Australia & NZ

How Far is Too Far from the Ocean to Order Seafood?

It is a question I pondered recently whilst traveling to both Darwin and then to Alice Springs. Let me paint a picture for you, Darwin is tropical, green and set on the sparkling ocean at the top of Australia, therefore, in my mind lending itself to seafood (and cold beer). Alice Springs on the other hand is dry, rocky, in the centre of Australia and approximately 1500 km to the nearest Ocean.


I was happy to order South Australian Coffin Bay oysters in Darwin, when told they were fresh, new season and delicious. I didn’t hesitate, who could refuse when sitting in a restaurant overlooking the marina on a balmy night? For the record, they were indeed delicious.

The next week I found myself in Alice Springs, the centre of Australia. Whilst dining, I overheard a table next to me order Coffin Bay oysters. The waiter told the table they were fresh, new season and delicious (thumbs up to the SA Oyster Marketing Board by the way). One gent at the table proceeded to order a dozen, quietly ignoring the jeering and heckling from his companions. They, like me, found amusement in ordering fresh seafood whilst in the desert.

This got me thinking, why is my first reaction to never order seafood when more than 100km from the ocean? I thought back to the previous week, whilst in Darwin I had ordered the very same oysters. The source of the oysters was over 3000km from where I was consuming them then, however, as I could see the ocean I did not hesitate. In Alice Springs, the distance to the oysters source is half, yet I would not consider indulging.

Our surrounds and immediate environment sometime draw us towards making illogical decisions. So, back to my original question, how far is too far from the ocean to order seafood? I am not sure of the answer and it will vary from person to person. One thing I know for sure, always steer clear of the Curried Fish Special on a Sunday night in any restaurant, no matter how far the ocean is.

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