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Australia's top food destinations

Debbie Elkind
Sunday, January 1, 2012
Australia's top food destinations
Brisbane is developing a reputation for its fine dining restaurants that offer food of Sydney and Melbourne standards at a fraction of the cost.
Debbie Elkind
Aussie Food

Australia is a gourmand's paradise, with many exciting, vibrant food destinations to explore that cover the spectrum of deliciousness, from outstanding rural producers and regional restaurants to premium wineries, fine dining restaurants and artisanal producers.


Always a purveyor of excellent produce, in recent years Tassie has really made a name for itself as an exciting culinary destination with many paddock-to-plate experiences to be had.

Besides apples, some of the many fantastic foods 'the Apple Isle' is known for include exotic wild mushrooms, berries, farm-fresh cheeses, specialist honey, farmed salmon, and rock lobster. Other specialist delights are locally produced truffles, saffron and Australia's only fresh wasabi (Shima Wasabi). Cool climate wines and boutique beers and whiskeys are also a major attraction for alcohol aficionados.

  • Every December, hundreds of foodies celebrate the island's culinary wares at Hobart's Taste of Tasmania festival.
  • Buy stunning fresh produce direct from the farm gate from the regions' many producers.
  • Enjoy lunch or dinner at one of Tassie's many wonderful wineries, where you can sample both local wine and produce.
  • Experience wild trout fishing in highland streams or taste Tasmania's incredible locally grown oysters.
  • Many local farms and producers offer cooking classes.

Margaret River

The Margaret River region is a stunning pocket of Western Australia and a food lover's delight with over 200 wineries and many award-winning restaurants and producers. The marriage of world-class wines with exquisite fresh local produce makes dining out in the region an extraordinary experience.

The area's gentle Mediterranean climate and fertile soil have successfully produced many culinary treats, from freshly pressed extra virgin olive oil to artisan cheeses, beef, chicken, venison and olives, as well as sparkling fresh seafood and abundant produce.

  • Get a taste of everything the region has to offer at the Margaret River Wine Region Festival held in autumn.
  • The region was renowned for its dairy before the first vines were planted. Head to the Margaret River Dairy Company for free tastings and cheesemaking courses.
  • Held every second and fourth Saturday of the month, the Margaret River Farmers' Market is a great place to connect with local producers and sample and buy their wares.

Tropical Queensland

The tropical climate of Queensland has a lot to offer food lovers, from boutique wineries and organic wine and coffee to the bush tucker and indigenous foods of the Outback.

Other local specialties include ripe, juicy mangos and other tropical fruits, incredible fresh seafood and roasted macadamia nuts. Sample duck, slurp on fresh crayfish and lobster and revel in amazing lychees, Asian greens and perfect pineapples. Given the abundance of tropical produce, it's no wonder you'll find plenty of incredible Asian restaurants across the state.

Brisbane is also developing a reputation for its fine dining restaurants that offer food of Sydney and Melbourne standards at a fraction of the cost.

  • Many local farmers' markets across the state offer opportunities to sample homegrown and homemade fair from local producers.
  • Queensland's boutique wineries are developing a reputation for outstanding quality. Enjoy local crisp chardonnays or deep, oaky reds and buy direct from the cellar door.
  • There are lots of choices for those wishing to take a cooking class in Brisbane and elsewhere. Be inspired by the experts at the Black Pearl Epicure or learn about Thai food at The Spirit House in Yandina, among others.

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