Explore Australia's Fresh Seafood Festivals

Including our beautiful islands, Australia lays claim to over 60,000km of diverse coastline – and with such easy access to the ocean, it’s hardly surprising that fresh seafood features on almost every modern Australian restaurant menu. Summer is the best time to eat seafood – when it’s fresh, in abundance, and requires little preparation – but you can find seasonal seafood on restaurant menus all year round. Our nation’s celebration of seafood manifests outside of restaurants at a range of family-friendly festivals across the country, too; here are some of the top seafood festivals you won’t want to miss. Explore Australia's Fresh Seafood Festivals
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Explore Australia's Fresh Seafood Festivals

Seafood lovers are spoilt for choice down under, with outstanding festivals featuring A-grade local produce staged all across Australia.


Including our beautiful islands, Australia lays claim to over 60,000km of diverse coastline – and with such easy access to the ocean, it’s hardly surprising that fresh seafood features on almost every modern Australian restaurant menu. Summer is the best time to eat seafood – when it’s fresh, in abundance, and requires little preparation – but you can find seasonal seafood on restaurant menus all year round. Our nation’s celebration of seafood manifests outside of restaurants at a range of family-friendly festivals across the country, too; here are some of the top seafood festivals you won’t want to miss.

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!

Queensland

Hervey Bay Seafood Festival
August, Hervey Bay (290km north of Brisbane)

The abundance and variety of wild seafood pulled from the pristine waters of the Fraser Coast is worth celebrating. At the Hervey Bay Seafood Festival, find a breathtaking array of seafood dishes headlined by the world famous Hervey Bay scallop along with a variety of prawns, whiting, calamari, bug, and crab dishes. There is also a seafood long lunch at the beachside pop-up restaurant, Tastes of the Bay. Browse the exhibits, cooking demonstrations and ocean food market stalls. Catch the story of seafood direct from the fishermen who have caught lunch.

Tin Can Bay Seafood Festival
September, Tin Can Bay (220km north of Brisbane)

Held on the beautiful foreshore parklands overlooking Tin Can Bay, a fishing village famous for prawns and scallops, the Tin Can Bay Seafood Festival attracts more than 10,000 people. The program is packed with entertainment for all ages. There is plenty of fun for children and adults including crazy clowns, amusement rides, sand sculpture display, classic car and motorcycle parade, and competitions including mullet throwing and “win your weight in prawns”. You can also enjoy helicopter joy flights, and sample from stalls offering seafood and market wares – and best of all, most activities are free of charge.

Tunarama Festival,
Port Lincoln, SA

South Australia

Tunarama Festival
January, Port Lincoln (on the Eyre Peninsula, 280km from Adelaide)

Tunarama Festival was first held in 1962 to celebrate the tuna fishing season. Fifty years on more than 30,000 people flock to Tunarama in Port Lincoln, known as Australia’s seafood capital, each January. The festival showcases world-famous Coffin Bay oysters, Spencer Gulf king prawns, southern bluefin tuna, local produce and regional wine. It features a Tuna Toss competition that holds the world-record for tuna throwing at 37.23m. Also don’t miss the street procession, long table lunch at beautiful Boston Bay, a Gala Ball, Steakarama Beach BBQ party, fun run, fireworks entertainment and a charity beauty Quest to find Port Lincoln’s next ambassador.

Taste of Tasmania,
Hobart, TAS

Tasmania

Taste of Tasmania
December/January, Hobart

On any given day, Tasmanian Atlantic salmon, blue eye trevalla, scallops, abalone and oysters are delighting restaurant diners near and far. Taste of Tasmania, held on Hobart’s waterfront, showcases the State’s specialities including fresh seafood, Bruny Island cheese, Bicheno berries, renowned cool-climate wines, peat-distilled malt whiskies, boutique beers and more. Welcome in the New Year at The Taste of Tasmania’s outdoor New Year’s Eve party that boasts two stages, bands, roving performers, and DJs. The festival coincides with the finish of the annual Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.

Victoria

Portarlington Mussel Festival
January, Portarlington (100km from Melbourne)

Today there are more than 20 mussel farmers in Port Phillip Bay and the industry is celebrated at the Portarlington Mussel Festival, a celebration of the region’s sweet and versatile blue mussels. With cooking demonstrations, products to try and buy, food and wine producers, children’s activities, live entertainment, art exhibition and classic car display, the festival more than 30,000 visitors.

Apollo Bay Seafood Festival
February, Apollo Bay (190km south west of Melbourne)

Home to the only working fishing harbour along the Great Ocean Road, Apollo Bay hosts their annual Seafood Festival that features cooking demonstrations, live music, roving performers, a farmers market and local students cooking dishes made with produce grown in their Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden. There are also pop up restaurants, children’s activities, wine, beer and of course, an abundance of seafood.

Mandurah Crab Fest,
Mandurah, WA

Western Australia

Mandurah Crab Fest
March, Mandurah (70km south of Perth)

Western Australia’s largest community event, Mandurah Crab Fest, is held an hour south of Perth on the vibrant Mandurah foreshore. The festival, which attracts 130,000 visitors, includes live blue manna crab cooking demonstrations with celebrity chefs, an En Plein Air Art competition, non-stop entertainment on the children’s stage and the main stage, food stalls presenting crab-inspired dishes, and more. Crab Fest also incorporates the International Waterski & Wakeboarding Federation World Cup competition that sees the world’s best athletes on water doing adrenalin-fuelled tricks and jumps for title honours.