LAKES COAST VISITOR GUIDE I PAGE 119 wheelersoysters.com.au | 02 6495 6330 Home of the finest Sydney Rock Oysters, fresh from Merimbula Lake • Licensed Seafood Restaurant • Oyster Farm & Tours • Fresh Oyster & Seafood Shop • Café, Takeaway & Gift Shop Open for Lunch 7 days from Noon Dinner Monday to Saturday from 6pm Plus extended hours in Summer BEMM RIVER GIPSY POINT MALLACOOTA EDEN PAMBULA MERIMBULA TATHRA BEGA BERMAGUI Tender and delicate seafood savourings “Oysters are the most tender and delicate of all seafoods. They stay in bed all day and night. They never work or take exercise, are stupendous drinkers, and wait for their meals to come to them.” This a quote by Hector Bolitho in The Glorious Oyster (1960) and for many, this may sum up the type of holiday they aspire to have when visiting the Sapphire Coast. When you tire of endless beaches, fantastic fishing and a surplus of national parks, there is one special place in Pambula, a stone’s throw away from Merimbula Lake, that offers the quintessential oyster experience, not to be missed. Nestled together on one stunning coastal bush property, the marriage of Wheeler’s Oyster Farm and Wheeler’s Seafood Restaurant offers visitors the opportunity to follow the oyster journey from lake to plate. Standing on the rise near the farm’s main shed, you can see the oyster leases in the distance, strategically laid out in the pristine waters of Merimbula Lake. If you’re looking for local produce, you can’t get any closer. Oyster farming has played an important role in Merimbula’s economy since its settlement. After years of innovation and working with nature to finally achieve an efficient and rewarding farming process, Wheeler’s Oyster Farm now boasts a state-of-the-art pro- cessing facility and has estab- lished their legacy as a leader in aquaculture, education and eco-tourism in the region. Oyster farming is Australia’s oldest form of aquaculture, but until now very little information has been available to the public about how oysters are farmed. The tour, operated by Wheeler’s Seafood Restaurant, is the perfect opportunity to gain insider access into the farming process, speak with the farmers, and, of course, try some oysters. The tour kicks off with an introduction to the behaviour of native Sydney rock oysters in the wild and follows the chronology of how farmers work with the natural environ- ment to nurture and harvest the delectable molluscs that continue to cause a stir with seafood-lovers worldwide. Top off your tour by dining in Wheeler’s Seafood Restaurant where you can try the highest quality oysters with contemporary toppings such as Prosecco foam and salmon caviar; Kilpatrick for something heartier; or simply natural for the purists. The restaurant offers tour and dining packages for the perfect segue into lunch, and their a la carte menu featuring a range of delicious seafood from the most local sources possible. Owner of Wheeler’s Seafood Restaurant, Jacqui Smith, once wrote her thesis on oyster farming, and it was only by coincidence that she met Hugh Wheeler and took the reins of a business so closely aligned with her passion for the marine environment. Since then, Jacqui and Hugh have worked in close collaboration to develop Wheeler’s as the bucket-list destination is has become. “It’s quite unique to have an authentic learning opportunity coupled with a gourmet foodie experience all in the one location,” Jacqui said. “The partnership between Hugh’s oyster farm and our team here at the restaurant and takeaway shop is really a special one.” Tour and restaurant bookings can be made online or by contacting Wheeler’s directly. After taking a tour of Wheeler’s Oyster Farm head into the restaurant to send your taste buds wild.