May 25, 2020 / By Tim Falk
The NSW Far South Coast is famous for a lot of things — beautiful beaches, pristine national parks and charming coastal towns to name a few. But the region has also developed a well-earned reputation for its fresh local produce, which is some of the best anywhere in Australia.
From its pretty coastal estuaries to the emerald-green hills of the hinterland, this peaceful pocket of Southeastern NSW offers ideal conditions for sourcing or growing an array of delicacies and gourmet delights. We’re talking fresh seafood, fruit and vegetables, cheese, herbs, sauces and more, all of it produced by local growers and farmers.
And while you’ll find plenty of this local produce taking pride of place on the menus of the best South Coast restaurants, you can also get your hands on this delicious fare by visiting a local farmers’ market. So, why not give your taste buds a treat and check out these top markets on the Far South Coast.
SAGE Farmers Market
Every Tuesday afternoon in Moruya’s pretty Riverside Park, huge crowds of locals and visitors wait with anticipation for the ringing of a bell. This sound signals the start of the weekly SAGE Farmers Market, and it prompts a frenzy of activity as everyone tries to get their hands on some delicious local produce. The aim of the market is to help buyers access locally grown and harvested food straight from the producers themselves, and it attracts farmers and growers from a 160km radius.
Best of all, the list of gourmet goodies you can expect to find on any given Tuesday is a long one. Fresh local oysters, eggs straight from the farm, homemade preserves and sauces, mouth-watering breads and pastries, and more fruit and veg than you can poke a stick at all feature here, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Regardless of whether you’re looking for an afternoon snack or stocking up for a feast, you’ll need to get in quick to make sure you don’t miss out on the best bargains.
Where: Riverside Park, Moruya
When: From 3.00 pm every Tuesday
Moruya Country Market
Riverside Park is once again the site for another vibrant community market, this time on a Saturday morning. Moruya Country Market has a simple motto — locally made — which should give you a good idea of what to expect when you wander the 150-odd stalls that help create this popular weekly event. The highlight would have to be the abundance of fresh fruit and veg, which comes straight from the farm to you.
But you’ll also be thrilled to find fresh prawns and oysters, boutique wines, great coffee, and plenty of delicious breakfast and brunch snacks cooked right in front of your eyes. And because Moruya Country Market isn’t just about food, you can also browse arts and crafts, collectibles, handmade fashion and health and beauty supplies while you fill your belly.
Where: Riverside Park, Moruya
When: 7:30 am to 12:30 pm every Saturday
Tilba Growers Market
The charming little village of Central Tilba is a 20-minute drive southwest of Narooma. It’s a pretty spot with a great community feel, and the best time to visit is on Saturday morning when the Tilba Growers Market is in full swing. Held to support local growers and makers, the market features everything from free range eggs to jams, honey, fresh fruit and veg, and a wonderful assortment of homemade sweet treats. And because it’s held indoors, there’s no way wet weather is going to spoil any of the fun.
Where: Central Tilba Big Hall
When: 8am to 12.00 pm every Saturday
Bermagui Fishermen's Wharf Growers Market
Head a little further south and you’ll find yourself on the Sapphire Coast, which not only boasts unspoilt beaches but also fertile farming country. And every Thursday afternoon, in a pretty location on the shores of Bermagui Harbour, gourmet food lovers gather to stock up on the best local produce.
Wander among the stalls here and you’ll find freshly baked bread, delicious dairy goods, fruit and veg, herbs and spices, and a variety of sauces and jams. For a real treat, choose something from the range of home-baked cakes, slices and biscuits — the perfect late-afternoon snack to enjoy while you watch the sun set on another beautiful South Coast day.
Where: Bermagui Harbour
When: From 2:30 pm (winter and autumn) or 3pm (spring and summer) every Thursday
If you’re a keen foodie or if you just love supporting local growers, you’ll spend hours exploring the best South Coast farmers’ markets. And because you’ll be getting around to each stall on foot and getting plenty of exercise, there’s no reason not to indulge in a whole host of gourmet treats.
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