Australia & NZ
Best Food Regions in Australia
There have been several monumental food revolutions in recent times, from the emergence of molecular gastronomy, Ã la HervÃ© This, Ferran AdriÃ and Grant Achatz, to the Slow Food movement of Carlos Petrini and Alice Waters. Moreover and implicitly, the awareness that to procure, cook and eat ingredients is a political act – with consequences up and down the line – is surely one of the most radical shifts in conventional, groupthink food wisdom.
To this we must add the rise of new culinary ambassadors, from Basque Country to QuÃ©bec, Peru to Vietnam. Without question, however, Australia has to rank as the country that has most come of age over the last two decades or so. It seems superfluous now, for example, to point out the parade of household-name chefs, Michelin star caliber restaurants (Quay, Attica, Tetsuya’s et al.) or panoply of world class products that come from Down Under. Nevertheless, it was not always so. If we do take Australia’s status as a quintessential foodie destination for granted, it’s in no small part because of these 8 regions.
Tasmania farm house – Photo credit
The vast wilderness of Tasmania is one of the most august UNESCO World Heritage Sites and a patent bucket list staple. Amid all that wonderful, wanderlust-sweet spot beauty, however, is a lot of terrific food. Thanks to a sunny, temperate climate, the island grows a spectacular array of fruit and vegetables, cool-climate wine grapes, herbs and produces quality beef, cheeses, beers and honey. Tasmania is the kind of place where you can hand-harvest oysters and abalone and, moments later, enjoy them with a brisk Sauvignon Blanc.
Western Australia’s pioneer wine region is a mini-mecca of fresh produce and viticulture, with the odd brewery and bush tucker station thrown in for good measure.
Another oenophile artery in WA, another premier food region. Where boutique wine producers flourish, sustainable, organic farmers usually follow in lock-step. Margaret River is no exception.
Organic and biodynamic are commonplace terms in the Great Southern region of Western Australia’s gorgeous South Coast. Requisite stops include the Albany Farmers Market, Debonnaire Olives and Over The Moon Organics.
The Hunter Valley supports a wide variety of agriculture, dairy and cattle farms, to help wash down all that Chardonnay, Semillon, Verdelho, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Make it a day trip from Sydney or crash at any number of superb Hunter Valley hotels.
South Australia’s iconic food and wine nexus sets up remarkably easy for epicures to enjoy. Choose the Butcher, Baker, Winemaker Trail, Cheese and Wine Trail or Para Road Wine Path for foodie heaven, Barossa style.
Tropical North Queensland
Proof of Australia’s brilliant divergence is on hand in Tropical North Queensland, where exotic produce blooms fatter and more luciously than anywhere else. A gourmet paradise, with Cairns as a handsome epicentre.
Stones of the Yarra Valley – Photo credit
We love Yarra bubbly, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay but the valley’s stellar food trail unfurls a lot more than grapes and vineyards. Get out of Melbourne and see for yourself, from farm to table.