Spring has arrived and with it the freedom of long drives with the windows wound down and salty seaside air are probably entering your mind right now. Bring the ocean and the open road together for a wickedly tasty combo that will have you exploring the island on an oyster-inspired road trip. Slurp farm-to-table oysters; brush up on your shucking mastery; and pick up clever tips to pair oysters with wine. Oyster-loving wanderlusters this one’s for you. Here are eight oyster pit stops that are guaranteed to satisfy.
1. For the oyster shucking rookie
Line up at Melshell Oyster’s bright blue oyster caravan, propped up next to the Swan River on the East Coast, for a salty burst of ocean goodness. Rookies pay close attention to a short shucking demonstration to claim your title as shucking legend. You might even spot the oyster whisperer Ian from the shore. He spends most of his time chest-deep in water to produce these sweet nuggets of saline joy. The only thing that can beat the feeling of shucking and slurping oysters in wild abandon is cracking open that bottle of wine you just picked up at a nearby vineyard.
Image credit: Rob Burnett
2. For the person with a posse
Tools down keen shuckers. Not only will Bangor Wine and Oyster Shed shuck your plump oysters for you, they’ll also pour you a glass of their very own wine. A Dunalley oyster institution on the road to Port Arthur they can tell you exactly where your wine and oysters came from – just by pointing off the deck. While you’re devouring oysters and sipping wine, think how lucky those oysters are. Very few oyster larvae survive to make it to your mouth, just a mere 0.1 percent! Also, consider how lucky you are to be eating oysters and sipping wine in Tassie.
Image credit: Alice Bennett
3. For the bar fly
Get Shucked on Bruny Island goes through a few thousand dozen oysters each day. The oyster farmer plucks them each morning from nutrient-rich waters that come straight from the wild Southern Ocean. This is serious oyster growing territory! There’s only one thing to do after hearing news like this. Prop yourself up at the bar and ask for a Bloody Mary oyster shooter. A splash of 666 Tassie vodka and a creamy oyster should settle your excitement. All cuddled up in a neat little shot glass it’s said to ‘guarantee a dance in your pants’. We really have no idea what that means, but it sounds fun! Fancy another? There’s also an oyster drive-through if you prefer the rest of your shellfish on the run.
Image credit: Rob Burnett
4. For the oyster addict
After kayaking and hiking in Freycinet National Park, the next obvious thing to do is eat oysters straight from the ocean. Join an oyster farm tour for an exclusive look behind-the-scenes at the Freycinet Marine Farm to find out what goes into farming these delicious bivalves. After the tour there’s room for more than a couple of dozen seafood lovers to sit down to an oyster frenzy (mussels, crayfish and pan-fried abalone are on the menu too). The Freycinet Peninsula is a captivating corner of the world. If you’ve fallen under its spell stay overnight and wake to moody blue oceans and the dusky pink Hazards mountain range.
Image credit: Brendan Williams
5. For those who like it wild
If it’s the call of the wild you’re after, forget those hatchery-raised wimps, you want a natural-set oyster that survived the one-in-a-million journey from egg to adult. Lease 65 might be just a humble shed, but you’ll get only the best premium oysters pulled straight from Moulting Bay known for its big salty flavours that grow fat, creamy oysters on Tassie’s East Coast. There’s nothing better than oysters plucked straight from the sea. Besides they’re the perfect food for sparking romance. Just ask Casanova.
Image credit: Rob Burnett
6. For your pop-up pleasure
‘The Fishers’ at Devils Corner vineyard is a pop-up oyster bar serving freshly shucked oysters and seafood straight from nearby Freycinet Marine Farm on Tassie’s East Coast. Make sure you don’t miss it, the oyster farmer was out early braving fairly nippy waters checking on oyster nets and harvesting juicy oysters just so you can taste them at their freshest. It’s like holding the ocean in your hands. Pair with a glass of Devils Corner Sparkling and sit outside on the deck. If the wine and oysters don’t floor you, the view from your seat will.
Image credit: Pete Harmsen
7. For your first and last port of call
- Bring on the tangiest, muskiest, biggest, most challenging oysters possible. You don’t scare easy. Large Pacific oysters have intense and exotic flavours and Barilla Bay Oysters aren’t about to shy away. Learn how oysters are farmed before you sample dishes such as fried chilli-salted oysters. Barilla Bay Oysters is just two minutes from Hobart Airport, so make it your first port of call when you land and your last before you leave. They’ll even have your oysters packed to take with you on the plane.
Image credit: Nick Osborne
8. For the salty sea dog
Has all that briny goodness gone to your head? Wait until the wind’s in your hair and your belly’s full of Tassie seafood plucked from the ocean. On a Seafood Seduction cruise you board a vessel amongst fishing boats on Hobart’s waterfront, sink into a luxury leather seat and await an unforgettable day of seafood indulgence. Watch your guide dive deep to pluck seafood morsel after seafood morsel (including oysters, of course!) only to turn it all into one delicious on board feast.
Image credit: Peter Aitchison
Banner Image Credit: Rob Burnett