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A man wearing a black t-shirt and a young girl on his shoulders smiles at the camera. Behind them a large crowd gathers around the festival's main stage.


“To us there is nothing more iconic to NSW than the Rock Oyster and no better tasting oyster in the world,” Mrs Peachey said.

The 16th annual Narooma Oyster Festival is set to be even bigger than last year’s record breaking event thanks to support from Destination NSW, the lead government agency for New South Wales tourism and major events.

Held on the first weekend in May, the festival has grown to be the largest food and wine event in southern NSW. It contributes millions of dollars to the South Coast regional economy and attracts thousands of visitors from outside the region during a traditionally quiet time of year.

Presented by not-for-profit Narooma Rocks, the festival seeks to raise the profile of the Rock Oyster, which is indigenous to NSW, and the farmers who grow them, particularly as they continue to recover from the impact of natural disasters and pandemic of the past few years. 

Minister for Tourism Ben Franklin said the festival would provide a significant economic boost to the region during a traditionally quiet time of year.

“The Narooma Oyster Festival is one of the most unique food festivals in Australia and there is no better location for oyster lovers to come together than the beautiful South Coast,” Mr Franklin said.

“This flagship event draws thousands of visitors to Narooma each year, injecting an estimated $1.4 million into the local economy.

“We are committed to delivering world-class events like the Narooma Oyster Festival in regional NSW which drives tourists to the Eurobodalla, supporting local accommodation providers, restaurants, pubs and retail stores.”

Crowd favourites like Oyster Farmer’s Alley, Australia’s Oyster Shucking Championships and Australia’s Biggest Oyster are some of the ways the festival promotes NSW oyster farmers. A whopping 70,000 Rock Oysters are shucked and slurped at the festival each year.

The Festival attracted over 10,000 oyster lovers in 2022. Just over 77% of patrons travelled to Narooma and surrounding towns from outside the region, mostly from Sydney, Canberra and Illawarra.

Chair Mrs Cath Peachey said the grant helps promote the festival and the South Coast to new audiences and gives visitors the impetus to visit Rock Oyster Country for a long weekend and discover the region’s celebrated produce and attractions.

“We are delighted to receive this critical support, it will enable us to continue to grow the South Coast visitor economy and to raise the profile of the rock oyster, which is largely indigenous to New South Wales,” she said.

“In 2023 we look forward to delivering an even bigger program and a festival that is more accessible, inclusive, cultural and enjoyable for everyone.”

Mrs Peachey said Narooma Rocks is committed to sustainable regional development and jobs growth through food tourism, saying Rock Oysters are sustainable, highly nutritious, high value and also good for their environment.

“To us there is nothing more iconic to NSW than the Rock Oyster and no better tasting oyster in the world,” Mrs Peachey said.

The Narooma Oyster Festival will be held on May 5 to 7, 2023. Tickets are on sale now.

Narooma Oyster Festival is proudly supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.