With over 400kms of coastline and a rich maritime history, the Limestone Coast is synonymous with seafood. Put simply, it’d be sacrilege not to enjoy the fruits of the sea when you’re here, right? So consider this your open invitation to make like a local and see why our appetite for fresh fish is unmatched anywhere.
As fishermen haul in their daily catch, hotplates sizzle and chefs cook up a storm - and with ‘dinner from the deep’ destined for your plate, it just doesn’t get any fresher than that. From crayfish to crabs, squid to salmon and everything else in between, here’s our guide to getting yourself a seafood feast to remember!
First up, the Southern Hemisphere’s largest fleet of Southern Rock Lobster vessels sits at Port MacDonnell otherwise known as South Australia’s southernmost town. ‘Port Mac’ (as it’s known to locals) is a must-visit spot for all lobster lovers when they're in season, and the perfect place to lounge on the beach as hard-working fisherman unload their juicy catch. Follow your fishing line to Five Star Seafoods, open every day during lobster season (1st October to 31st May here in the Southern Zone), where you can dream, drool and select a live one from the tank to take home. It's at this time of year you can also expect to see these highly prized crustaceans hitting other menus around the area.
You might also snag one or two other delicacies while you’re at it – think: live giant crab, plump juicy prawns, Blue Fin Tuna (from February to August) or succulent King George Whiting – either fresh from the local fisherman, or frozen for a later dinner date. If you pop in at the right time (summer holidays and other peak periods), they might even cook it up for you to enjoy down on the beach – just check their Facebook page to ensure you strike when the frying pan’s hot.
At Perwinkles Café, you’ll find a stunning waterside location is the perfect spot to kick back and watch the tide roll in across the Southern Ocean, with a freshly plucked catch from offshore. If you’re up for something truly local, it’s hard to go past a big old juicy lobster – or perhaps try a bit of everything with their delicious ocean catch. If seafood doesn’t float your friends’ boat, there’s also an extensive menu for breakfast and lunch daily and even dinner on Saturday nights. Just remember to book during peak season (think: summer holidays and Easter long weekend) - because we all know you’re not the only one that’s keen for a sumptuous seaside view!
Oh, and if you’re keen to expand your waistline just that little further (because hey… you’re worth it!), don’t miss a chance to grab your slice of something truly special at at The Bay Pizzaria, where the ‘Cray Cray’ Pizza is something truly to behold. No, really, Just do it.
But hang on... You're not even done yet. There's always brunch to look forward to tomorrow, right? Pull up a chair and settle in for a 'morning after' session at Tide Espresso Bar, where you you can carb up in style with their lip-smackingly good Lobster Chilli Scrambled Eggs. Think: locally caught crayfish, folded through free-range googies from The Spendid Egg and house made chilli sauce on Metro Bakery and Café ciabatta. With drool worthy views over the breakwater and a dish to die for, you'll be ready to start the day in no time!
A quaint and quiet beachside (obviously) town which can be wild and rugged one day, and dreamy and calm the next, Beachport is a great base to settle in for a day or even a week. Not only does it offer some incredible beaches, but it’s also home to the ultimate Build-Your-Own Lobster sandwich (or even a Lobster Picnic Box), which is something you’ll never forget! The Lobster Pot is a local institution and a magnet for both locals and visitors alike.
These guys also operate as wholesalers, so expect to find a huge array of seafood, live and snap frozen, including their famous marinated octopus and a whole range of condiments to go with it! Lobster Dip anyone?
At Rivoli Bay Deli, you’ll also find an outlet to buy a range of other local produce, with Austar Mariculture’s on-shore sustainable organic ocean trout farm delivering a steady supply of delicious Beachport Smoked Ocean Trout. Other dining spots in the town also have you covered, The Waterfront Café and Beachport Hotel mix things up with daily seafood specials.
If you're in town over March, you may also be lucky enough to catch the Beachport Crayfish Festival!
Heading north, drop anchor at the renowned Sails Restaurant, which has been dishing up a deep blue dream in South Australia’s favourite seaside village for over a decade. Plonked in the heart of Robe just steps from the shoreline, their Lobster Thermidor is a genuine bucket-list experience, Grilled with Garlic Butter, Baked with Thermidor Cream – or go totally au naturel with a creamy cocktail sauce. Just be sure to pre-order, as this little baby is always in high demand! If you’re keen to mix it up a little and enjoy the ocean’s full bounty, it’s also well worth landing yourself a decadent seafood platter - or for a little pastry fix, tuck into one of their legendary Lobster Pies. This is one of those signature dining experiences you just don't want to miss.
It’s a genuine icon in every sense and season, but The Caledonian Inn (a.k.a. ‘The Cally’ to locals) can seriously turn it on, especially in the warmer months, moving from restaurant to beer garden and even spilling out onto their lush lawn - which front directly onto the pristine white sands of Town Beach. This is the spot to grab yourself a half-crayfish, chips and salad and leg it to a deck chair or table while the sun’s out. It’s Insta-famous for a reason, and with a local vino or craft beer in hand it’s a spot to soak in the sunshine and score yourself some of the best seafood in town!
For something even more casual, head to The Dock at Sky Seafoods, who’ll cook up their ‘catch-of-the-day’ for you to enjoy on site, or just an easy grab-and-go fish & chips to cart off to the local beach. The factory also stocks a huge range of fresh, local seafood that’s been plucked straight off the boat and ready to cook up back at your accommodation, with the opportunity to join a behind the scenes tour of the factory that’s honestly cheap as chips!
Oh, and just in case you didn’t know, The Pastry Place has snagged the title of ‘best croissant in the Southern Hemisphere’ more than a few times – and for very good reason. Wrap your lips around one of their outrageously decadent Crayfish Croissants and you’ll understand what’s got everyone’s sweet, seafood stuffed smiles talking about. You might even order a second. Wait, third… whatever! Just remember to call ahead to check they’re in-stock before lobbing in for a gorge-fest with your friends.
Rolling into the charming town of Kingston SE, there's no escaping the fact that this is Larry the Lobster’s town… This imposing crustacean towers over all and sundry at a height of 17 meters, making him a landmark that’s almost impossible to miss. Once you've got your (mandatory) snap with him for the 'gram, make your way to the jetty, where you'll find Lacepede Seafood - a fish and chip shop like no other, with a menu highlighted by its ultra-tantalizing lobster arancini balls. I mean really… that’s next level takeaway! While you're there, be sure to enjoy a tipple from the extensive gin and wine list, with a limited number of tables inside for dining. Just be sure to check opening days and hours in advance, as these can vary throughout the year.
Fishing & Charters.
Sure, so now you know where to buy and eat the best seafood on the Limestone Coast… but how would you go at catching it? We’ve taken a deep dive into the big blue and done all the hard work for you! Check out our guide to Fishing in the Limestone Coast right here. If you’re keen to jump on a boat and let the experts take you to whatever’s biting - whatever time of year, it’s all too easy to hop on a charter. Down south, hop on board with Port MacDonnell Fishing Charters, Extreme Marine or Limestone Coast Charters for a day on the water, hauling in anything from Southern Bluefin Tuna (February to September), Gummy Sharks, Snapper and even your own cage full of local lobster!
Oh, and parents… if you happen to be in the area over April school holidays, don’t miss the week-long Rivoli Bay Jetties Junior Fishing Competition, where your little nippers (aged 5 to 17 years) will find a prime chance to land themselves a prize, with bonus workshops on all the fundamentals like: how to cast, how to bait a hook, how to handle tackle and general fishing safety!
So, are we hungry yet? Now you’re all schooled up, it’s time to land a seafood dinner! Hook, line and sinker… Who's in?