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Cockling at Goolwa Beach

Home > Adelaide > Beaches | Escape the City | Outdoor
by YY (subscribe)
Hello there, I'm living in Adelaide and have a passion for food and love travelling. Trace my foot steps to see what I'm up to.
Published January 4th 2013
Cockling, an activity suitable for the whole family, including pets, is available throughout the summer and autumn at Sir Richard Peninsula (Goolwa Beach) which is about 1.5 hours drive away from the heart of Adelaide city.

Picture courtesy of SA Government Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure

I'm not a big fan of cockles as I always have a hard time getting rid of the sand inside the cockles and hence giving a very sandy texture to my dish. However, a friend of mine has suggested a new method of getting rid of the sand - dropping a few teaspoons of cooking oil (any kind) into your bucket of cockles which are still immersed in seawater and wait for a few hours to allow the cockles to spit out the sand. I was eager to see whether it is true.

All you need for cockling is your legs or a spade and a bucket. Wriggle your toes into the sand and there lie the cockles. Remember to check for the tide before you depart as the waves could be pretty strong at times. Legally, only 300 cockles are allowed per person and the minimum length for a cockle is 3.5 centimetres. Otherwise a hefty fine awaits you.

For those who fancy something more adventurous, surfing is another option and for those with really young kids/ toddlers, hop onto the Cockle Train for a fun trip to Victor Harbour.

Oh, and the method worked brilliantly!!
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Why? A great day out.
Where: Goolwa Beach
Your Comment
YY have you tried leaving the cockles in the a full bucket of seawater overnight for at least 24 hours. It might be a long wait but that always gets rid of all the sand for me. Just a few hours in seawater will never work. However your method of adding oil is interesting.
by Yin-Yin Ow (score: 3|1596) 2420 days ago
We just went cockling at goolwa last weekend and like many know, goolwa cockles are renowned for being full of sand but, we caught around 1700 cockles (between a large family) and when we got back home, I couldn't wait so cooked up about a couple of hundred cockles just to satisfy my craving and surprisingly none of them had any sand in them! So i cooked up the rest and again, none of them had any sand in them! Not sure whether its luck or the way we collected them (we didn't do the wriggle of the feet in the sand - our family sat in the water and dug with our hands as it was much easier) but of the 1700 cockles, they were all sand free! Our other family members put their cockles in a netting like an onion bag, suspended it on top of the sea water overnight to purge the cockles (which is another way to do it) but we called them afterwards to let them know it probably wasn't necessary this time round as there wasn't any sand in ours. Also, our other family that left them overnight found that by mid morning the next day, the water had gone cloudy and there was a distinct 'off' smell.
by kim (score: 1|44) 2418 days ago
I didn't have any sand problem.

I kept what caught in a bucket and several times refreshed the water while still at beach.

I kept them in water for a few hours. I put ice in bucket before leaving Goolwa. I refreshed water again 1 more time at home with fresh water but added some salt and ice again.

Not a grain of sand was crunched when eaten.
by david (score: 0|2) 1278 days ago
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