurant / hotel can provide. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, you’ll appreciate the restaurant’s commitment to serving the iconic fish and chip in its purest form. Crispy, golden-brown battered fish is served with a generous portion of hot, thick-cut potato chips, and the result is nothing short of perfection! 

While the fish and chips may be what you are after, Tai Tapu Restaurant also offer a diverse menu with option to suit every palate. From hearty pub classics to vegetarian dishes, there’s something for everyone.  


DIY Fish and Chips 

There’s no denying that fish and chips taste all that much better when you catch the fish yourself. With the connection to nature, the thrill of the hunt and being out by the lake or river, there’s just that something extra that store-bought fish can’t provide.  

Selwyn’s beautiful lakes and rivers are great spots to catch brown and rainbow trout, as well as salmon. Keep in mind, however, that if you intend to fish for sea-run salmon, you’ll need an additional salmon license.  

Check out to make sure you are up to date on fishing licenses and rules.  


Waimakariri River 

Waimakariri River, mountains in the background on a sunny day

The Waimak’s clear waters teem with salmon, trout and whitebait which can often make it one of the more popular spots during summer to fish in.  

Access through the north side of the settlement is popular for salmon and kahawai fishermen, while the south side can be accessed on a motorbike or by a 4WD vehicle, but you would need to attain keys from the Spencer Park Ranger (at a cost) beforehand.  

The river’s beauty and the backdrop of the Southern Alps create a serene escape. Fishing here is definitely a connection with nature and one for the enthusiasts.  


The Selwyn River 

Once one of the great fishing rivers, the Selwyn River flowed with an abundance of fish, but as nature’s rhythm evolved, anglers today find themselves carefully selecting the location and timing for their fishing escapades.

If you’re looking to maximise your chances on the water, Selwyn Huts at the meeting of the river and Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere offer a reliable choice. Here, the thrill of fishing beckons the enthusiasts year-round.  

In this area of the Selwyn River, anglers have a bag limit of two fish, helping to preserve the balance and maintain a thriving fishing environment for generations to come.  


Lake Pearson  

Lake Pearson has a distinct charm. Motorised vessels are not allowed which makes for a quieter and more serene experience for your fishing. With a choice to fish from a dingy or a kayak or from the lake’s edge, you can definitely feel more at home with the outdoors on these occasions.  

Located just 15 minutes beyond Castle Hill, Lake Pearson is a true escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. And if you want to make the most out of your fishing expedition, Lake Pearson offers a DOC campsite. For a nominal fee, you can extend your stay in this natural fisherman’s dream!  

Lake Pearson also has regulations in place to maintain the balance of their fishing haven. Anglers are limited to catching two trout and two salmon per person, while the two approved fishing methods, spin and fly fishing, provide a balance between thrilling angling and conservation.  

So, pack your fishing gear and make your fish and chips this summer taste all that much better. This is fishing at your finest!  

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