First of all a confession:
I’m a seafood snob. Comes from catching, filleting and cooking my own fish since I was knee high to a grasshopper. Both my parents were keen fishos ( to non Aussies thats fisherpersons. We lazy Dinky-Di’s abbreviate nearly everything) and I received my first rod at the age of 3 or 4. Our annual family holidays were always at a sleepy fishing village on the south coast of New South Wales, which thanks to progress is now bustling. One of those places where you take your life into your own hands trying to cross the road.
We never holidayed anywhere else. My father would say “ I’ve seen the world. Dropped bombs on it.” I was always badgering him to go somewhere different and new. Never happened. “ I’ve seen the world. It didn’t impress.”. To shut me up he gave me airline tickets for my 21st birthday. To Port Macquarie – 350 klms up the coast from home.
Although my sister and I revelled in the beach culture eating seafood three meals a day quickly lost its appeal. Can’t even consider cold fish on toast for breakfast these days.
We learnt so very much about seafood as my Dad was instrumental in tax law changes in line with the seasonal catches of the local Italian fishing fleet all those years ago.
So I know my seafood. Fresh fish and prawns are as familiar to me as dark chocolate.
Therefore I have never eaten seafood at restaurants ( makes me a cheap date, I know), and don’t buy any seafood for Easter nor Christmas despite it being traditional, as so much of it has spent time in the deep freeze.
And I would throw myself under a train before eating any of that imported rubbish from Asia so readily available in supermarkets. Just pass me a bucket…….
A seafood banquet is my speciality when guests come to town. Admittedly, I think its the only reason the son-in-law visits.
So I’m excited about the Straddie Oyster Festival, an annual event which provides local farmers, fishermen, and restaurateurs the opportunity to promote their produce in a relaxed party atmosphere in parkland backing on to Moreton Bay.
North Stradbroke Island, affectionately known as Straddie, is a sub-tropical island located 30 km southeast of Brisbane and is the world’s second largest sand island. Take my word that the 30 minute trip by water taxi or 60 minute journey by barge from the mainland across to the island is a delightful respite from the Big Smoke in itself.
But back to the Oyster Festival held at the Ron Stark Oval in Dunwich with its beautiful water views. There will be prawn and oyster eating competitions as well as live mud crab races. Market stalls and live music will keep Mums and Dads contented whilst the jumping castle and face painting will keep the kiddies occupied.
And remember, with the Festival taking place on Saturday, 23rd of November, from 10am till 6pm, it will be warm enough for the children to paddle and play in the sand so pack their swimming gear. (Always wears them out and ensures a good nights sleep which I totally endorse).
Minjerribah, as North Stradbroke is known by the traditional landowners, will also have Indigenous Art displays including framed ceramic tiles, fibreglass turtle shells, and artworks. I’m as keen as mustard.
NOTE: North Stradbroke Island is well worth a visit at any time of year. It’s Mother Nature at its best ( and sometimes at her worst).
Seafood Breakfast in Tasmania is an exception to the rule. Doesn’t matter what the time of day a girl never declines the offer of Tasmanian Scallops or a Scallop Pie.
Lastly, here are some amazing facts about our Moreton Bay Marine Park:
- It’s Queensland’s third-largest—and one of Australia’s top 12—shorebird habitats.
- It’s one of three extensive intertidal areas of seagrass, mangroves and saltmarsh on Australia’s east coast.
- It supports the southernmost population of dugong in Australia and is among the top 10 habitats nationally for this vulnerable species.
- It’s one of the most important feeding areas for threatened marine turtles along Australia’s east coast and we have 6 of the world’s 7 species of marine turtles!
- bottlenose dolphin population, centred around Point Lookout, is one of the largest congregations of bottlenose dolphins in the world!
Alas, Progress is threatening the bay with plans to build 3,600 units into the Mangroves despite it being a designated RAMSAR Wetlands area.
End of rant.