Aussie foodie hot spots
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Aussie foodie hot spots

Fancy a weekend away? Love your food and wine? Here’s a rundown of the best weekend escapes for foodies, all just a short drive from your capital city.

VIC

Daylesford and Hepburn Springs

This tranquil part of the world is just over one hour’s drive from Melbourne, and once you arrive the place is totally free of the big-city hubbub. This area has the added bonus of being not only a foodie’s mecca, but also a chill-out paradise with world-famous springs providing the ultimate indulgence for your weekend away.

Where to eat

The highlight of your stay will be dining at Alla’s restaurant at the Lake House at Daylesford, renowned as offering one of Australia’s greatest regional dining experiences. Owned and run by passionate foodie Alla and artist Allan Wolf-Tasker, this sublime restaurant is set on six acres of abundant gardens, which provide not only a beautiful view but make up much of the produce she serves in the restaurant. Just down the road, food and wine lounge The Perfect Drop is a fitting place to end the night.

NSW

Southern Highlands

Just over an hour’s drive from Sydney, NSW’s Southern Highlands makes for a very civilised weekend away, with loads of interesting foodie and cultural activities to keep you entertained. Its cool climate makes it the ideal spot to grow gorgeous produce and wine, and its scenery is reminiscent of England’s countryside woodland splendour.

Where to eat

Visit Cuttaway Creek Raspberry Farm in Mittagong to sample fruit that sits on the plates of NSW’s top restaurants. Taste cool-climate wines at Centennial Vineyards’ cellar door, just a few minutes outside the town of Bowral. Dine at Biota Dining, the current darling of the regional foodie scene, winning Regional Restaurant of the Year and two hats in 2014’s Good Food Guide. Its world-class menu is shaped by produce from its kitchen garden.

SA

McLaren Vale

McLaren Vale is the rock-star region of South Australia – surf, sun, art, vines and gourmet produce abound. At only 40 minutes’ drive by car from Adelaide, it makes for the perfect place for city slickers to escape the mayhem in a weekend splurge of foodie fun. The magic of the undulating rural landscape and the proximity to superb coastline attracts producers and artisans in huge numbers.

Where to eat

There’s a plethora of great dining spots in McLaren Vale. Choose from the Star of Greece, The Salopian Inn or Russell’s Pizza in Willunga and drink wines at the scores of welcoming cellar doors scattered around the Vale.

WA

Margaret River

Another wine and foodie mecca by the sea, it’s no wonder Margaret River’s popularity has been growing over the last few decades. It’s a three-hour drive from Perth, but totally worth it once you witness the juxtaposition of green vistas against blue seascape.

Where to eat

It’s not a Margaret River trip unless you drop into a few wineries – start with the region’s founding wine estate Vasse Felix (established in 1967) and enjoy lunch at its restaurant, which boasts incredible sweeping views of the vineyards. Cullen Wines is another must-stop with world-renowned wines, a great restaurant and the option to stay in the homestead’s guesthouse.

Tasmania

Huon Valley

For those Hobart dwellers who have already made their trip to MONA located within the Moorilla Winery in Berriedale, jump in the car and drive 40 minutes south to the magnificent Huon Valley, the island’s apple region. Be impressed by the natural beauty of rolling hills with a backdrop of glimmering waters. Breathe the clean, fresh air wafting up from the Southern Ocean and marvel at the community spirit of this region that seems to be alive and kicking from a bygone era.

Where to eat

This area is known for its apple and aquaculture industry, and one of the most well-known names is Huon Aquaculture. You can visit this state-of-the-art salmon farm at Hideaway Bay. Then drop into Huon Valley Mushrooms in Glen Huon to see white, brown, oyster and shiitake mushrooms in action. If cider’s more your style, visit Willie Smith’s, try the range and learn about the region’s fascinating apple heritage.

Feeling hungry yet? Time to book your next foodie getaway!