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Cockling at Goolwa Beach

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by The wanderer (subscribe)
Outdoor,photography,coffee, nature, food and culture lover; seeker of life's simple pleasures, traditional cooking and ancient homely traditions.
Event: -
Goolwa pipi season soon to start
November the 1st marks the start of the pipi (Goolwa cockle) season; grab your nets, rakes and snacks and head down the South coast for a fun day with a delicious reward.

Over an hour's drive from Adelaide City, you will find this stunning coastal stretch with excellent surfing spots, pristine beaches, family-friendly facilities and of course, a perfect spot to collect pipis or Goolwa cockles.
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Pristine and iconic Goolwa Beach.


The equipment required to collect these little molluscs is super basic; all you will need is a large bucket, a ruler, your hands and feet, or you can take a small hand rake or net.

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Simple equipment is all you need.


Plebidonax deltoides or Donax deltoides is a small, edible saltwater clam or marine bivalve mollusc, endemic to Australia. Not to be confused with the very similar New Zealand pipi, which is slightly whiter in colour and has a smoother shell. These cockles feed by filtering phytoplankton from the water and live on heavy surf beaches, they burrow in the sand at an average depth of 10 cm.

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Plebidonax deltoides or Goolwa pipi


The process is simple: get into the water ankle deep, watch the waves roll in and just as the wave is rolling back, start shuffling slightly on your feet, you will feel the small shells under your feet, grab them out of the water, check the size and pop them in your bucket.

Once you have your pipis in your bucket; you can use them fresh or frozen as fishing bait, or if you wish, you can cook them, just be sure to rinse and purge them thoroughly so you can enjoy the flesh sand free.

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Nearby facilities and cafe.


This experience makes for a lovely day out on your own or with a large group of people.

Be sure to follow and abide by legal limits: cockles must be minimum 3.5 cm across the widest part of the shell, for further details on personal and daily vehicle limits please click here.

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When: November to May.
Where: Goolwa Beach, South Australia.
Cost: free
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