Australians celebrate their local produce and world-famous wines with a wide ranges of festivals.
By Jac Taylor
In a land as large and diverse as Australia, your tastebuds can go on a wonderful journey, from the ripe mangoes of the tropical north to the cool climate wines of Tasmania. Locals love their food and wine, and welcome any excuse to take to the streets at festival time. The result is a fusion of food and frivolity.
The many flavours of Australia
FEAST OF THE SENSES, INNISFAIL, QUEENSLAND
Dedicated to the tropical and exotic fruits grown around Innisfail in Far North Queensland, Feast of the Senses also celebrates the many ethnic backgrounds of the people who live here. The six day festival includes farm trails, a market day, and an attempt to make the world's longest banana split, more than eight kilometres (five miles) long.
Key dates: 23-28 March 2017
DAYLESFORD MACEDON PRODUCE HARVEST WEEK, DAYLESFORD, VICTORIA
The stunning Macedon Ranges region, crowned by the popular spa and wellness town of Daylesford (just over an hour from Melbourne), takes great pleasure in celebrating its produce. Held every second autumn, the Daylesford Macedon Produce Harvest Week is a nine day festival of hands-on workshops, from sausage making to fermenting, and edible gardening to mushroom foraging. There are one-off lunches and dinners designed by local chefs and winemakers, market tours, and tasting plates offered at eateries throughout the region.
Key dates: 22 April-1 May 2017
MELBOURNE FOOD AND WINE FESTIVAL, MELBOURNE, VICTORIA
More 200 events take place in the giant Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, not only throughout the city of Melbourne but across the entire state of Victoria. Go on a dog-walking winery tour, try a AUD$40 two-course menu at one of more than 80 restaurants, and check out the events, drinks and art at the House of Food and Wine laneway venue in the city. That’s just for starters.
Key dates: 31 March-9 April 2017
TASTE GREAT SOUTHERN, GREAT SOUTHERN REGION, WESTERN AUSTRALIA
With fertile farms in the hinterland, a vibrant winemaking scene and seafood-rich waters and oyster farms, a visit to Western Australia’s Great Southern region is always a tasty experience. The 18 days of the Taste Great Southern festival include tastings, markets, workshops and long lunches across this visually amazing and vast area at the southern end of the country. Put aside at least a week to get a decent glimpse of its riches.
Key dates: 23 March-9 April 2017
FOOD WEEK ORANGE, ORANGE, NEW SOUTH WALES
Orange FOOD Week is Australia’s longest running regional food festival. It takes place in the food bowl around the town of Orange (FOOD stands for Food of Orange District), just over three hours drive north-west of Sydney. Celebrate cool climate wines, a 100-mile dinner under the stars, day and night markets, and the much-loved Forage event, in which you walk through vineyards with food and wine tastings every 500 metres. Catch the FOOD train from Sydney for the weekend, which includes breakfast onboard on the way.
Key dates: 31 March-9 April 2017
BAROSSA VINTAGE FESTIVAL, TANUNDA, SOUTH AUSTRALIA
The Barossa, near Adelaide, is one of Australia's most renowned winemaking regions. Over five days the Barossa Vintage Festival showcases the area with a series of events that range from playful (a beer versus wine degustation) to high end (the Barossa Grand Cellar Dinner). There's a great mix of accommodation in the area.
Key dates: 15-23 April 2017
NOOSA INTERNATIONAL FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL, NOOSA, QUEENSLAND
Join dozens of Australian winemakers and chefs, three festival villages and 10,000 guests at the stylish beach town of Noosa, 90 minutes north of Brisbane. The Noosa International Food and Wine Festival runs for three days and offers events from casual, sand-on-your-feet barbecues, beach tipis, street carnivals and markets, to chef-hosted dinners.
Key dates: 19-21 May 2017
THE TASTE OF TASMANIA, HOBART, TASMANIA
At the height of Tasmania's summer, the week-long Taste of Tasmania festival is the ultimate way to enjoy the sunshine on Hobart's waterfront. Dozens of stalls offer the best of local produce, accompanied by more than 100 street performers and musicians. Get some celebrity chef advice and perhaps attend a ticketed party or tasting. The festival coincides with New Year's Eve, adding to the atmosphere.
Key dates: 28 December 2017-3 January 2018
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