Things to do in Coffin Bay

Famous for its oysters, seafood is definitely a highlight of Coffin Bay but there’s much more to do here than that.

Written by Michael Turtle

Michael Turtle is the founder of Travel Australia Today. He has been a journalist for more than 20 years and loves exploring different parts of Australia.

Michael Turtle is the founder of Travel Australia Today and has been a journalist for 20 years.

The best things to do in Coffin Bay

After you've done your (basically mandatory) oyster experience, it's worth exploring the natural attractions of Coffin Bay and maybe even heading out on the water.

Even if you haven’t heard of Coffin Bay as a tourism destination, you may have heard of Coffin Bay oysters as a delicacy. This small township on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula is one of the premier oyster producers in all of Australia.

Before I go through my tips for what to do in Coffin Bay when you visit, let me just quickly explain why this small community is so famous.

Things to do in Coffin Bay
An oyster experience just a short stroll from town

Before Europeans arrived in Australia, the Indigenous people of Coffin Bay (the Nauo) ate the oysters that grew naturally in the waters as part of their diet. In 1848, colonial settlers started to fish the oysters that were here. But they did it in such an unsustainable way, the native oysters had stopped growing here by the end of the century.

That might have been the end of it, a sad sorry fate, but in the 1960s, a new oyster farming industry emerged. Rather than fishing the naturally-growing oysters, they farmed oysters that they grew from scratch. Rather than the original angasi oyster, the new species being farmed was the Pacific oyster.

The farming worked, and things just grew from there. The clean and nutrient-rich waters were great for the oysters and they became renowned across the country (and other parts of the world) for their high quality.

Which brings me back to visiting Coffin Bay. Most people will come here as part of a broader road trip through the Eyre Peninsula, or at least combined with some time in Port Lincoln, about 30 minutes’ drive away.

What to do in Coffin Bay, South Australia
A park along the waterfront in Coffin Bay

You could, as some people do, just come to Coffin Bay for a quick visit to taste some oysters fresh from the farm and see a bit of the industry here.

But there are so many other things to do in Coffin Bay, and the township here is a delightful base to spend at least a couple of nights, if you’re not in a rush.

It’s not the biggest of the communities on the Eyre Peninsula, but there is enough tourism infrastructure here to make it a comfortable stay, regardless of your travel style.

Emus in Coffin Bay, South Australia
An emu wanders through town

With emus and kangaroos wandering through the centre of town, grazing as they go, you’re always reminded that the natural world is all around – which is one of the things that makes the Eyre Peninsula so special.


Of course, you can’t come here and ignore the one thing the town is most famous for – oysters! Even if you don’t like eating oysters, learning more about the industry is one of the best things to do in Coffin Bay, and there are a few ways to do that.

Experience Coffin Bay

The oysters farms are all through the waters of Coffin Bay and you won’t really be able to see too much just from the town itself. Heading out to one of the farms is the most authentic way to get an insight into the industry and learn about the famous Coffin Bay oysters.

The main company running these tours is Experience Coffin Bay. They’ve got a couple of options, but this is the main one, which takes about three hours and includes a cruise across the water to a farm, wading amongst the wooden poles, and a tasting of some oysters fresh from the water.

You can see three of the options they offer here, including a shorter one:

If you’re not staying in town for long, I would say this is the top Coffin Bay attraction and it’s where you should focus your time.

Oyster Farm Tours

The other main oyster experience in Coffin Bay is run by Oyster Farm Tours. Despite the name, they don’t actually run farm tours these days. Instead, the focus is on learning about the oyster industry and tasting them.

The tours start from the township, where you’ll put on waders and walk out into the water to a partially-submerged pontoon. Here, the guide will explain how things work on the farms and spend time answering your questions.

Oyster Farm Tours, Coffin Bay
Me learning to shuck oysters

You’ll then learn how to shuck (open) the oysters and get to taste them, straight from the farms. It’s a really fun experience and a great way to get your Coffin Bay oyster fix in a shorter time and without needing to go on a boat.

Eat oysters

Perhaps you don’t want to learn about oysters. Perhaps you just want to eat them. Well, good news – you can, of course, do that in Coffin Bay.

Most restaurants in town will serve fresh oysters, and you’ll find they are much more affordable than the big cities (one of the advantages of not needing to pay for expensive refrigerated transport).

Even at the local pub, the Coffin Bay Hotel, you can get a dozen natural oysters for $31, along with a good selection of other seafood or traditional pub meals.

Set right on the water, Oyster HQ is a really popular spot for lunch, where you can choose to sit out on the sunny deck and enjoy a glass of wine with your oysters.

Oyster HQ, Coffin Bay
The seafood platter at Oyster HQ

Or there’s 1802 Oyster Bay, probably the most upmarket restaurant in Coffin Bay. It has a glorious deck that is perfect for sunset and a large inside area that’s better in the cooler weather. Even here, a dozen natural oysters will only set you back about $36, which is great value.


I think the Eyre Peninsula is one of the most beautiful parts of South Australia, and Coffin Bay is one of the reasons for that. If you’ve got time, you can head deeper into the national park, but even if you’re in a hurry, there are things to do around town.

Coffin Bay National Park

One of three national parks on the Eyre Peninsula, Coffin Bay National Park is a fantastic day out, with an incredible coastline to explore.

With massive sand dunes, pounding surf beaches, and tranquil bays, there are so many things to do in Coffin Bay National Park. In particular, I would recommend some of the hiking trails, which take you through spectacular wilderness of coastal heath and low mallee, past blowholes, to sparkling swimming spots.

If you’ve only got a 2WD, you can still get to Yangie Bay at the southern end of the park, which has places to swim and some great bushwalks. But with a 4WD, you can head further north to some pristine beaches that feel gloriously remote.

If you don’t have a 4WD but still want to see this part of the park, there’s this great day tour that will take you out there.

Oyster Walk

You don’t need to head all the way into the national park to find good walking trails (although, as I mentioned, the ones in Yangie Bay are among the best!).

From right in town, there’s the Oyster Walk, a 15-kilometre trail that leads past many of Coffin Bay’s highlights. Starting at Long Beach, to the west of the town centre, it traces the shoreline all the way to Kellidie Bay Conservation Park.

Oyster Walk, Coffin Bay
Heading along the coastline on the Oyster Walk

Once you hit the start of the conservation park, you can continue along the water to some shacks that mark the location of Oyster Town, the first colonial settlement here.

Alternatively, you can take the other fork in the road at the start of the park and head up for a loop that takes you past a historic cemetery and to a lovely lookout over Coffin Bay.


In the warmer months, Coffin Bay’s beaches offer some respite from the heat, with the gorgeous turquoise water perfect for a swim. Even in winter, although the water may be a bit too cold, the sandy stretches are still nice on a sunny day.

Beaches in Coffin Bay
One of the smaller beaches in town

The best beaches in Coffin Bay are probably in the national park, and you can reach the most popular, Almonta Beach, with a 2WD. A stunning stretch of white sand with crystal-clear water, you could bring a picnic and make a day of it.

Around town itself, there are a couple of places where you could jump in the water for a dip. The main one I would recommend is Long Beach, which can get a bit of surf and is also decent for fishing.

Water activities

With such a fantastic coastline, there is more to do in Coffin Bay’s waters than just swim. Especially if you’re going to be here for longer than just a day, you might find one of these activities a great way to get out into the bay.


With the town famous for its seafood, it’s no surprise that fishing is one of the popular activities in Coffin Bay. While some people choose to do it themselves – off the beach or a jetty, perhaps – you can also go out with a professional.

The main operator in town is GT Fishing Charters, which runs its tours with a twin-engine 8-metre-long Shark Cat. Its basic tour takes you out into Coffin Bay to drop a line, where there are lots of King George whiting, along with garfish and squid.

If you want something a bit more, there’s also an offshore trip where you’ll do some reef fishing, hopefully snagging some nannygai, snapper, or shark. Or you can even do a bigger charter to the islands for tuna fishing!


Those gorgeous clear waters are so inviting, so why not head out on a cruise on the bay to see a different perspective of the Eyre Peninsula.

I would suggest Sunset Charters, which are the main sailing company in Coffin Bay (and, actually, one of the few on the whole peninsula). With a luxury catamaran, they’ll take you out for a glorious trip.

The main tour is a 3.5-hour cruise through the bay with commentary from the guides and a seafood platter included!

Sunset Charters also offers a 2-hour sunset cruise that includes an antipasto platter, or there’s a special 5-hour cruise where you’ll go swimming with dolphins in the bay.


If you prefer to travel at your own pace, kayaking is a beautiful way to discover the coast around Coffin Bay and even get amongst some of the oyster farm leases.

The best place to rent a kayak in Coffin Bay is from Oyster HQ, which has packages ranging from one hour up to a whole day of eight hours.

Kayaking in Coffin Bay
Taking a kayak and a SUP out on the bay

I think one hour is a little too short, unless you are already hanging out in that part of town and just want to do something a bit different for a break. For most people, though, I would recommend getting the kayak for a bit longer so you can actually go a bit further and stop for a swim and a drink along the way.