If you're adding rock oysters to the menu this summer, remember to save the date for Narooma Oyster Festival on the weekend of May 3-4, 2024.
Tickets go on sale on February 6, with visitors urged to book accommodation now to avoid missing out.
Narooma often fills quickly, but travellers can also consider stays at nearby towns including Moruya, Tilba and Batemans Bay with buses running to and from the festival on Saturday, May 4.
For Festival chair Cath Peachey, the rock oyster's status as culinary, gastronomical and environmental hero is just one of the great reasons to throw Australia's grandest oyster party each year.
This year will mark the 17th festival.
"The festival is a favourite on the NSW food and drinks calendar.
"Oyster Farmers Alley is one of the main experiences people come for, as its hero, the rock oyster, is quite unique to the south coast and especially to NSW," she said.
"In Oyster Farmers Alley, visitors get the chance to sample oysters from different estuaries and can talk directly with the grower about the uniqueness of their waterway and the flavours it offers."
The festival offers the excitement of Australia's Oyster Shucking Championships where farmers vie for the chance to represent the nation in Ireland at the World Oyster Opening Championships.
It also offers a range of culinary, educational and and entertaining experiences for oyster and seafood lovers.
Lovers of oysters can try deeper water species like the lesser-known native angasi and the pacific which features in Australia's Biggest Oyster Competition.
Other festival highlights include Ultimate Oyster Experience with seafood legend John Susman and the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW (home of the Sydney Royal Fine Food Show), a cooking demonstration program with local and visiting chefs, Taste of the South dining experience, Rock Oyster Lounge, Champagne and Oyster Cruises, gourmet food, celebrated producers, brewers, winemakers and distillers, along with markets and live music on two stages.
Stall holder applications open on December 6 and volunteers are welcome to apply now.
For more information visit naroomaoysterfestival.com
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