Outsiders Club

Aww, Shucks: Organic oysters a must-try on the NSW South Coast

13 Jun 2019
5 minutes

You probably also know some of the Australia’s very best oysters are from the NSW South Coast. This includes the world’s first certified organic oyster farm Wapengo Rocks.

Wapengo Rocks is an easy 30-minute drive from Reflections Holiday Park Bermagui. They specialise in wild-caught native rock oysters sourced from the pristine waters of Wapengo Lake.

And trust us, these are some of the best oysters you can get.

Wapengo Rocks is owned by Shane Buckley. Shane bought the farm in 2007, but the history of oysters in the area goes back thousands and thousands of years.

“The catchment for Wapengo Lake is beautiful Mumbulla Mountain,” says Shane.

“The waters flow down from the mountain through some of the area’s most untouched wilderness; national parks, forests and salt marshes. It’s an environment just perfect for oysters."


Whilst native oysters have grown here for thousands of years, they’ve been farmed since the late 1880s. You can still see evidence of the farming techniques from this era along the lake foreshore.

But today Shane does things quite differently.

“Our sustainable aquaculture techniques, together with the pristine water quality of Wapengo Lake, have combined to create Australia’s first certified organic rock oyster farm,” he said.

Instead of the conventional cultivation techniques used by other oyster farms, Wapengo Rocks uses a floating ‘dynamic long-line’ system which has less impact on the lake bed.

Even better; all their infrastructure uses recycled or recyclable materials.

Wapengo Rocks received their certified organic status in 2013, with their sustainable practices bringing benefits to both the lake and the end-product itself.

“Our techniques are actually restoring the ecology of the lake. For example, we can see that the seagrass beds are improving because they get more sunshine,” he said.

And when it comes to the taste experience?

“It’s a delicious mix of salt, minerals and a hint of lingering creaminess,” Shane said.

And it’s a taste experience that is clearly in demand. You can find Wapengo Rock’s award-winning organic oysters in quality restaurants in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and regional NSW.

This includes the renowned Italian restaurant Il Passaggio in Bermagui; just down the road from our Bermagui Holiday Park.

And if you’d like to see the farm itself (and buy direct from Shane), call to arrange a visit. You’ll see what makes Wapengo Lake, and the broader NSW South Coast, such a special part of the world.