Moruya to serve up food-lovers' fantasy

Moruya to serve up food-lovers' fantasy
By admin


How do you like your oysters? Smoked? Kilpatrick? Straight up?

Well, the NSW South Coast town of Moruya has another option for you to consider.

How about a fresh oyster, shucked on the spot by a charming, tuxedoed waiter roving among guests punted out to a sandbar in the beautiful Moruya River?

Add your choice of dressings, some local wine or craft beer, and a joy flight on a seaplane direct from your sandy brunch venue and you are probably on a winner.

It's this kind of innovative thinking that may help to cement Moruya as Australia's newest foodie destination.

It accrued some serious credibility in July, when a panel of judges assembled by the ABC magazine delicious – including the likes of Maggie Beer and Matt Moran – voted the town's farmers' market the best in Australia.

Established in January 2013, SAGE Farmers Market was praised equally for its dedication to getting more local produce onto local plates as for its weekly showcase of the quality and diversity of the area's produce.

Depending on the time of year, you can buy fruit and vegetables, eggs, honey, milk, cheese, fish, poultry, beef, lamb, goat and of course, oysters, directly from the producers.

It's no coincidence that Moruya is just down the road from the setting of River Cottage Australia (at Tilba Tilba), the television show devoted to celebrating fresh produce and sustainable living.

But the food focus is just part of Moruya's evolution. The main street of the Eurobodalla Shire town is now dotted with upmarket boutique retailers, and its 18-year-old Jazz Festival is being reinvented to highlight more of its attractions.

Re-branded Granite Town in reference to the stone Moruya famously provided for the Sydney Harbour Bridge pylons, the October festival will include the SandBar Brunch described above and a host of other food experiences.

But it will also bring international music acts like Thirsty Merc and Katie Noonan to new venues, and hopefully, new ears.

"Jazz only attracts a small percentage of people but if you add the local food and wine and all genres of music you can incorporate the whole community and add some tourism, and that's what we looked at when we were revamping it," Granite Town president Stephen Matthews said.

Add in a flotilla of incandescent paper lanterns on the river for a family-friendly opening night, a street parade, pop-up dining district and your choice of watersports, and Moruya begins to look more like a destination than a side-trip from other, better-known South Coast holiday spots.

IF YOU GO

GETTING THERE:

– Moruya is located inland of the Eurobodalla Coast of NSW. It is 300km (about 4.5 hours' drive) south of Sydney, and 170km (2.5 hours' drive) south-east of Canberra. Regional Express flies direct to Moruya from Sydney.

PLAYING THERE:

– The revamped Granite Town jazz, food and funk festival runs from October 17-19. For more information or tickets, go to www.granitetown.com.au

– Check out SAGE Farmers Market at 3pm each Tuesday in Moruya's Riverside Park.

STAYING THERE:

– Moruya has a variety of accommodation types on offer, from caravan parks to hotels, motels, apartments and B&Bs. Farmhouse holiday rentals are also a popular choice. Check out the options on sites like www.stayz.com.au.

Email the Travel Weekly team at traveldesk@travelweekly.com.au

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