Where to get your hands on the best Bluff oysters in Auckland this season

When I once enthused about my love of a fresh oyster to a friend, his response was that "nobody really likes oysters, they only like the way they look eating them in front of other people". 

Despite this reasonably crushing encounter, my quest for that perfect salty oyster lives on.  

The start of March marks the start of Bluff oyster season in New Zealand. According to NIWA, the season runs until the end of August - or earlier, if the annual harvest limit is reached. The plump and juicy oysters, grown in the cold, clean waters of Foveaux Strait are said to be the most flavourful in the world. 

The Otago Daily Times reports wild weather down south delayed the opening of the season, but most fishers were able to dredge for the little gems at the weekend - around 4500 to 5500 dozen. 

So where can we get our hands on, and cracking into, the best oysters in New Zealand? 

For another year running, Princess Wharf is holding its annual Oyster Festival throughout the month of March.

The festival promises oysters "freshly shucked, sautéed, simmered and served with Champagne, whiskey, beers and wines" which sounds particularly delicious.

There will be all-you-can-eat deals, masterclasses, live music, lavish set menus and everything else you could possibly want to make the most of Bluff oyster season.

Oyster and Chop (the clue is in the name) in the Auckland Viadcuct has Bluff oysters on special throughout March. Meanwhile a few doors at down at Soul Bar and Bistro, they're holding an 'all you can eat' oyster lunch on Tuesday. 

If you simply cannot get out of the office, even with the excuse of needing to hit oyster happy hour (probably fair from your boss), you can still eat fresh oysters! You can get a dozen Bluff oysters from Auckland Fish Market hotspot Billypot delivered to your door. 

Starting on Wednesday March 6, you can order the oysters on Uber Eats, with a delivery time of 30 minutes or less. That is fresh. 

Justine Powell from the market says the start of the Bluff oyster season "is a big moment on Auckland's culinary calendar". 

"But we didn't want those who can't get out of the office for the afternoon to miss out - this year, you can get prime Bluffies delivered to your door via Uber Eats."

The food delivery app says the popularity of oyster orders has been increasing, almost doubling from June to December last year.

So whether you like them, or you just like how they make you look,  there is no excuse not to take full advantage of oyster season.