The Kai Cart, Stewart Island

The Kai Cart, with Manja & Holger, Stewart Island

The Kai Cart, with Manja & Holger, Stewart Island

The Kai Cart is a Stewart Island Icon. Originally the Gore Pie Cart, it shifted to the Island many years ago, and has fed visitors and residents alike ever since.

It has hosted Billy Connelly and featured on one of his TV series, and has been a culinary part of the Island experience for countless visitors.

Sadly last year it was closed all season, and when doing our introductory mini tour with guests I used to say (slightly tongue in cheek) that it was a business opportunity for them when they immigrated to the Island. And a surprising number had heard of the Kai Cart and were disappointed it wasn’t going to be part of their Island Experience.


Open again 2014

So we are really happy to announce the the Kai Cart is once more open with famous Stewart Island Blue Cod featuring on the menu. Holger Lachman is the chef, ably  assisted by Manja, who like Holger is German. When I went down to take this photograph she laughed… “we Germans are everywhere”….

And upholding the Kai Cart history of great food I’m happy to report that Holgers meals, both dine in and takeaway, are superb.

Sunset, Observation Rock, Stewart Island

An Inlet Sunset

 End of a Perfect Day

One of the really nice “End of a Perfect Day” things to do on Stewart Island is to take a meal of Fish & Chips from the Kai Cart, a nice bottle of wine from the shop… they have a great selection.. a couple of plastic glasses and enjoy both while watching a Stewart Island sunset from Observation Rock. Hand holding is recommended. And don’t think it’s just a visitor thing to do…. I’ve seen locals doing just that.

Explain Kai Cart

So what I hear folk ask, is a Kai Cart. Well it’s something of a play on two very New Zealand phrases. “Kai” is Maori for food eg Kai Moana is seafood. And a “pie” cart was a very important part of many New Zealand Towns night scene. The were invariably a tractor or truck towed large trailer which would appear curbside in the mid evening at set locations. They would serve pretty basic fast food both for sit down and takeaway and the ubiquitous meat pie would feature prominently on the menu… hence “Pie Cart”. They really were institutions in a cities nightlife, and many a late night meal I’ve had in my younger days at the Pie Cart. So substitute Kai for Pie, and we have the Stewart Island Kai Cart.

A MUST DO when you visit Stewart Island.


Sails Ashore



…. Peter & Iris, Sails Ashore
11 View St,
Stewart Island,

64 3 219 1151
0800 783 9278