14 Unique Experiences for Foodies in Australia

As most would agree, great food and great scenery are often two of travel’s top priorities; thus, combining the two is an obvious match made in heaven. Enjoying a delicious meal is one thing, however enjoying it alongside some spectacular scenery or mixed with a wildlife encounter helps separate it from the standard restaurant experience.

Here are 14 food-incorporating experiences across Australia that are set to do some mix of making your mouth water, camera start snapping, and tummy start rumbling.

All of these food experiences offer an aspect of uniqueness and ability to diverge away from the normal breakfast, lunch or dinner dining experience; check them out below!

14. Breakfast with the Koalas

Where?: Various Locations

When?: Times differ

How much?: Child $29.50 – $55 / Adult $59 – $65

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To kick things off we pay homage to one of Australia’s most famous celebrities; koalas. Start your day with a delicious buffet breakfast with some Australia’s cutest residents at a handful of the country’s best wildlife sanctuaries and zoos. The food you’ll be served depends on where you choose to do your experience. For example, WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo serves up a hot breakfast buffet complete with English muffins, hash browns, bacon and eggs with your choice of a hot beverage.

Heading north to Tropical North Queensland, Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures serves their fan favourite breakfast looking over Hartley’s Lagoon. Something to note, Queensland is the only state where you can hold and cuddle a koala, just be sure to be careful with your clothing choice.

Other places around Australia that do their own take on breakfast with the koalas includes Paradise Country on the Gold Coast and Bungalow Bay Koala Village on Magnetic Island.

13. ChocoVino at Hahndorf Hill Winery, SA

Where?: 38 Pain Road, Hahndorf SA

When?: Daily 11am – 5pm

How much?: $21 – $26 pp

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Where?: Various Locations

When?: Early morning from dusk

How much?: $224 – $365 pp

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Hot Air Balloon floating over the beautiful Barossa Valley before landing for a delicious champagne breaky. Image: Barossa Balloon Adventures
Barossa Balloon Adventures floating over the beautiful Barossa Valley before landing for a delicious champagne breaky. Image: Barossa Balloon Adventures

For those looking for an added dash of romance, take to the skies in a serene hot air balloon ride before sitting back to enjoy a delicious prepared breakfast accompanied by a glass or two (or three) of champagne or wine. There are numerous locations in which to enjoy this memorable experience including the Hunter and Barossa Valleys, Cairns and Port Douglas, Melbourne, Canberra, Ipswich, Byron Bay, Gold Coast, Sydney and Alice Springs.

The choice of on what type of scenery you’ll end up seeing will depend on where exactly in Oz you choose to take to the skies. Port Douglas and Cairns will provide contrasting views of both the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest, Sydney and Melbourne will showcase the gorgeous city scapes; Alice Springs, the rugged red centre, and rolling vineyards in the Barossa and Hunter Valleys.

The choice is entirely yours, and capping things off with some food and bubbly is the ideal way to start the rest of your day.


11. Night Fire by Tjapukai, QLD

Where?: Cairns Western Arterial Rd, Caravonica QLD

When?: 7pm-9:30pm

How much?: Child from $75 / Adult from $123

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Food intermingles with culture wonderfully in this popular Tropical North QLD experience.

Immerse yourself in Aboriginal culture with one of the most popular cultural centres in the country; Tjapukai. Visit in the evening for a night of entertainment and food with this all inclusive dinner and show package. Be swept away on a journey through the Dreamtime with musical and dance performances including the Didgeridoo Journey, Night Fire Dance and Fire-making ceremony – but these aren’t the only highlights of the evening. You’ll also be able to enjoy a buffet dinner serving up a selection of Tropical North Queensland best and freshest produce.

Think fresh prawns, bush spiced scotch fillet, char grilled kangaroo burgers, Spanish mackerel and a tropical fruit salad, and your mouth will be watering before you even arrive. This is the perfect combination of entertainment and food, which just happen to be two of our favourite things!


10. Sydney Harbour Tall Ship Lunch Cruise, NSW

Where?: The Rocks, Sydney NSW

When?: 1:45pm-3:45pm Daily (bar Tues), 11:15am-1:15pm selected Fri & Sat

How much?: Child $45 / Adult from $69

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The view of the Harbour aboard Sydney Tall Ships' Sorren Larsen
The view of the Harbour aboard Sydney Tall Ships’ Sorren Larsen. Image: Brittney Deguara

There are few more desirable backdrops to a meal than Sydney Harbour, and with this you’ll be able to experience a cruise along the iconic waterway with a twist. Aboard an authentic tall ship from the 1900’s you’ll travel up and down Sydney Cove for spectacular views of some of the country’s most iconic man-made landmarks; the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. Sailing past the gorgeous Mosman and Watsons Bay precincts, you’ll enjoy sweeping views of the region while enjoying the fresh outdoor air aboard this open-air vessel.

If the weather allows you’ll be able to listen as the engine stops roaring and the sails pick up the wind to guide us back along the cove – a truly incredible experience. Pair this unique journey with a hot buffet lunch and you’ve got a match made in sightseeing heaven!

With options for vegetarians and guests with various other food allergies, you can expect a spread with a small selection of dishes and sides, providing you with more than enough food to enjoy. We recently jumped aboard Sydney Tall Ship’s Sorren Larsen for a journey along Sydney Harbour; you can check out our review here.

9. Cradle to Coast Tasting Trail, TAS

Where?: Northern Tasmania

When?: Anytime, shops operate regular trading hours

How much?: Free self-drive, food and drink at cost

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A glimpse into this Tasmanian food trail. Image: Cradle to Coast Tasting Trail

Pack your bags and your empty stomach as you follow the delicious Cradle to Coast Tasting Trail through this picturesque slice of Tasmania.

There are various trails to follow as well as a handful of accommodation options along the way, meaning you can spread this journey out over multiple days to conserve your energy and allow enough time for digestion before your next feast. The Launceston to Launceston Trail is an ideal day out for the ultimate foodie, with stops at a handful of local producers and stores; you can taste your way around while enjoying the spectacular countryside. This trail will take you various places including 41 Degrees South Salmon and Ginseng Farm, Three Willows Vineyard, Christmas Hills Raspberry Farm and Ashgrove Cheese to name a few.

Other trails include Cradle Mountain to Tarkine; great for lovers of beer and wine, Devonport Day Out; ideal for wine enthusiasts, MONA to Cradle Mountain (Route One & Two); for iconic stops and delicious food and drink, and the Spirit of Tasmania to Cradle Mountain; a family friendly journey following a small loop.


8. The Farm Byron Bay, NSW

Where?: 11 Ewingsdale Rd, Ewingsdale NSW

When?: Daily from 7am

How much?: Free entry, food at a cost

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The saying goes that “life is easier on the farm”, and that seems to be completely accurate on The Farm Byron Bay (except for all of the hard work put forth by the farm’s staff to keep things humming – good job gang!).

Following the mantra ‘Grow, Feed, Educate, Entertain’ The Farm is a hub for all things food and farm. Tour around their organic and sustainable farm before enjoying a taste of their creations that are almost too good looking to eat – we say “almost”, because they are undeniably delicious!

The Farm is made up of a collection of farmers growing and raising different produce and stock including flowers, cattle and vegetables. In terms of ready-to-eat food, you can visit Three Blue Ducks, The Produce Store and The Bread Social for a snack or full meal that incorporates remarkably-fresh ingredients.


7. Flames of the Forest, QLD

Where?: 29 Barrier St, Port Douglas QLD

When?: Saturdays 7:30pm – 10:30pm

How much?: From $189 pp

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Couples looking to get out and enjoy a romantic yet delicious evening out in Tropical North Queensland are in luck, as this experience nestled in a magical spot and bedecked with atmospheric lighting is truly unique.

Flames of the Forest’s Rainforest Dining Experience is set in the lush Daintree Rainforest under an ancient canopy and is decorated with twinkling lights and candles. Dinner is served under a marquee complete with chandeliers, candelabras and candles with free flowing wine, beer and soft drink.

The main drawing card for the evening, dinner, is spread out over six courses, to provide you with a taste of some of the region’s best produce iconic of the tropics.

Guests can enjoy such adventurous fare as seared kangaroo, smoked crocodile, coral trout or braised beef cheeks – the menu is filled with an incredible selection that is set to make the evening unforgettable.

6. Heli, Penguins & Dinner, VIC

Where?: Melbourne City Heliport to Phillip Island

When?: Wednesday and Saturday from 4pm

How much?: $1395 pp

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For the ultimate splash-out experience, those willing to splurge can embark on a wonderful blend of scenery and food on the journey from Melbourne to the popular Phillip Island with a scenic helicopter flight with Microflite.

The flight itself isn’t the only jaw-dropping experience for the event; once on Phillip Island, you’ll enjoy a guided tour up close to the penguins as they make their way home following a big day out in the water.

After you’ve enjoyed the Penguin Parade you’ll be whisked away to a delicious dinner at one of the popular restaurants on the island to enjoy a delicious meal with delicious views.

At the conclusion of the evening, you’ll climb aboard the helicopter once again to fly back towards the city for beautiful views of Melbourne’s twinkling cityscape. Can someone say “special occasion”?

5. Freycinet Marine Farm, TAS

Where?: 1784 Coles Bay Rd, Coles Bay, Bicheno TAS

When?: Daily; Sep – May 9am-5pm, June 10am-4pm, July & Aug 11am-4pm

How much?: Land based tour $50 pp

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Oyster shucking at Freycinet Marine Park. Image: Saffire Freycinet
Oyster shucking at Freycinet Marine Farm. Image: Saffire Freycinet

Seafood doesn’t get much fresher than that of the Tasmianian east coast, and as a result those who enjoy the bounty of the sea will be in their element here.

Located in the calm waters of the Freycinet Peninsula, the Saffire Freycinet Lodge in conjunction with Freycinet Marine Farm offers visitors the chance to don the waders and stand in the middle of the water at a private table setting. Visitors can also learn about the region and its environment and taste some of their prized Pacific oysters straight from the water accompanied by a glass of sparkling wine. This is an exclusive offer for guests of Saffire Freycinet, and if you have the chance is a must!

Freycinet Marine Farm also offers guests the chance to stay on land and enjoy a tour of the farm, where you can learn about the processing, grading and delivery procedures, watch a shucking demonstration and enjoy a dozen of fresh oysters and freshly steamed mussels.

Seafood lovers craving a fresh and informative experience can enjoy this tantalising experience for the price of $50 per person.


4. Exmouth Sunset & Whale Watching Cruise, WA

Where?: Exmouth Marina, WA

When?: Sep-Nov 4:45pm-6:45pm

How much?: Child $55 / Concession $65 / Adult $75 / Family $240

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The Exmouth region of Western Australia is renowned for showcasing some amazing marine experiences, however the ocean’s bounty also produces some outstanding seafood for consumption as well.

Visitors here can journey along the gorgeous Ningaloo Reef Marine Park with Ocean Eco Adventures to spend the evening with some of the tourists of the sea; migrating Humpback whales. Available during migration season, this is a top-notch tour that is set to satisfy all of the sense. In addition to the breaching and tail slapping whales that you will hang out with, you’ll also be treated to a selection of fresh produce on a gourmet platter.

You can try fresh Exmouth prawns and more as you watch these incredible creatures play in the water surrounding the boat. As an additional extra, you can also jump in the water for a snorkel (all equipment is supplied). A great option for those interested in whale watching, cruising and eating.

3. Great Barrier Reef Secluded Sand Cay Escape, QLD

Where?: Cairns QLD

When?: On demand; tide and availability dependent

How much?: First two passengers $649 pp, 3rd and 4th $219 pp

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Another high-end option for those in search of utter seclusion, heading to your own deserted island for a meal registers high points on the satisfaction scale.

This experience offers the chance to escape the bustle of the daily grind to a secluded sand cay within the Great Barrier Reef. A romantic setting for a romantic day in paradise, this Nautilus Aviation adventure is a must for those looking to combine picturesque scenery with a delicious meal. For a total of 2.5 hours you’ll journey from Cairns on a helicopter to a Vlasoff Cay, an uncovered sand dune in the middle of the reef.

You’ll be supplied with a gourmet picnic hamper to enjoy with sparkling beer and wine – making for an ideal combination. Additionally, you’ll be given snorkelling equipment, a beach umbrella, picnic blanket and cushions for your comfort.

An ideal getaway for a couple or small family looking to treat themselves, we all love a picnic but I have this feeling one would be even more enjoyable in the middle of the Great Barrier Reef.


2. Uluru Sunet & Gourmet BBQ Dinner, NT

Where?: Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, NT

When?: Daily, 75mins before sunset – 2.5hrs after sunset

How much?: Child $99 / Concession $178 / Adult $199

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Where?: Departs Franklin Wharf, Hobart TAS

When?: Daily 9am-5pm

How much?: $685 pp

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Video: Pennicott Wilderness Journeys

There’s an argument to be made that Tassie could be Australia’s foremost culinary hotbed, with not only its city-bound restaurants offering quality dining, but many of regional experiences taking food to a whole other level.

One such hotspot is Bruny Island just off the coast of Hobart; it’s an encapsulation of why Tasmania is known for its fresh seafood – and getting your hands on some of the best its waters have to offer is hard to match.

While a large focus of this experience offered by Pennicott Wilderness Journeys is sightseeing-oriented, it’s also not just a cruise to merely eat seafood – this adventure lets you pull your own meal directly out of the pristine waters.

You’ll be able to pull large, full oysters and watch as your guide dives for sea urchins and abalone all in preparation for your feast later in the day.

seafood
A bevvy of seafood awaits with the Tasmanian Seafood Seduction cruise.

Come lunchtime, the anchor will be dropped in to the calm waters of the bay for you to sit back and enjoy the views while your fresh seafood lunch is prepared and cooked on board.

An ocean to plate experience like few others, the meal is accompanied with a selection of local wines and beers to cap off the perfect lunch for the seafood-inclined.

An essential for those looking to combine sightseeing, dining and adventure – with Tasmania’s signature scenery as an inspiring backdrop.


Brittney Deguara

Experience Oz Travel Writer

Brittney loves travelling, so it's only fitting she's one of our travel writers! A go-to contact for all things travel in Australia and New Zealand, Brittney is always planning her next adventure away from the desk. If you have any story ideas or questions contact her at brittney@experienceoz.com.au

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