This is no Tim Tam

The Tararua Biscuit

Do you remember infomercials? Those strange adverts for things you didn’t know you needed: an attachment for vacuuming venetians, a ladder that folded like origami; and most famously the Ginsu, the kitchen knife strong enough to cut a shoe.

The Tararua is the Ginsu of biscuits. Dense and slightly sweet, they’ll hold their own no matter what bizarre test is put to them. Drive a truck over one, blast it with a machine gun, carry it in your pack for a week: the Tararua might not come out unscathed, but it will definitely put up a good fight.

The origins of this mighty biscuit go back to the home of tramping, the Tararua Ranges. Tough enough to take on the Southern Crossing and then back, they can be spread with butter, jam, or honey. There’s no definitive recipe, but here’s one with all the main elements.


  • 550 g rolled oats
  • 350g wholemeal flour
  • 225g brown sugar
  • 225g butter
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup

    Mix dry ingredients then add melted butter and syrup. Add a little warm water to the mixture so it will mix together.

    Roll out to about 6mm thick on a flour dusted board and cut into biscuit shape. You can use a cup to do this. Place on a greased tray and bake at 180⁰C for 15 minutes, longer for a harder, tougher biscuit.