Coffin Bay: Enjoy Fresh Oysters at this idyllic Holiday Spot

Oysters at Oyster HQ. Located in Coffin Bay, Eyre Peninsula, South Australia.

Hey there, friend!

In this journal entry, I’ll be sharing some of the things you can enjoy in the stunning South Australian holiday destination of Coffin Bay, located in the Eyre Peninsula.

We actually didn’t get up to too much during our day trip to Coffin Bay, just a walk and a feed!

One thing we’ve learned while travelling full-time is the importance of pacing ourselves. It’s easy to feel the pressure to fill every weekend with activities, but that can lead to burnout pretty quickly.

It’s definitely hard to resist the urge to make the most of every moment in a new place, especially if there’s a chance we might not visit again or for a while. However, we’ve found that including days where we plan to see and do only a couple things helps make full-time travelling feel much more sustainable!

Before you read on

I have a few journal entries for the Eyre Peninsula which I wrote before this one, that you might be interested in reading first.

Explore Coffin Bay in the Eyre Peninsula with me

If you’re curious to learn more about the idyllic holiday destination of Coffin Bay and all it has to offer, please read on. For the dog paw-rents, this was a completely dog-friendly day trip!

Charlie in front of Oyster HQ. Located in Coffin Bay, Eyre Peninsula, South Australia.
Charlie in front of Oyster HQ

About Coffin Bay in South Australia

When I think of Coffin Bay, I think of oysters. Not that I like them. 

My unpopular opinion is that oysters are kind of gross. If I’m forced to eat oysters, I can only have them baked with a lot of cheese to hide the flavour and texture. My hubby thankfully feels the same way. 

But this isn’t about me and my dislike for oysters. If you’re a lover of oysters, the town of Coffin Bay is known as the place to go for this delicacy. 

The area actually has a rich oyster farming history dating back as far as the 1840s when the Old Oyster Town was first established. The town no longer exists but you can visit the location as part of the Oyster Walk (see more in the walking trails section). 

View along Oyster Walk in town. Located in Coffin Bay, Eyre Peninsula, South Australia.
View of the bay in town from the Oyster Walk

In the town, the bay is picturesque with beautiful serene waters dotted with boats and bordered by a lush, leafy coastline. The location as a whole has a very idyllic and tranquil vibe. I can see why it’s a popular holiday destination!

I read in a tourist brochure that during the summer months, the population of Coffin Bay can increase from about 650 people to 4,000. That’s a massive jump! 

While walking the Oyster Walk, you do get the sense that most of the houses in the town are holiday homes. There’s definitely no shortage of accommodation options listed in tourist brochures and directories.

The Oyster Walk in the town section, there's an emu in the bushes. Located in Coffin Bay, Eyre Peninsula, South Australia.
Walking the town section of the Oyster Walk where we spotted an emu

Where is Coffin Bay & how to get there 

The pretty holiday destination of Coffin Bay in South Australia is located at the southern end of the Eyre Peninsula. It’s approximately 44 kilometres away from Port Lincoln, where we stayed, making it just over a 30-minute drive. 

From Adelaide, Coffin Bay is nearly 690 kilometres, equating to a whopping 7-hour drive. Alternatively, you could take a flight with Rex or Qantas to Port Lincoln, which takes just under an hour. From there, you can easily hire a car to drive the short distance west to Coffin Bay.

Secluded beach. Located in Coffin Bay, Eyre Peninsula, South Australia.
A pretty, secluded area we saw along the Oyster Walk

Eyre Peninsula Map

Map of Eyre Peninsula, South Australia. Created by Sheryl

Want to browse all of the Eyre Peninsula journal entries? Click here. If you would like to view an interactive Google Map of dog-friendly attractions, eats & drinks in this area, please visit my Dog-Friendly Aussie Map page!

Things to do in Coffin Bay 

What we did

Here are a couple of attractions you can enjoy at Coffin Bay, and what we personally got up to: 

  • Explore the town’s coastline and take a casual stroll along the dog-friendly Oyster Walk.
  • Spend a relaxing afternoon on Oyster HQ’s outdoor deck, where you can enjoy gorgeous views of the bay and sample the local seafood.
Crayfish at Oyster HQ. Located in Coffin Bay, Eyre Peninsula, South Australia.
Crayfish from Oyster HQ
Other suggestions for things to do

Of course, there’s so much more to see and do in the area beyond those couple of things! Here are a few other suggestions to consider for your travel itinerary:

  • Join an Oyster Farm & Tasting Tour to see the local oyster farm operations firsthand and taste oysters at their absolute freshest. 
  • Take advantage of the calm waters of the beautiful sheltered bay and go swimming, snorkelling, kayaking, boating, fishing and more. I believe you can rent out kayaks through the folks at Oyster Farm.
  • Visit the Coffin Bay National Park or conservation parks like the nearby Kellidie Bay for breathtaking natural scenery. 
  • Set sail with a variety of amazing cruises, charters and tours. There’s dolphin swim tours, sunset cruises, and fishing or exploration charters available. 

If we were ever to visit the Eyre Peninsula again, I wouldn’t mind spending more time at Coffin Bay and actually stay there with the caravan. The dolphin swim tour and Coffin Bay National Park are definitely on my list for next time! 

People on a oyster farm & tasting tour seen from Oyster HQ. Located in Coffin Bay, Eyre Peninsula, South Australia.
People on an Oyster Farm & Tasting Tour (viewed from the Oyster HQ deck)

The best time to visit Coffin Bay

Being a coastal town, the best time to visit Coffin Bay is during the summer months. This way, you can take full advantage of the beach and ocean activities. 

However, it’s worth noting that this will also be peak tourist season, and the population can jump from about 650 people to 4,000. It can get incredibly busy, and you may need to book your accommodation way in advance. 

Bay View along the Oyster Walk. Located in Coffin Bay, Eyre Peninsula, South Australia.
Pretty bay view along the Oyster Walk

During shoulder months like November and March, the weather can still be quite pleasant, and you’ll benefit from fewer crowds. 

If you’re planning on bushwalking in the national park, you might want to consider going in the spring or autumn months when it’s cooler during the day.

Considering how hit-and-miss the weather was in the southern Eyre Peninsula during our entire stay (late October to mid-November), we surprisingly had decent weather for our day trip to Coffin Bay in early November. It got fairly warm and humid. 

View along Oyster Walk. Located in Coffin Bay, Eyre Peninsula, South Australia.
View along Oyster Walk

Where to eat in Coffin Bay 

Oyster HQ

Coffin Bay Dog-friendly Restaurant with outdoor seating

You can find the Oyster HQ restaurant along the Esplanade, right on the water’s edge, and with an outdoor deck that offers amazing views of the bay. 

Oyster HQ waterfront building. Located in Coffin Bay, Eyre Peninsula, South Australia.
Oyster HQ is located right on the water’s edge
The Vibe

We actually stayed for quite a while, relishing the pleasant sunny weather and relaxing ocean scenery, with a cocktail in hand. Yasss, Universe, more of this! 

When the weather is beautiful, expect it to be very busy—that’s what we experienced. It felt crowded because they jam-packed the deck with plenty of tables and seating. It’s best to book a table online, especially if you’re wanting the coveted tables nearest to the water.

A great thing about Oyster HQ is that they’re very dog-friendly. We must have counted 5 or so other dogs that walked past our table on the deck. You can book a table online, just select “furry friends” for your booking note. 

View of the water from our table at Oyster HQ. Located in Coffin Bay, Eyre Peninsula, South Australia.
The view from our table
Squid at Oyster HQ. Located in Coffin Bay, Eyre Peninsula, South Australia.
Stuffed squid
Prawns at Oyster HQ. Located in Coffin Bay, Eyre Peninsula, South Australia.
Prawns at Oyster HQ
The Food

The restaurant offers tapas-style dishes, which is my favourite thing because it means you get to try out a whole variety of dishes. As they say, variety is the spice of life!

Naturally, Oyster HQ’s menu consists of many seafood options, with oysters being their specialty. There’s a whole list of ways you can have them, from raw with just lemon to grilled with lots of cheese.

I’m oyster-averse, but I thought I’d give them another shot to see if my palate had changed. We ordered the La Francais Oysters. The thick layer of cheese, bacon, and garlic chilli flavours helped, but did it convert me? No.

Oysters at Oyster HQ. Located in Coffin Bay, Eyre Peninsula, South Australia.
La Francais Oysters

We also ordered a selection of other dishes: scallops with crumbs, crayfish with chorizo, stuffed squid, and fresh Spencer Gulf prawns. The seafood all tasted fresh, and the flavours were great, but the portions were itty-bitty for what you pay. It was not the cheapest of outings, let me say that.

Venus Bay Prawns

Interestingly though, we went to the local pub in Elliston at a later date, which I’ll talk about in a future journal entry. The fresh cooked Venus Bay Prawns there were even better and we paid much less.

Overall Thoughts

I think Oyster HQ is a fantastic place to visit while in Coffin Bay as it offers superb bay views from its deck. Plus, it’s dog-friendly! If you plan on dining there, just be prepared to shell out $22 for a plate of three scallops (pun intended). 

Scallops at Oyster HQ. Located in Coffin Bay, Eyre Peninsula, South Australia.
Scallops

Lookouts & Walking Trails in Coffin Bay

Oyster Walk

Coffin Bay Dog-friendly Walking Trail (mostly) 

This walking trail stretches about 10 kilometres from Long Beach in the west to Snapper Point in the east, with a looped section to a lookout within the Kellidie Bay Conservation Park. There’s also an offshoot trail from Snapper Point to the Old Oyster Town.

It’s worth noting that dogs aren’t permitted on sections of the trail that enter the Kellidie Bay Conservation Park. If you’re walking with a dog, you can easily skip this part, but remember to keep your dog leashed at all times while on the rest of the trail.

Oyster Walk Sign. Located in Coffin Bay, Eyre Peninsula, South Australia.
Oyster Walk with some boardwalks
Sheryl walking along Oyster Trail towards Snapper Point. Located in Coffin Bay, Eyre Peninsula, South Australia.
Walking towards Snapper Point along the Oyster Walk
Our Route

We parked at the central Jetty and Yacht Club area and did two sections broken up by some lunch:

  • Walked towards Snapper Point and then back, stopping at Oyster HQ for some lunch.
  • After lunch, we continued our walk westward past the Jetty and Yacht Club, up to a point just beyond the Boat Ramp before returning.

According to Walking SA, the section of the Oyster Walk along the town foreshore is about 5.5 kilometres one-way. They’ve also got a map on their website.

Flat gravel Oyster Walk Trail heading westward. Located in Coffin Bay, Eyre Peninsula, South Australia.
A section of the Oyster Walk heading westward towards Long Beach
About the Walking Trail

The main section of the walking trail near the foreshore and town centre is along a relatively easy and flat gravel/dirt path, often passing behind people’s properties with the bay on the other side.

Along the way, you’ll encounter a couple of boardwalks and bridges, and there aren’t many hills or steps. Throughout the walk, there’s fabulous views of the Coffin Bay coastline, which is interesting because of all of the little islands, peninsulas, inlets and waterways. 

White fluffy feather-like flowers on a plant along the Oyster Walk. Located in Coffin Bay, Eyre Peninsula, South Australia.
Interesting feather-like flowers along the Oyster Walk, not sure what these are?

Parts of the trail are lined with bushland, and you’ll find interpretive signage providing information on the local wildlife and plants. We stumbled upon a few pretty secluded little beaches during our walk. 

Wildlife Spotted

Oh, and while we were walking to Oyster HQ, there was a mumma emu with her sweet little chicks just meandering down the Esplanade! Emus seem so prolific around outback South Australia, and both the Yorke and Eyre Peninsulas. 

A video of a mumma emu & her chicks

Where to stay in Coffin Bay

Coffin Bay Dog-friendly caravan parks

If you’re travelling with a dog in a caravan and looking to stop overnight or more, you could stay at the Discovery Parks – Coffin Bay. This caravan park is located within the town and along the Esplanade, pretty much directly opposite Oyster HQ. 

It’s worth noting that we stayed in Port Lincoln, so I can’t offer any personal opinions or experiences with it.

Charlie along the Oyster Walk. Located in Coffin Bay, Eyre Peninsula, South Australia.
Mr Winky Face along the Oyster Walk

And that’s a wrap!

I hope you’ve enjoyed exploring the idyllic little seaside location of Coffin Bay through this journal entry. It’s definitely worth a stop if you’re travelling through the Eyre Peninsula.

Have you been to any of these places before? Please feel free to share your experiences in the comments or pop in any questions you might have; I’d love to hear from you. 

Safe travels and happy exploring! Thanks for joining me, hope to see you again!

Sheryl

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Pinterest cover image featuring oysters and bay views. Located in Coffin Bay, Eyre Peninsula, South Australia.

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