New South Wales
Oysters in the Vines
January, Port Macquarie (385km north of Sydney)
Set amongst vineyards, shady tree-lined avenues, blooming roses and stunning manicured gardens, Oysters in the Vines features freshly shucked natural oysters as well as a sumptuous selection of exotic dressings. Enjoy the smooth sounds of jazz and take a stroll through The Artist Market in the Vines. Bring a deck chair and picnic rug.
Narooma Oyster Festival
April, Narooma (350km south of Sydney)
The Narooma Oyster Festival celebrates and showcases the produce from the heart of Australia's Oyster Coast. At the “Naturally Gourmet Fair” on Saturday, indulge in delicious oysters from eight south coast estuaries, exceptional seafood, wine, dairy and organic produce. There are cooking demonstrations, live music, boutique beer and wine sampling, oyster shucking classes, a cruise to the oyster leases, free children’s fishing and kite activities, and local art. The oyster shucking competition is sure to be hotly contested as entrants try to beat the world record set in 1984 when a local farmer opened 30 oysters in 2 minutes 31 seconds. Sunday is Narooma on Show where visitors can sample the region’s bounty.
Ballina Prawn Festival
November, Ballina (115km south of the Gold Coast and 740km north of Sydney)
How fast can you shell and eat half a kilo of prawns? Test yourself in the prawn shelling competition to beat the long-standing record of less than four minutes at the Ballina Prawn Festival. A celebration of the coastal town’s rich character and unique offerings, the festival includes children’s activities, tastings, cooking demonstrations, a beer and wine garden, free movie screenings, a raft building and race challenge, Civic Dinner and more. All of the action takes place in Ballina, home of the giant fibreglass prawn known as the ‘Big Prawn’ – naturally!