Macadamias prove to be a wonder crop

Wyn and Chris Daniell from Harbourside Macadamias.

Bay of Plenty is renowned for its fertile soils and horticultural prowess, but few orchards are as special as that belonging to Wyn and Chris Daniell in Katikati.

The couple made the unusual decision to plant 940 macadamia trees on the 8.2ha property alongside their existing kiwifruit and avocado crops.

The decision was a bold one because it takes at least 10 years before macadamia trees begin producing nuts in commercial volumes.

“They’re hard to establish and very frost prone in those juvenile years. After that it’s just a matter of waiting until nature says they’re ready to go,” Wyn says.

“In our case it was a decade after planting before we got commercial volumes. It’s a substantial period of time and not one that’s attractive to many horticulturists. I’m mindful that you could grow three rotations of Christmas trees in the same time.”

But the Daniell’s patience and persistence has culminated in Harbourside Macadamias being one of the largest producers of the ‘wonder food’ in New Zealand. The couple have created a range of products including roasted macadamias, chocolate-covered macadamias, a tasty dukkah mix, a native herb-inspired seasoning and a macadamia liqueur which can be enjoyed on its own, in cocktails or poured over ice-cream.

The rich, fertile Bay of Plenty soils mean virtually no inorganic fertiliser is required. The outer husk is used as mulch, while the tough shell that surrounds the kernel is used as fuel to dry the harvested nuts on site.

“Our macadamia liqueur was developed and is produced by Distillerie Deinlein. Their expertise reflects in the liqueur being sought after by gourmet restaurants and has attracted international attention.

“And our karengo macadamia seasoning was devised by a local chef, Carl Sutton. He starts out with chipped roasted macadamias and adds karengo which is native kelp, kawakawa and horopito. It really elevates the flavour of your quintessential Kiwi dishes like roast lamb or seafood, but its uses are limited only by your imagination.”

Overall, the couple believe they grow some of the best macadamias available.

“We grow them safely, sustainably and ethically.”

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