South Australia’s oyster season starts from December and runs through to February every year. The state is one of the most important oyster producers for the Eastern Pacific region – this explains the great variety on offer around the famous mussel: from giant oysters to oysters for self-harvesting, tours to learn about the oyster to relaxed oyster tapas.
The Oyster King – Port Lincoln
The centre of South Australian oyster farming is the Eyre Peninsula. Here the Pacific Ocean is exceptionally rich in fish and seafood and the clear, clean water is ideal for oyster farming. The “King of the Oyster” can be found in Port Lincoln, at the Southeast end of the peninsula. It takes six years for the special oyster to grow in the clear waters of Coffin Bay – normal oysters are harvested after 18 months. The only location in the world, where the giant oyster with its up to 100 grams of meat (normal oysters have 10 to 12 grams) can be tried, is at the Port Lincoln Hotel, including the mussel shell to take home as a souvenir. (www.portlincolnhotel.com.au).
Oyster Lovers Can Pick Their Own in Coffin Bay
Some of the best oysters of Australia can be found at Coffin Bay. At the 1802 Oyster Bar & Bistro guests can now pick their own oysters in the oyster farm adjacent to the Bistro. Various flavours can be ordered including, freshly squeezed lemon, raw with caramelized chili-ginger salsa, grilled with macadamia nuts crumbs and aioli or as a “Bloody Mary Oyster Shooter” with tomato juice, vodka and tabasco. (www.1802oysterbar.com.au)
Learning about Oysters
Oyster farming in South Australia was formed in Stansbury on Yorke Peninsula in the 19th century. The peninsula is situated about 200 kilometres West of Adelaide. Today, visitors can join professional fishermen on their boats to learn everything there is to know about oyster farming. (www.pacificestateoysters.com.au)
Kangaroo Island, the third largest island of Australia, is not only known for its nature, but also for its fish and seafood. At the Oyster Farm Shop in American River, visitors can try fresh oysters and learn about their farming and grading. From growing of the oysters, how to shuck them and what different kinds of oysters exist. Visitors are invited to try the different oysters as well as sample the special homemade sauces and regional spices (www.goodfoodkangarooisland.com).
Oyster Tapas – Adelaide
In Asia, oysters have a reputation as being premium and reserved only for gourmets or for special occasions – whereas in South Australia, they are a natural part of the culinary lifestyle. To enjoy oysters in a relaxed atmosphere, customers can head to the Oyster Bar in Glenelg. Located directly at the Marina Pier, the restaurant is an institution for oyster lovers. The Oyster Bar offers oysters Thai style, with caviar or Mediterranean style with pesto. For guests that can’t decide or want to try new flavours, you can order a selection (www.oysterbar.com.au/holdfast-shores/about ).
DIARY OF EVENTS 2016
Santos Tour Down Under
16-24 January 2016, Adelaide and regions
Feel the rush as the world’s best cyclists battle on the streets of South Australia. UCI World Tour points are on the line and there’s always a great atmosphere as this festival of cycling unfolds across the state. The Santos Tour Down Under is the largest cycling event in the southern hemisphere and continues to welcome stars of the sport.
Adelaide Fringe Festival
12 February – 14 March 2016, Adelaide
The Adelaide Fringe is the largest annual arts festival in the Southern Hemisphere, held in the South Australian capital of Adelaide. For 24 days and nights during February and March, the annual festival features more than 4,000 artists from around Australia and the world, featuring world premieres, hit shows and new artists. Over 900 events are staged in pop-up venues in parks, warehouses, lane-ways and disused buildings as well as established venues such as theatres, hotels, art galleries and cafes.
Adelaide Festival of Arts
26 February – 14 March 2016, Adelaide
For more than 50 years Adelaide Festival audiences have delighted in an outstanding mix of inspiring, challenging and entertaining artists and performers. This vital and prestigious celebration of art from around the globe has defined South Australia as the nation’s premier festival state
11 -14 March 2016, Adelaide
Adelaide’s stunning Botanic Park is the setting for WOMADelaide – one of the nation’s most exhilarating four-day festivals connecting us with the World of Music, Arts and Dance. Featuring dozens of performances on seven stages, workshops, The Planet Talks, Artist in Conversation and Taste The World.
Tasting Australia 2016
1-8 May 2016, Adelaide
Tasting Australia began in 1997, quickly becoming one of the Nation’s best attended and most influential culinary festivals.
ABOUT SOUTH AUSTRALIA:
South Australia is home to Kangaroo Island (known as a zoo without fences), the famed Barossa wine region and the charming capital, Adelaide. The fourth largest of Australia’s six states, South Australia is located in the southern half of the country. Described as the “perfect host city”, Adelaide was named one of the “Top Ten Cities to Visit” in 2014 by Lonely Planet – one of the world’s leading travel guidebooks. Surrounded by parklands and home to just over 1 million people, the central business district is one square mile – perfect for exploring the popular museums, historic buildings, wide streets and renowned cafes and restaurants. The celebrated Central Market, the largest covered market in the southern hemisphere, bursts with atmosphere all year round. From fresh seafood to gourmet cheeses and baked goods – the market is a special place for locals and visitors alike. South Australia is also a haven for wine lovers. Over 60% of all exported Australian wines come from the state’s top wine regions including the Barossa, the Clare Valley and Coonawarra. Outdoor adventure activities such as hiking, diving and mountain biking are abundant in this nature-filled state. South Australia arguably has the most accessible native wildlife in the country. Thrill seekers can swim with sharks on the Eyre Peninsula or others after something a little less daring (but just as spectacular) can catch a glimpse of a sea-lion colony on Kangaroo Island. Known as the “Gateway to the Outback,” South Australia is also home to Coober Pedy, the world’s opal mining capital.
For more information on travel to South Australia, contact the South Australian Tourism Commission at +65 6351 6312 or visit www.southaustralia.com or visit us on Facebook www.facebook.com/TheRealSouthAustralia