Oyster farmers on the South Coast have cleaned up at 2023 Sydney Royal Easter Fine Food Show in the Aquaculture division.
Australia’s Oyster Coast (Merimbula and Shoalhaven) and Tathra Oysters won two gold medals each, while Hazlegrove Oysters from Pambula and Wapengo Rocks Wild Organic Oysters each won a gold medal.
Tathra Oysters were given the highest rated gold by judges in the Sydney Rock Oyster category with a top score of 95.
The Bega Valley business that farms it’s oysters out of Nelsons Lake, in Mimosa Rocks National Park just north of Tathra also took out the 2023 Champion Sydney Rock Oyster.
“It was a fiercely contested event this year, and the local oyster farmers did really well,” Owner-Manager at Tathra Oysters, Gary Rodley said.
“We were lucky enough to get a couple of gold and the champion oyster of the show which was nice but Merimbula, Shoalhaven, Pambula and Wapengo all got gold as well,” he told East Coast Radio.
It’s a continuation of excellent results at the Sydney Easter Show for Tathra Oysters; from their four entries in 2023, they brought home two gold medals, two silver medals and won the Champion Sydney Rock Oyster.
Owners, Gary and Joanne Rodley and their son Sam, have been improving their craft for decades.
“We were lucky enough to have picked up the champion (Sydney Rock Oyster at the Sydney Easter Show) 17 times, so we’re certainly very proud of that achievement,” Gary said.
Meanwhile, relatively new farmer on the South Coast, Mark Harris, from Harris Oysters in Wagonga, got the top scoring silver medal (88.83), after he won the oyster event at the Bega Show earlier this year.
Wapengo Rocks took home two silvers, and only narrowly missed out on the highest rated with a score of 88.33 which was a tie with Tathra Oysters top silver score.
Australia’s Oyster Coast (AOC) from it’s Wapengo farms and Hazlegrove Oysters from Pambula also took home a silver each.
AOC won four bronze medals (Merimbula, Narooma-Wagonga, Wapnego and Shoalhaven) with it’s Merimbula Bottle Oyster the top rating bronze with a score of 80.67.
Montague Oysters Narooma also won two bronze medals while Hawkesbury River Oyster Shed won a bronze and was the only winner in the category from outside of the South Coast.
The champion prawns were from the Gold Coast but when it comes to which region delivers the best oysters in NSW, Australia and arguably the world… the answer is pretty plain to see.
Images: Tathra Oysters, Wapengo Rocks