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New Zealand Venison

venison

New Zealand venison is one of the healthiest – and most delicious – red meats you can eat and top chefs are now featuring New Zealand venison on the menus of some of the world’s finest restaurants. With no natural predators, besides hunters, wild deer populations in New Zealand have reached almost destructive levels in the native forests and hunters are encouraged to help themselves, so venison can be found on the dinner table year round. Wild venison is extremely low in fat (when was the last time you saw a pudgy deer?) and naturally free range and organic. Deer have recently been farmed in New Zealand for its meat, and the industry prides itself in exporting free range venison, raised in wide open pastures, that features a slightly less gamey taste than its wild counterparts.

How to Prepare Venison
Venison, whether farmed or wild, is naturally very lean so needs to be prepared with care to avoid turning it into a tough, dry tyre.

For prime cuts, like back steaks (also known as back strap), all you need to do is butterfly chops, season with salt and pepper, and add some chopped fresh herbs (sage, rosemary, thyme, etc.) if you’re feeling posh and sear quickly on the BBQ. The classic flavour pairing with venison is berries (cranberry and blueberry work well) and dried juniper berries, which is what gin is made from, if you want to serve a sauce on the side. 

For all other cuts, a venison casserole makes a filling winter meal. In a slow cooker, combine chunks of venison, small chunks of onion and carrot that have been lightly sautéed, cranberry sauce or chutney (preferably one of NZ artisan made Provisions chutneys), a generous swig of red wine and quality beef stock to cover. Throw in some fresh herbs and dried juniper berries if you have it. Let that cook on a low temperature for at least 5 hours for a hearty stew.

Venison is also delicious as Bambi burgers, sausages (often mixed with mutton or pork fat), or in a gourmet meat pie

Trip Reviews

  •   4.48 out of 5 (from 297 reviews)

    Memorable South Island NZ

    This is one active trip with never a dull moment. We experienced real rain forest rain and snow capped mountains from afar and close up and personal. The contagious energy of the guides created a fun and physically challenging adventure.


    Leslie Horwitz-Beare Review Image
    – Ontario, Canada
    Weka 13-day, February 2017
  •   4.38 out of 5 (from 1211 reviews)

    Perfect

    The trip was impressive and our guides, Jo and Andy, are awesome!
    Frank Chung Review Image
    – , Singapore
    Kauri, December 2017
  •   4.38 out of 5 (from 1211 reviews)

    Joy Project; New Zealand's North Island

    The Tongariro Crossing was the highlight of my visit of the Northern Island. I felt as though we were trekking on another planet.

    Andrew and Claire shared their extensive knowledge of New Zealand’s culture, land, flora and fauna while offering great music on Dick, the bus and fabulous meals!

    I was asked about traveling to New Zealand alone. I explained I was not alone but traveling with twelve friends I had not met yet. This turned out to be factual.
    Lynn Marie
    Lynn Dulmage Review Image
    – Michigan, United States
    Kauri, August 2016
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 4983 reviews)

    Exceeded my Expectations. A Trip to Treasure.

    Active adventures provided an outstanding New Zealand experience. Our guides (Tory and Jordie) went above and beyond during our South Island Rimu trip. Their passion for the outdoors as well as the traditions and culture of NZ enhanced the two week journey. As guides, I was most impressed by their attention to detail and safety. I appreciated the warm smiles, gems of knowledge and yummy meals on even the challenging hike days. For my birthday, during the three day hike at Nelson Lakes National Park, Tory and Jordie surprised me with two delicious cakes to share with my new hiking family. A moment I will treasure, enhanced by the breath taking views of the alpine lake at Angelus Hut.

    The beauty of the country surpassed my expectations, particularly sites like Milford Sound and Mt. Cook. Such a diverse, lush landscape, each hike offered a unique perspective of the stunning views. Combined with the kayaking and biking options, allowed for an exciting and interesting mix. The highlight of my two weeks was my heli-hike on the Tasman Glacier, such an unforgettable experience.

    I'm looking forward to future Active Adventure trips, but will definitely keep a little piece of NZ in my heart. A truly bucket list destination.


    Gigi (from The Bahamas)
    Gigi Smith Review Image
    – West Virginia, United States
    Rimu, July 2017
  •   4.60 out of 5 (from 1887 reviews)

    Virgin Active Adventurist-When can I do it again?!

    Fabulous trip! Not having to drive, research stops, plan activities, arrange accommodations and decide what to eat made this so relaxing, letting us enjoy every minute of every activity and even the down time! I can't wait to sign up for another trip!
    Karen Basil Review Image
    – Minnesota, United States
    Tui, March 2017

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Why travel with Active Adventures?

Above all, we aim to be amazing hosts. We're proud of our kiwi roots, and our professional, warm and relaxed style of running trips around the world is unforgettable.

We're VERY picky about who we select to work in our team, and we have people from all over the world lining up to guide our trips. So we get to hire the absolute BEST in the business.

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