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The best oysters along the NSW coast

Fresh Oysters, Port StephensCredit: Destination NSW

Lemon being squeezed on a freshly opened oyster in Port Stephens.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

The best oysters along the NSW coast

Fresh Oysters, Port Stephens Credit: Destination NSW

Lemon being squeezed on a freshly opened oyster in Port Stephens.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Hashtags #lovensw #newsouthwales

A New South Wales oyster may be one of the best you’ll ever devour – the state’s extensive bivalve producers regularly take home awards for their creaminess and distinct flavour. Discover the unique characteristics of NSW oysters, and where to sample them, with this comprehensive list of some of the state’s best producers from north to south.   

Oyster 101 

Complex flavours and lingering sweetness are just two of the reasons Sydney Rock oysters are regularly voted among the best in the world. Native to Australia, these molluscs have been cultivated since the late 1800s, and can now be found up and down the state’s coastline.   

Also native to Australia is the Angasi, a flat oyster that’s full-bodied and game-like. These tasty morsels are incredibly rare (due to historical over-harvesting), so if you find one, don’t miss your opportunity to sample something special.   

While Pacific oysters are a relative newcomer to Australia’s waters, introduced from Japan in the 1940s, they’re one of the country’s most farmed varieties. There’s a reason for their popularity: slightly larger and firmer than Sydney Rocks, Pacific oysters are fresh, sweet and briny.   

Sydney  

There are dozens of places to sample oysters in Sydney, but one can’t go past the perennially bustling Sydney Fish Market for a selection of the state’s finest (alongside everything else from the sea). Pick up a dozen and head for a bench outside to enjoy them overlooking the water. 

Fresh oysters Credit: Mark Sherborne; Destination NSW

Fresh natural oysters served at Waterfront Restaurant, The Rocks

#ilovesydney

Fresh oysters Credit: Mark Sherborne; Destination NSW

Fresh natural oysters served at Waterfront Restaurant, The Rocks

#ilovesydney

Sydney Fish Market Credit: James Horan; Destination NSW

Sydney Fish Market, Pyrmont

#feelnewsydney

Sydney Fish Market Credit: James Horan; Destination NSW

Sydney Fish Market, Pyrmont

#feelnewsydney

Heading south 

The southern coastline of NSW is oyster heaven – the coastline is characterised by oyster sheds, wharves, markets and restaurants where sampling freshly shucked produce should be the most essential part of visiting the region. 

Shuckers don’t get much faster than loud-shirt-wearing Jim of Jim Wild’s Oysters, an oyster shack at Greenwell Point near Nowra (160km south of Sydney). The estuary of the Crookhaven River is the breeding ground for Jim’s distinctive Sydney Rock and Pacific oysters.   

Travel south a further 115km to discover The Farm Gate and Oyster Shed on Wray Street and Pearly Oyster Bar and Farm on the banks of the Clyde River at Batemans Bay. Order shucked Sydney Rocks and Angasi oysters while soaking up sublime views. If you’re keen to hit the very water they’re grown in, consider Region X’s Oyster Tasting Kayak Tour where, over a two-hour tour, punters kayak the river, sample delicacies and meet a fourth-generation oyster farmer.  

If you time your visit to popular South Coast town Narooma in May, you’ll encounter the Narooma Oyster Festival, an annual festivity where local growers, shellars and shuckers gather to celebrate the Sydney Rock oyster. While you’re there, be sure to drop into The Oyster Farmers Daughter, an outdoor bar serving cocktails and seafood on the shore of the Wagonga Inlet. 

At Tathra Oysters try Sydney Rocks grown in the waters of Nelson’s Lake in Mimosa Rocks National Park. From here, drive 30km to The Oyster Barn, a pristine farm gate located on Merimbula Lake. A little further on, at Wheeler's Seafood Restaurant and Oyster Bar in Pambula, you can take a guided tour of the oyster factory. And at Broadwater Oysters you can grab and go, sit in and relax by the lake, or go to ‘oyster school’, led by an expert. If you’d prefer to get among the oyster action, book in to Navigate Expeditions’ Kayak and Shuck tour where you’ll paddle the Pambula River and learn all about oysters and how to shuck them at Broadwater Oysters. Wonboyn Rock Oysters is the furthest south, a 47km drive from Eden on the Sapphire Coast. Here sample Sydney Rocks from the pristine waters of one of NSW's most remote estuaries: Wonboyn Lake. 

Wray Street Oyster Shed, Batemans Bay Credit: Destination NSW

Sun setting over Wray Street Oyster Shed, Batemans Bay.

#feelnsw #newsouthwales

Wray Street Oyster Shed, Batemans Bay Credit: Destination NSW

Sun setting over Wray Street Oyster Shed, Batemans Bay.

#feelnsw #newsouthwales

Narooma Oyster Festival, Narooma Credit: Narooma Oyster Festival

A plate of freshly shucked oysters by the water, Narooma Oyster Festival

#feelnsw #newsouthwales

Narooma Oyster Festival, Narooma Credit: Narooma Oyster Festival

A plate of freshly shucked oysters by the water, Narooma Oyster Festival

#feelnsw #newsouthwales

Heading north 

The northern coastline of NSW is just as treasure-filled for oyster lovers. Just an hour’s drive from Sydney, the Hawkesbury River boasts a thriving oyster industry. The Floating Oyster Wine Bar in Brooklyn allows guests to sit back and relax on a river cruise, all while sampling the region’s finest.  

In the town of Mooney Mooney, the Hawkesbury River Oyster Shed is a small local oyster farm supplying molluscs straight from the source. Just next door, you’ll find Broken Bay Pearl Farm, a special ‘shellar door’ offering an array of oyster farm tours, as well as the opportunity to try Broken Bay Akoya pearl oysters, a first in NSW. Sydney Oyster Farm Tours, also in Mooney Mooney, is a unique experience where visitors can don waders and try oysters right in the water to truly appreciate the merroir. A little further north, in Woy Woy the Brisbane Water Oyster Festival takes place every November, a day-long festival where oysters, food and wine are at the forefront.  

Further up the coast, the Soldiers Point peninsula juts from the southern shore of Port Stephens. It’s here you’ll find family-owned Holberts Oyster Farm, where you can enjoy a dozen or so at a waterside table with a bottle of wine.   

 In Forster sample the produce of Graham Barclay Oysters, believed to be the state’s largest supplier of Sydney Rocks. A little further north, part of the Great Lakes area where you can surf, fish, swim and kayak around crystal-clear waters, you’ll find Brighton Oysters, an oyster farm experience on the Manning River offering boat tours and education sessions. Nearby, just outside of Taree, Stones Oysters and Shed Takeaway is the ultimate place to stock up on fresh oysters, prawns, lobsters, crabs and just-caught fish.  

Sydney Oyster Farm Tours, Mooney Mooney Credit: Destination NSW

Sydney oyster farm tours offer oyster farm tours 45 minutes from Sydney's CBD. Their tours take participants on a boat ride out to the oyster leases to learn about the evolution of farming and see the current cultivation methods they use to bring you the beautiful Sydney Rock and Pacific Oysters you love.

#feelnsw #newsouthwales

Sydney Oyster Farm Tours, Mooney Mooney Credit: Destination NSW

Sydney oyster farm tours offer oyster farm tours 45 minutes from Sydney's CBD. Their tours take participants on a boat ride out to the oyster leases to learn about the evolution of farming and see the current cultivation methods they use to bring you the beautiful Sydney Rock and Pacific Oysters you love.

#feelnsw #newsouthwales

Woy Woy Fishermen's Wharf, Woy Woy Credit: Destination NSW

Couple enjoying food and drink with views across Brisbane Water at Woy Woy Fishermen's Wharf, Woy Woy.

#feelnsw #newsouthwales

Woy Woy Fishermen's Wharf, Woy Woy Credit: Destination NSW

Couple enjoying food and drink with views across Brisbane Water at Woy Woy Fishermen's Wharf, Woy Woy.

#feelnsw #newsouthwales

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