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Behind the Scenes at the Market

Ever wanted to know where your seafood comes from? What the Australian seafood industry does to ensure your seafood is sustainable? Or where the top-level restaurants go to get the freshest of the fresh?

On a behind the scenes tour of SFM you'll have all these questions answered and more!

SFM is the largest market of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere and the third largest seafood market in terms of variety in the world.  Approximately 2,700 crates (around 50-55 tonnes) of the freshest possible seafood is auctioned each day through the computerised Dutch auction system to approximately 160 buyers.  The incredible variety of seafood is sourced from individual fishermen, co-ops, fishing businesses and aquaculture farms in Australia, New Zealand and the Asia-Pacific Region with over 100 species available to buyers daily.

Tours are conducted by trained SFM guides and take you behind the scenes to explore all facets of the market and its operations - including the auction floor.

Behind the scenes tours are held every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (except Public Holidays and between Christmas and New Year).

Places on the tours are limited (12 people per guide) and bookings are essential. 

In the interests of safety, the minimum age of tour participants is 10 years of age, this includes new born babies in carriers.  Please note, there are no exceptions.

Due to the nature of the environment and for safety reasons, SFM cannot offer wheelchair access to the auction floor portion of the tour.


Book Tours Online>

Or for further information call or email us on +61 2 9004 1108 (phone during business hours).

What you will experience on the TOUR

  • Explanation of how the Dutch auction and buying system works
  • Tour of the auction floor, viewing over 100 species
  • Witness Oyster shucking
  • Find out about sashimi, live product and our our specialist seafood retailers
  • Duration of a tour is usually 11/2 - 2 hours
  • A $5 SFM gift voucher is also included with adult tickets only.

Where and when?

  • Tours begin at 6.40 am sharp and will end around 8:30am
  • The auction itself starts at 5.30 am and continues until all product is sold. The volume of product varies each day and it may finish as early as 7.30 am
  • Meeting point is outside Doyle's Cafe.


  • $35 adult
  • $10 children 10-13 years old 

    Minimum age: 10
    An ATM is located just a few metres away if cash is required

Please note: Photography & videography is strictly not permitted on the auction floor.

What to wear?

Due to occupational health and safety concerns, all visitors to the auction must wear enclosed shoes. Those who do not wear enclosed shoes will not be granted access to the auction floor.

The auction floor can be wet and it is best to avoid wearing leather shoes as they tend to absorb the water.  It is recommended that you roll up your long pants/jeans.

School and Group Tours

SFM tries its best to accommodate school and group tours.

Small groups of up to 10 people may be accommodated on the regular behind the scenes tours, which may run on any weekday. Bookings for these tours are essential and are subject to availability.

Payment for all school and group tours must be made prior to the tour date. No refunds will be issued. Please ensure that the group arrives promptly by 6.40am.

Click here for information on how to get to Sydney Fish Market >