Port Lincoln Tunarama Festival

Port Lincoln Tunarama Festival
Photo: tunarama.net
The Port Lincoln Tunarama Festival is an annual festival held in the city of Port Lincoln, South Australia. One of the festival’s main highlights is the Tuna Toss, a unique competition attracting thousands of spectators, locals and tourists alike.

Port Lincoln is situated on the shore of Boston Bay. The city is known for its burgeoning fishing industry, it claims to be the “Seafood Capital of Australia”. Port Lincoln can boast of a thriving aquaculture industry that farms a number of fish and seafood species, but before the advent of aquaculture the main fishing was for the southern bluefin tuna.

The Port Lincoln Tunarama Festival originated as a fair dedicated to the beginning of the fishing season. Locals came here to buy some fresh fish and have some fun. Over the years, Tunarama has grown to become one of the largest festivals in South Australia and one of the most anticipated events of the year in Port Lincoln.

The main highlight of the festival is the Tuna Toss. It is a fish toss competition that was founded in 1979 by a couple of members of the Tunarama Committee who decided that the festival needed a unique event that identified with the city’s already famous tuna fishing industry.

The competition was inspired by a method of unloading the boats used by local men. Men would throw small tuna fish up onto the waiting truck. The best throwers got more work in the port which meant that they were paid more. Over the years, throwing fish has transformed into a local sport. Originally, competitors threw the real fish which were classified as dead upon retrieval and too small for the market. A few years ago the real fish used in the trials were replaced by rubber fish, although the finals of the Tuna Toss World Championship still use the real fish.

Alongside the Tuna Toss, the Port Lincoln Tunarama Festival hosts a variety of competitions such as the Chevron Kid’s Olympics, the Westminster School Kingfish Toss, the One & All Boat Building Competition, the Drakes Foodland Slippery Pole Competition, the Pier Hotel Keg Roll, the Prawn Toss, the Prawn Peeling Competition, the Watermelon Eating Competition, etc.

Other events and activities featured in the festival program include the Quantastic Fireworks Display, food & wine events, live music performances on an open-air stage, amusement rides, merchandise alley, and more. There is a fantastic range of unique events for visitors of all ages with something to enjoy for everyone.

The Tunarama Festival is held on the closest weekend to the Australia Day holiday celebrated on January 26. It is a four-day event which attracts thousands of people with a wide array of unique events and some of the freshest seafood in the country.

Port Lincoln Tunarama Festival

Photo: portlincolntimes.com.au




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