Coffin Bay has taken a significant leap in my top 10 favourite places to spend a weekend in SA. One of the key reasons was the Oyster Farm experience we enjoyed on a recent weekend visit.
A Fresh Dozen Oysters straight from the Sea
Coffin Bay and oysters are pretty much synonymous. Take a look at any menu in Australia and the establishment will proudly announce their oysters are from the pristine waters of Coffin Bay and as I learned in more detail, the vibrant, growing environment of Kellidie Bay.
Kellidie Bay is the inner bay near the township and the combination of freshwater springs and tidal movement lead to an abundance of phytoplankton, the food on which oysters thrive. It is what makes these oysters especially plump and juicy.
Kellidie Bay Oyster Leases at Coffin Bay
Ben and Kim from Oyster Farm Tours provided an excellent one-hour introduction to everything right about Coffin Bay Oysters.
Informative Tours add to the fun
Not only was the tour very informative, their good humour and personal service meant we enjoyed the amazing taste of oysters straight from the sea accompanied by a bottle of Champagne for two. Champagne or Riesling and an additional dozen oysters is an extra cost over the standard tour price, but to round out the experience I thoroughly recommend it.
Sparkling for two
Beginning at the Beachcomber Cafe with a short contextual history, illustrated by a replica of first explorer Matthew Flinders charts, participants are provided with waders to take the short 30-metre walk from the small beach to the tasting platform, right among the oyster beds. The standard tour includes tastings and an excellent presentation of the complete farming process for oysters. For example, did you know that a standard 5-hectare oyster lease contains around 15 kms of post and rail fence lines to hang the oyster baskets or that oysters are bought as 2mm-5mm 'spats' in batches of 1 million at a time?
Easy wade out a few metres from shore
Tours occur at low tide and during the warmer months can happen up to three times a day. It pays to check the website for seasonal options. We chose a sunset tour, but early mornings are equally attractive. If you are heading to Coffin Bay, don't leave it to chance. Make sure you book before to avoid disappointment. Oyster Farm tours are a must-see highlight, for any visit to the natural, pristine and beautiful shores at Coffin Bay.
Tours start at the Beachcomber Cafe