South Australia's Aquaculture Trail

Oysters. © Tourism Australia

South Australia’s aquaculture trail

Follow oysters, prawns, scallops and fish around the pristine waters of the Eyre Peninsula. Self drive or visit the aquaculture farms, fishing boats and old fishing ports on organised tours. See where threatened murray cod are farmed in Whyalla and taste fresh oysters in Cowell. Swim with tuna in Port Lincoln and spot dolphins around the oyster farm of Coffin Bay.  Hand pick fresh crayfish in Elliston and feast on freshly-caught whiting, abalone and blue swimmer crabs in Streaky Bay and Ceduna.  Along the way, swim and surf from long white beaches, stay in sleepy seaside towns and walk rugged sea cliffs and discover diving hot-spots.

Whyalla is a four hour drive from Adelaide, and even further from the Murray River. Yet it’s here on an aquaculture farm the endangered Murray cod is thriving.  See them cruise next to tropical barramundi as you learn about their high-protein diet and the environmental factors which threaten them.  Fish from Whyalla’s jetty or wade out to catch crabs during summer low tide.  In nearby Fitzgerald Bay, you can walk along pristine beaches and see yellowtail kingfish in the clean sea.

Stop in Cowell to savour seasonal oysters with a glass of wine at the oyster farm. Drive down the peninsula’s spectacular east coast to Port Lincoln, where you can watch oysters, mussels, King George whiting, prawns and lobsters being prepared in the local fish factory. Order a genuine fisherman’s basket here or have a closer lunch liaison on a bluefin tuna cruise around Boston Bay.  Hand feed or swim with the valuable tuna fishes or peer at them through the underwater observatory.  A tuna tossing competition and seafood banquet are some of the events on offer in Port Lincoln’s Tunarama Festival in January.

North lies the tranquil fishing village of Coffin Bay, where some of the country’s most succulent oysters are shucked. Cruise past dolphins and seals to the local oyster farm or take in the seaside scenery on the Oyster Walk. Continue up the Eyre Peninsula’s west coast to the crayfish haven of Elliston, where dinner is as easy as picking a live crayfish from the tank. Drive past Venus Bay, pausing at Needle Eye Lookout for views over the spectacular, rocky coastline. Dive with dolphins or swim with inquisitive sea lions in Baird Bay. Further west in Point Labatt, you can contemplate the sea lions at play.

Visit an oyster shed and taste seafood from the waters of the Great Australian Bight in Streaky Bay, home to a large population of green-lipped abalone.  Further along the coast lies Smoky Bay, where you can taste Pacific oysters on a tour of the aquaculture plant. Next, drive to Ceduna, home to dreamy white beaches and a thriving fishing industry. Learn about the species that are farmed here while dining on an ocean-fresh seafood platter.   Pack your fishing rods and four wheel drive to Davenport Creek, also a popular spot for surfing, body-boarding and water skiing. Or continue along the coast to Cactus Beach, where you can ride the world-class waves or angle for fish.

From sleepy seaside operations to mega fish farms, you can experience all levels of the Eyre Peninsula’s lucrative local fishing industry. What’s more, this seafood adventure is also a classic summer holiday, featuring relaxed towns, white beaches and clean, crashing ocean.

More Australian Ideas