Around-Oz: Living the Dream!

Wynyard Fish and Chip Hot Spot - Wynyard
Northern Tasmania

It was one more sleep before we had to go on the big boat back across the creek to Australia! So we had no option, but to head north towards Devonport. Not wanting our Tassie sojourn to end, Bob decided not to go straight to the ferry terminal, but instead proceeded to Wynyard. There was method in his madness – he remembered a fish and chip shop he hadn’t tried. We had passed through this village early one morning and the shop wasn’t open. Being lunchtime, I could offer no excuses why we wouldn’t go there. Now in retrospect it will be one of the highlights of our trip…..not for the fish and chips (although they were excellent) but because we met Wynnie.

So the business part of this story first – Kevin and Veronica Pellas are the proprietors of Wynyard Wharf Seafoods. Their slogan is “The Fish and Chip Hot Spot of Tasmania”. Situated on the Old Bass Highway, their spotlessly clean shop is at the western end of the Wynyard Wharf. Across the road cum parking area is a reasonably sized grassy area with tables, benches and tall trees and of course a zillion seagulls.

There was a choice of four fresh fish types and deep sea trevalla was the selection, with a few chips, a chicko roll for Bob and half a dozen oysters (also for Bob). The oysters were excellent, not as large as South Australian ones, but more flavoursome, and yes they were beautifully fresh. The fish was cooked to perfection – I’m not a batter fan, preferring crumbed, but this batter could not be faulted, no milky bits on the inside. Chips appeared home made too and once again cooked to perfection. AS an interesting observation in Tassie you usually don't even get the option of having your fish crumbed.


Now for the special part. Obviously I went wandering in with a camera over my shoulder. “Did you see Wynnie?” asked Kevin after I placed my order. “No” was my puzzled reply “Who’s Wynnie?” “The seal” he replied “just at the end of the wharf.” Needless to say that sent me scurrying out of the shop back onto the wharf and sure enough I found Wynnie. Several shots later my number was called, so back into the shop. “Tell me about Wynnie”, I asked after telling Kevin about our Website and asking if it was OK to put him in the Best Fish and Chips Shops section.


Well it turned out Wynnie had come to the wharf some 2½ years ago, starving and had conned Kevin and Veronica to feed him their heads and fillet left overs. Each morning at dawn he is there and at dusk each night, he goes back out to the big ocean. Wynnie has become a favourite with the locals and visitors alike, except for a few mean people. In their boat, they would throw bits of fish, attached to a line, over the end of the boat to Wynnie. Thinking it was a food handout he would aim at the fish, only to find it reeled in. One of these mean people accused Wynnie of biting him on the arm, so the Wildlife people thought it safest for everyone, including Wynnie, to tranquilise him and relocate him elsewhere. When in a sleeping mode, he was weighed in at 320 kgs – not a shadow of the starving skinny seal that came to visit 2 years previously.


They towed him in a sling all the way around the west coast to the southern port of Strahan, where he was set free. Needless to say there were a few wet eyes at his departure, because Wynnie had become a friend to so many of the good guys. 23 days later, Kevin opened up one morning and there was Wynnie. At first he thought it couldn’t be – but it was – Wynnie had navigated his way all the way home – just like Lassie! Since then, the locals and visitors have warned off the mean people and Wynnie gets to spend his days lazing under the wharf in the clear waters, just waiting for Veronica or Kevin to decide it’s feed time. The seagulls soon flock around, but generally they are fed by the human clients with their leftovers.


Fortunately for us, Veronica gave Wynnie some lunch and we got to see the graceful arch of this large seal as he turned and swam out to where the fish heads and fillets were thrown. After his lunch, like every good child, he wiped his face, bringing a smile to all of us who had the privilege to watch. Kevin reckons Wynnie is like a faithful dog, when he comes to work in the morning, he is greeted by his seagoing friend and like all astute animals, he seems to sense the people who are friendly and those who are pains. He is quite territorial and very wary of little boys as they were his teasers and tormentors.


So when you are on the North west side of Tasmania, call and get your lunch or dinner from Kevin and Veronica. They have fresh, smoked and cooked seafood at realistic prices. Then you can have a wildlife experience with Wynnie, right on your doorstep.


This is a delightful spot with easy motorhome parking. We had a lot of trouble finding water taps in this area, however there are lots on the wharf. Lots of spots nearby for good overnighters.


Absolutely recommended for both the food and Wynnie.

Chrissy Eustace

Hema 54 D 5



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