What’s the ultimate treat for foodies? How about a sensory trip across one of Australia’s food and wine trails, for creamy cheese platters, succulent produce and aromatic wines? Warn your tastebuds – an explosion is pending.
Picture a road winding though lush landscapes, dotted with vineyards, quaint restaurants and the ever-present smell of home cooked delights. This is what awaits the foodie traveller, on Australia’s tantalising food and wine trails.
Grampians Wine Region
1. Grampians Wine Region, Victoria
A destination that holds events called the ‘Seriously Shiraz Festival’ and the ‘Grampians Grape Escape Food and Wine Festival’ is tempting from the outset. Centred around the Grampians National Park and looming Mt Sturgeon, you’ll also find plenty of opportunities for hiking. This is imperative to make room for locally-grown olives, lamb and sheep products, nuts, herbs, Grampians Grand cheese and tastings at internationally acclaimed wineries.
Oyster Coast, New South Wales
2. Oyster Coast, New South Wales
If seafood is your weakness, you’ll find it among picturesque lakes, rivers and beaches, along 300 km of the New South Wales south coast. This is the home of the famous Sydney rock oyster, the Shoalhaven Coast wine region and farms producing a delectable range of cheeses and fresh produce. Best of all, the estuaries in the oyster-growing region are among the most sustainable in the world, so you know you’re investing in the environment.
Just a hop, skip and jump from Perth Domestic Airport, the Swan Valley Food and Wine Trail has something for everyone. With handy maps from the visitor’s centre and sign-posted attractions, the scenic drive leads you to restaurants, distilleries, breweries, markets, art galleries and wildlife parks. As for the wine, as Western Australia’s oldest vine growing region, you’re in for a treat with Verdelho and full-bodied reds.
Along the way, there’s plenty of country-cottage style cafes, for scones with lashings of cream.
4. The Gold Coast Hinterland, Queensland
Rainforests filled with birdsong, waterfalls, panoramic views and quaint towns characterise the Gold Coast Hinterland. As your eyes feast on the scenery, your tastebuds sing with cheese in Eagle Heights, coffee on Mount Tamborine, local wine at Canungra and honey from Mount Nathan. Along the way, there’s plenty of country-cottage style cafes, for scones with lashings of cream.
5. Blue Mountains to Orange, New South Wales
To really make the most of each season and the coinciding produce, a trip from the Blue Mountains to Orange is essential for all foodies. Start in the towns of Leura, Katoomba and Blackheath for fine-dining restaurants, hand-made chocolates and delis. Drive through the apple orchards of Little Hartley and get ready for wine-lover’s heaven in Orange, with trails that’ll keep your tastebuds tingling for days.
After all, on the way to enriching your life, those tastebuds deserve a treat too.
Nicole Leigh West
Nicole Leigh West is the author of fiction novel, 'The Gypsy Trail' and an internationally recognised travel and lifestyle writer.