As you drive into Coffin Bay on Eyre Peninsula, you’re very likely to be escorted by emus as they roam wherever they like throughout this town. Coffin Bay is known for its National Park, amongst other things, but you don’t have to even venture there to be surrounded with emus and kangaroos daily.
The Coffin Bay Caravan Park is located on the foreshore, across the road from the water and is centrally located to the town. Despite its grim name, the town was actually named in 1802 after Sir Isaac Coffin, a friend of British explorer Matthew Flinders.
Everything is within walking distance of the caravan park including cafes, a hotel, yacht club, supermarket and places to dine on oysters, another major claim to fame of this town. Oyster beds can be seen in the water as you walk along the foreshore and the ‘Oyster Walk’, is a great way to see the bay.
The walk extends for around 15 kilometres and most of it hugs the coastline, taking you past some houses in enviable locations, the town jetty, boat ramp and eventually around to Long Beach. The Coffin Bay National Park extends on from there, but travelling with a dog, we couldn’t enter this time, so that will wait for another visit.
You can get plenty of exposure to the wildlife and native flora just by walking around town, and the caravan park is visited by big mobs of kangaroos and emus every morning and evening. They aren’t the least bit worried by dogs (on leash) in the park.
Along the foreshore there are places that are recommended for land based fishing and of course if you have a boat then that’s even better.
Coffin Bay Oysters are a well known seafood product in South Australia and you can take an Oyster farm tour while you’re here. There are different options from wading out to oyster farms close to shore (waders supplied), or boat tours, all which include sampling the freshly farmed oysters.
If you’re happy to just sample the product on dry land, then our favourite spot is at Oyster HQ. It’s conveniently located across the road from the caravan park and apart from fresh oysters prepared in a number of ways; they also have very tasty tapas plates to share while sitting on the sunny deck overlooking the sparkling bay.
Some interesting facts I learnt while on the Oyster Walk were:
Oysters have two hearts, change sex every year, have a sensory system like radar, and can produce a jewel, the pearl!
Pacific Oyster spats are produced in tanks at a hatchery in nearby Louth Bay; they are transferred onto seed trays in sea water, covered in plastic mesh and sieved every 6-8 weeks. As they grow, they are put into mesh bags where they stay for up to 18 months, spending the last 6 months on open trays.
The pristine clear and clean water conditions in Coffin Bay are ideal for growing oysters with good tidal flow and supplies of plankton for the oysters to feed on.
So there you go! They’re also extremely tasty and a very good reason to visit the lovely, peaceful Coffin Bay township.