Topographically tortuous and achingly sublime, the salt-encrusted coastline that honeycombs the west coast of the Eyre Peninsula penetrates you on an elemental level.
THE LOFTY LIMESTONE CLIFFS OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA'S RUGGED EYRE PENINSULA
Infusing your senses from every handsome angle, Mother Nature unabashedly flaunts her wild harvests here. While the Eyre Peninsula’s waters pummel at its lofty limestone cliffs when surging, they gently oscillate at rest. And busy below the glistening waterline is a smorgasbord of prized King George whiting, yellowtail kingfish, nannygai and bluefin tuna. Never shucked your own oyster? Or met an abalone up close? Salivating just at the thought? Indeed, in this maritime wilderness area, you can taste the fruits of the ocean on a Hunt and Gather Seafood Experience with Australian Coastal Safaris.
SHUCK YOUR OWN OYSTER FOR LUNCH WITH AUSTRALIAN COASTAL SAFARIS
EAT WHAT YOU CATCH ON THIS 2-DAY HUNT AND GATHER SEAFOOD EXPERIENCE
Based in Port Lincoln — Australia’s seafood capital on the southernmost tip of the Eyre Peninsula — Australian Coastal Safaris is run by David Doudle. The effervescent local goes by the name of ‘Lunch’, but you have to join his tour to learn how he came to adopt the intriguing moniker. Lunch runs multi-day tours, from birdwatching and photography to nature and wildlife spotting. But it’s his one-day Hunt and Gather Seafood Experience that truly tantalises the ocean-to-plate-seeking palate. World-class oysters that grow plumply in Coffin Bay’s pristine waters are one reason. The farm factory tour, with Pacific and native angasi oyster tastings fresh from the rack, resets your taste buds to a new benchmark.
EAT FRESH CRAY STRAIGHT FROM THE BEACH WITH AUSTRALIAN COASTAL SAFARIS
You’ll be doing the cockle shuffle in the shallows, gathering the little critters for your catch ’n’ cook lunch.
But roll up your sleeves and pants. This is a hands-on and salty-toes adventure. With your expert guide, you quickly become a bona fide hunter-gatherer along South Australia’s celebrated seafood frontier. You’ll be doing the cockle shuffle in the shallows, gathering the little critters for your catch ’n’ cook lunch (the food, not your guide!). On your drive north, fishing gets serious. This is the land of the most succulent green-lip and black-lip abalone you might ever find. From a secret beach, Lunch will dive for the prized delicacy, and you can too (weather permitting).
Lunch then prepares your catch of the day on a stretch of sand known only to the locals. And your sea-to-beach platter finds will be partnered with a regional wine or beer. Does it get any more Aussie? Actually, yes it does. Come afternoon, when Australian salmon, trevally and southern sand flathead bite, you’ll wade through the shallows at a human-free surf beach. See what your line lures, while befriending your only other competition: wading egrets and oystercatchers, poised to spear.
VISTING THE EYRE PENINSULA IS A HANDS-ON AND SALTY-TOES ADVENTURE
BEACH LUNCH PERFECTION ON THE EYRE PENINSULA
BEACH FISHING WITH NOTHING BUT BIRDS FOR COMPETITION
In addition to the gourmet dining pleasures on this bespoke odyssey, you’ll bounce across vast sand hills in the comfort of Lunch’s trusty Toyota LandCruiser. And if your inner child can contain itself no more, then let rip! Lunch will pull out the sand boards. And he knows every crest — he grew up here. If devouring the region’s renowned seafood has whetted your appetite to experience more, you can extend to the two-day tour, with a stay at the Port Lincoln Hotel or at Lunch’s private beach house offering. What you hook during the day can accompany you to a seafood masterclass led by renowned local chef and owner of Del Giorno’s Café Restaurant, Kris Bunder. Held at his waterfront home at Lincoln Cove (or at the beach house), Kris teaches you how best to cook up anything from calamari to marron and rock lobster to bluefin tuna, for your delectable evening feast.
Perhaps you want to add an offshore fishing day to your itinerary? Or maybe a one-on-one snorkel and swim with the sea lions of Baird Bay beckons? The nature and wildlife tour, spotting migrating humpbacks and southern right whales resting and calving in the Great Australian Bight never fails to thrill. Or, if serious adrenaline calls, switch roles as predator versus catch and go nose-to-nare diving with a great white shark. Don’t worry; they’ll put a cage around you. So spread your own gills and make your way to the glorious Eyre Peninsula, where the world is your Coffin Bay oyster. Find it. Catch it. And taste it. Then take in one long, deep breath of fresh Eyre.
The sizzling lunch menu — right on the beach — will be your catch of the day. This could be anything from cockles and abalone to fresh cray or line-caught salmon from your private beach; not knowing is half the fun on this bespoke menu. Rest assured, you’ll be chinking to what sizzles before you with a Boston Bay riesling or a sauvignon blanc by Greg Norman: AKA the Great White Shark (how appropriate).
GREAT FISHING ADVENTURES OF AUSTRALIA
The diversity of Australia’s fishing experiences is as vast as the country itself