Photo 1 “The time has come” – care to join me?
Photo 2 Oysters fresh from The Oyster Shed
Photo 3 Fresh unopened oysters at The Oyster Shed
Photo 4 The Oyster Shed
Photo 5 Oyster shell paving
Batemans Bay has many oyster shops, but if you want some of the freshest, best, and most inexpensive oysters, I’d suggest a visit to The Oyster Shed. This marvellously rustic looking shed appears to have been on the river bank forever. Best of all, it is run by oyster growers with their own leases and you really couldn’t find fresher oysters – we’ve often had to wait while ours were opened for us. The Oyster Shed is in a marvellous setting, at the end of a riverside track. Should you visit, take a look at the carpark paving – it is made entirely of crushed oyster shells! The Oyster Shed is open daily.
It's easy to find when you know how - isn't that always the way? Turn toward Canberra at the large roundabout north of the bridge, then left at the small roundabout and again to the left shortly afterward – then turn right immediately before reaching the river and follow the little riverside track to the end: be careful of other traffic, it’s narrow.
What to buy: I’ll stick out my neck and make the claim that the Clyde River has, probably, Australia’s best oysters. Why? Because the Clyde River is one of the most pristine rivers in NSW – the catchment is almost entirely within National Parks and State Forests. Many years ago I worked with a marine biologist, who explained to me that oysters are essentially marine filters, sucking in water and living on whatever may be its contents. If those contents are aquatic, that’s great: but if there is any contamination … So purity is important.
Oysters have been commercially harvested in the Clyde for over a century and the purity of the water is reflected in the marvellous quality of the oysters, now grown in extensive oyster beds. There can be few eating experiences more sumptuous than hooking into fresh, creamy-textured oysters. As The Walrus and the Carpenter would testify!
What to pay: Prices currently are about $10A a dozen opened.
Those who have read my pages will know that I tend to run screaming when confronted by shopping opportunities, most of all when they’re purpose-built for extracting money from tourists. Resisting the urge to label this a “tourist trap” (besides, Mrs Tiabunna would disagree), I’ve included it simply as “shopping”.
Mogo itself dates back to the mid-1800s, when a gold mining settlement popped up almost overnight then, as most did, faded away as quickly when the gold ran out soon after. A few stray buildings remained, but apart from the increasing traffic on the main road, nothing much happened until the remaining buildings were restored, some new ones built, and the whole lot was turned into a series of craft galleries, bookshops, and coffee and ice cream stops.
To be serious, if you’re looking for something to take home as an interesting souvenir of the Batemans Bay area, this is as good a place as any to pick it up – and just wandering around the shops will keep you occupied for some time. I tend toward second hand bookshops and usually take something home from here, after having a coffee or ice cream!
What to pay: Prices are pretty typical for the goods on sale.