Pipi Picking At Venus Bay



Can you imagine our delight when we woke up and finally saw blue skies on the last day of our road trip? We couldn't let it go to waste, so we checked out early and hit the road to get to Venus Bay.

I had always wanted to try pipi picking, and it turned out to be the perfect weather that day. We purchased our 48-hour recreational fishing licence and a bucket at the general store and made our way to the beach.

We went down to beach No.1, and immediately we were feeling quite self-conscious because no one else looked like they were also there to collect pipis! There was a community event going on, so we double and triple checked the signs to make sure we were actually allowed to go pipi picking.

We didn't really know how to start. After a little bit of Googling, we thought we had to dig about 20cm to 30cm deep in wet sand that had bubbles or mounds close by. After 2 hours of digging, our loot amounted to a grand total of 4 pipis. We were feeling so disheartened.

Luckily enough, an officer from Fisheries drove past to check our licences, and also tipped us to go further up the beach where there were less people. We followed his advice, and while we definitely found more, it was still very much hit and miss. I took a rest and munched on some leftover snacks while hubby persevered with the picking.

Suddenly, as I was still catching my breath, he ran back to me, both fists filled with huge pipis. He'd discovered the trick! As we would soon find out, the easiest way to get them was to stand where the waves hit the shore, the deeper the better. All we had to do was to wait for the waves to recede and stick our hands in the sand. As the waves pulled the sand away, pipis upon pipis were uncovered. A fellow pipi-picker came by and told us we would get even more if we walked further up along the beach. She was right, the further we went, the larger and more plentiful they got. 

Following this rhythm, we filled our 4L quota in no time. At one point, hubby just stood within the waves holding the bucket, telling me, "Oh! I can feel three of them at my feet!"

The only downside to walking so far out was walking all the way back with 4 litres of pipis plus seawater. The scenery was amazing though. The rugged cliffs made me feel like I was in a game of 'Red Alert'. (Don't ask me why.) 

That night, we invited my family over for dinner and we had the pipis two ways, one stir-fried with XO sauce and the other in a simple ginger soup. We were so hungry and it was so delicious we forgot to take photos. We've decided to go back for more in the coming weeks, and I'm really looking forward to it!

2 comments

  1. Hi, when is pipis season (is there even such a thing?) and what is the best time to go? I've been trying to search these two up but couldn't find an answer anywhere. Would love to take my 2year old. I'm sure he'll enjoy digging through the sand.

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    1. Hi Rachel,

      I have read that pipi season is during months with an 'R' in them, so pretty much anytime from September to April, though summer is best. I found that it was best to go during low-ish tide (you can just google the times), if it's too high you won't be able to pick them before they get washed away, and if it's too low you'll need to spend a lot of energy as there is little current to help you pull the sand away and uncover the pipis. I hope this helps!

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