Australia has become a gourmet hotspot thanks to multicultural influences and an escalation of cooking programs elevating talented chefs to celebrity status. Our very geographic location as an island nation with vast farmlands and easy access to fresh seafood helps put Australia firmly on the map as one of the world’s greatest culinary destinations. And as a result, there is a greater appreciation for culinary experiences that tease and tempt the tastebuds of food and wine aficionados.
Australia is a superb destination to explore with experiences for the outback explorer, nature lover, water baby or culture vulture but there is no denying that extraordinary experiences can become cemented in your memory forever when they are accompanied by delicious dishes. Though by no means exhaustive, here is a list of Australia’s most outstanding food experiences by each state.
Margaret River Winery Seaplane Tour From Perth
No expense is spared on this Western Australia adventure. Passengers are treated to panoramic views of Perth and the Margaret River wine region with a chartered seaplane flight from the Swan River. You’ll tour the township, visit three handpicked wineries, taste a series of award-winning drops during a divine cellar door experience, enjoy a winery lunch and gorge yourself silly on ridiculously good cheese platters.
This is a day of decadence with every whim catered for. The adventure is available on Friday, Saturday and Mondays and is a touch of luxury for the refined gourmet traveller.
Wild Rock Lobster Fishing with Ocean to Plate Lunch
Wild Rock Lobster is a local delicacy in Western Australia and on this Mandurah Cruise you’ll be helping the crew pull up the traps for an ‘ocean to the plate’ seafood banquet.
Cruising the high seas on a specially designed premium cray fishing boat with an upper sun deck and lower BBQ deck, kick back and enjoy the scenery or jump on in and enjoy the interactive experience plucking lobsters straight from the ocean. It doesn’t get much fresher than this. To wash it all down- soft drink, beer or wine is included with your lunch which entails seafood skewers, oysters, octopus, crab, prawns and salmon. Our tummies is grumbling at the mere thought of this seafood feast.
Uluru Sunset Tour with BBQ Dinner From Ayers Rock Resort
Tick two Uluru experiences off the list at once on a guided Uluru sunset tour with a BBQ dinner under the stars. Adventurers will be taken to a secret viewing area just in time to witness a spectacular sunset over the giant monolith when the colours are most vibrant. Sip on wine as the sun sets and the stars emerge in the night sky.
Without any light pollution, the universe is on full display and it is one of those moments in life that take your breath away. A gourmet BBQ dinner is included featuring kangaroo meat, steak, vegetables and salads, however, on this tour, it is less about Michelin Star food and more about the incredible location that you find yourself in.
Sounds of Silence Dinner at Ayers Rock Resort
What makes the ‘sounds of silence’ dinner a transcending experience is the Didgeridoo performances and a guided tour of the night sky by the resident astronomer who helps you to recognise the Southern Cross, Zodiac signs and the planets and galaxies far away. It might be one of the most expensive dinners you have in your life but the location, cultural performance and stargazing are an unforgettable experience and quite frankly, will be a highlight of your entire visit to Uluru.
McLaren Vale Wine Tasting with Chocolate Platter at Wirra Wirra
Chocolate and wine…could it get any better? McLaren Vale is one of Australia’s most prominent wine regions nestled in the hills near Adelaide and it is here that you will find the Wirra Wirra Estate.
Shiraz lovers may think they have died and gone to heaven during their special 90 minute McLaren Vale wine tasting that comes accompanied with a chocolate platter and a behind the scenes tour of the estate. Learn about the barrel ageing process and taste five Shiraz varietals and a museum wine during this winery tour. Harry’s Deli is also on-site serving up a South Australian menu featuring the best local produce to satisfy any hunger cravings.
Jacobs Creek Food and Wine Masterclass with Four Course Lunch
In keeping with the wine theme here, Jacobs Creek is a must-visit location in Barossa Valley. As Australia’s largest wine label, the cellar door is in demand. Treat yourself to a food and wine masterclass where it is practically guaranteed that your palate will expand with an array of perfectly paired food and wine dishes that compliment each other. The 2.5 hour experience is a remarkable experience and visitors will walk away with a greater appreciation for the wines created here in the Barossa.
Kangaroo Island Food and Wine Tours From Penneshaw
Just a short hop off the mainland southwest of Adelaide lies Kangaroo Island, a charming coastal getaway which acts a haven for wildlife and a hot spot for artisan products and food. Enjoy scenic beach walks combined with honey demonstrations, a gourmet lunch, wine, cider and spirit tastings at local landmarks on Kangaroo Island.
Adelaide Hills and Hahndorf Tour including a German Style Lunch
South Australia is full of surprises. From coastal getaways to world-class wineries and, would you believe, German settlements in the Adelaide Hills. Explore more of this vibrant region on a guided tour stopping in at local food stores like Beerenberg and Udder Delights for hand made jams, cheeses, Hahndorf Winery, Melba’s Chocolate Factory and a many more secret spots.
Queen Victoria Market Food Tours
A tourist attraction in itself; crowds can always be found muscling their way to the front of the deli counters to get their hands on the freshest cheese, sweet treats, meats, seafood or coffee at Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Markets. The hall is an overwhelming assault on the senses and a guided Foodie Tour is a great way to dive in and explore (read: taste test) many of the offerings from the traders who make this place a must-visit for Melbournites and tourists.
Mornington Peninsula Wine Cheese and Chocolate Tour
Sneak away from the city and you’ll find charming towns that skirt the Mornington Peninsula. If you love food, wine, cheese or chocolate then you are in luck with something here for both the sweet and savoury tooth. Sure, you could drive here on your own… but then you couldn’t drink or find the places that all the locals love which is why a guided tour is the best way to explore the Mornington Peninsula.
Melbourne Foodie Walking Tour
Melbourne has knocked Adelaide off the top of the leader board as THE food capital of Australia. Whatever your poison or even time of day, a hungry soul can always find a bite to eat or a place to drink in Melbourne. The culture is unlike any other in Australia playing host to world-class theatre productions, comedy festivals, vibrant street art and international art gallery exhibits, you’ve got yourself a city that stands in a league of its own. Taste your way around the city while experiencing some of this culture on a Melbourne Foodie Walking Tour.
New South Wales
Sydney Harbour Dining Cruise
The world’s most beautiful harbour shines brightly on a Sydney Harbour Cruise. The iconic experience is made all the more special when you enjoy a high tea, lunch or evening dinner. The competition in this arena is fierce with several operators offering a dining experience while cruising the Sydney Harbour. There is the tall ships, the glass boat dining, the buffet dinner showboats or a fine dining dinner cruise aboard fast and modern vessels.
Sydney Opera House Tour and Dining Experience
The Sydney Opera House is one of the most famous landmarks in the world. Discover how this architectural feat was built and the events it has played host to during a tour of the Opera House venues followed by a meal at the Opera Kitchen with multi-million dollar harbour views.
Hunter Valley Wine Tour with Cheese and Organic Vodka Tasting
Organic vodka, schnapps, gin, cheese and chocolate; it’s quite the combination but your belly won’t be complaining at the end of the day. A restaurant lunch is on the agenda too but really it is all about the joy in discovering hidden gems on this Hunter Valley tour.
Australian Capital Territory
Canberra Brewery, Winery and Distillery Tour
New to Canberra or perhaps you are keen to discover where the hidden bars and breweries are? The afternoon brewery, winery and distillery tour kicks off with a bang at BentSpoke Brewery for some hand made brews before skipping off to a local winery and distillery. No food on this tour but if you love a tipple then this is an ideal experience.
Catch a Crab Cruise
Queenslanders love their seafood and this hands on ‘Catch a Crab’ cruise is one experience the whole family can enjoy. Cruising the tranquil Tweed River, you’ll get to catch your very own mud crab, pump for yabbies and even hand feed the pelicans if you wish. The nature cruise is a lovely way to explore the Southern Gold Coast and enjoy a delightful Seafood Basket or Premium platter lunches are on offer.
Cultural Evening with Dinner in Tropical North Queensland
Embark on a journey through the creation of fire and experience the ancient traditions of the world’s oldest continuous living culture. The evening is full of colour, music, dance and Dreamtime storytelling unique to Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait cultures.
In Port Douglas, sit down for a rainforest dining experience under the stars at the Flames of the Forest while in Cairns you can enjoy a moving evening enjoying the Tjapukai Aboriginal Dance Show and Buffet Dinner.
Atherton Tablelands Food and Wine Tour
The Atherton Tablelands is the food bowl for Tropical North Queensland and you can tour and taste your way through the region on a guided food and wine tour. There is dairy farms, wineries, tropical fruit, organic coffee and chocolate samples galore so come with an empty stomach.
Gold Coast Waterways Dining Cruise
Behind the golden sands of the Gold Coast are tranquil waterways with the best views of the Gold Coast skyline. The relaxing sightseeing cruise runs from Surfers Paradise in the morning with a complimentary coffee and cake or you can opt for the delicious buffet lunch or dinner cruise with fresh prawns off the trawler and a rooftop lounge to soak in the views.
Oyster Shucking at Freycinet Marine Farm
Easily one of the most iconic food experiences in Tasmania is oyster shucking at Freycinet Marine Farm. Find a seat out on the deck and taste some of Tasmania’s freshest seafood including oysters, mussels, scallops, abalone, rock lobster and salmon.
The marine farm is located in the picturesque Freycinet Peninsula, around two hours drive from Hobart. If you want to learn more about the marine farm then pop on some waders and join Oyster Bay Tours for a one of a kind seafood experience or join a guided tour from Hobart to discover Tasmania’s stunning scenery in a Wineglass Bay and the Freycinet Peninsula.
Tamar Valley Food and Wine Tour
A tour along the Tamar Valley will make you feel like you are off on a European jaunt. The charming towns, stunning scenery, lush wineries and farms are just some of the reasons that it is considered one of Tasmania’s prettiest regions. Discover the diverse landscapes and local artisans and food producers to get a taste of the real Tasmania.
So there you have it. Extraordinary gourmet experiences can be found in all corners of Australia and they don’t necessarily involve sitting down to dine in a restaurant. For more information about any of the food experiences listed or for more inspiration head to Experience Oz to find your ideal culinary adventure.