A summer trip to Tasmania is not complete without a taste of fresh, locally caught seafood. Take your pick from oysters, mussels, abalone, salmon and more but these are the top eight places to eat the king of them all, Tasmanian crayfish, which is in season from November to April. So head to Tasmania and have a summer of seafood!
Where to eat crayfish in Tasmania
There is no doubt that Tasmanian seafood delicacies are sweeter in summer. But, like every visitor, sea creatures love the warm weather and bright blue skies that summer brings.
The rugged Tasmanian coastline is an ideal breeding ground for crayfish, and you’ll find them at fish markets and served at restaurants across the island.
Their bright hues vary from deep purple and creamy yellow to reddish-purple and vibrant orange, making crayfish almost too pretty to eat. Only joking there! Tuck into that firm, white textured flesh and enjoy the slightly salty and sweet taste of freshly caught lobster.
Tasmania needs to sustain its seafood populations, so don’t take on the spiky task of hunting for crayfish yourself. Leave it to the experts! The best way to enjoy this highly prized crustacean is at one of the many fine seafood restaurants or eateries.
Preparing a crayfish can be messy and time-consuming. Give the cook a break and take the stress out of cooking by asking a local chef to prepare it for you instead.
The top eight places to eat Tasmanian crayfish
The Lobster Shack, Bicheno
The Lobster Shack on Tasmania’s East Coast is famous for its fresh lobster rolls. It was a must-stop on my East Coast road trip. They fill soft white milk buns, overflowing with creamy white lobster flesh. The mayo is slightly spicy, and the first bite is fantastic. Would I like to add some crisp iceberg lettuce? Well, just, maybe!
There is plenty of other fresh seafood to try here as well, so do your bit to support the seafood industry. TIP – Take a seat on the deck with a cold bevvy and enjoy the endless ocean views.
Hursey Seafoods, Stanley
Known for their fleet of red fishing boats, Hursey’s run a large wholesale fish operation and a restaurant with take-away and fresh fish sales at Stanley in North West Tasmania.
Backing onto the huge expanse of the Nut Reserve, the recently revamped restaurant has an iconic setting in Stanley. You can’t miss the large lobster on the roof and the expansive picture windows inside are perfect for soaking up the sea views and historic sights of the old Stanley port.
There’s a fresh new menu focusing on top quality local products and wild-caught seafood with a true “from our fleet to your plate” experience embracing sustainable fishing practices. Dishes include the staples of fish n chips and seafood marinara as well as fish tacos, pan-seared Striped Trumpeter, and fresh Southern Rock Lobster (Tasmanian Crayfish) served with Stanley saltbush butter. Hursey’s crayfish are kept live in tanks so they are available fresh all year round.
The restaurant restyling emphasises soft lighting and stunning moody décor to create a warm and inviting atmosphere in which to enjoy the fresh new menu on offer. Dramatic charcoal sets the scene for the sophisticated interior styling, with deep tones covering the ceilings and walls. There are quality modern and vintage coastal artworks mixed in with pieces from the family’s fishing history, think time-worn wooden oars, old port-holes, ships compass, old fishing charts.
The dramatic and rugged fishing images on display were captured by Steven Hursey of TVs “Aussie Lobster Men” fame.
Mako Seafood, Constitution Dock, Hobart
To nab a fresh cray in the city, try your luck at Mako Seafood. It’s a small spot on the water with some tables inside and offers takeaway.
The Fish Man, Constitution Dock, Hobart
The Fish Man is a Fresh Seafood shop situated on the water at Constitution Dock in Hobart. They sell fresh oysters, crayfish, scallops, mussels and a wide variety of fresh fish. You can also order deliveries to a range of set destinations.
Mures, Victoria Dock, Hobart
Mures Upper Deck is where you’ll find the luxe crayfish experience you’ve been looking for. Try a prime Tasmanian steak and cray in the ultimate surf ‘n’ turf or just go straight to the chase with a full Tasmanian southern rock lobster. It takes 30 minutes for the mornay sauce masterpiece to appear but it is worth it.
Ashmores Southern Fish Markets, Mornington
You can also go straight to a quality fishmonger such as Ashmores. It is a short 15-minute drive from the Hobart Airport and offers a wide range of peak Tasmanian seafood.
The Fish Van, Triabunna
Another popular stop on the Great Eastern Drive, The Fish Van at Triabunna sits just a few metres from where the east coast fishing vessels moor. Most of their stock is caught just offshore around Maria Island.
Triabunna is one of Tasmania’s busiest crayfish ports. Most of the southern rock lobsters caught here are shipped live to Asia. However, it pays to be a local, and the Fish Van usually has some for you to try. Their cray roll is the stuff of legends.
The Flinders Island Wharf
Located off Tasmania’s northeast coastline, Flinders Island is the largest of 52 islands in the Furneaux Group.
The Flinders Wharf opened in April 2019 and offers the best of tiny Flinders Island in one place. The Wharf is the key to unlocking all that the island offers. They really know what they’re doing with a cray here as the crustacean has been an island staple for centuries.
Travel here by air from Tasmania’s Launceston or Essendon in Victoria, or catch a ferry from Bridport or Port Welshpool (Victoria).
Do it like a local
If you are a chatty type, you can always do it like a local and befriend a fisherman at the pub.
Where else to dine in Tasmania?
Here’s a list that will keep you busy travelling all over Tasmania to find and enjoy these delicious eats.