THINGS TO DO
Eat and experience
The 10 day Melbourne Food and Wine Festival attracts more than a quarter of a million visitors every year to Melbourne's backstreets, laneways, bars, restaurants, basements and rooftops. For almost two weeks the city comes alive with cultural and culinary experiences, and hosts an impressive line-up of local and international chefs and winemakers. Visit breweries and cellar doors, meet innovative food producers and taste the flavours of regional Victoria through the festival's signature events. Each year high-profile international chefs pair up with Melbourne's hottest restaurants to create unforgettable dining experiences.
Join more than 1500 people at the world's longest lunch. In 2014 the festival set a record with a 530 metre (1740 foot) long table, stretching along the main straight of Melbourne's Albert Park Grand Prix Circuit. This year diners can once again experience a delicious three-course meal matched to wines, designed by some of Victoria's top chefs.
Graze along the river
One of the festival's signature events, the River Graze transforms the Yarra River into a foodie playground, with more than 20 culinary hotspots dotted along the river's edge. There’s a great range of food and drinks on offer, as well as free entertainment for the whole family. Expect pop-up bars serving Victorian wines and beers, mini produce markets, fresh seafood and food trucks. Ponyfish Island is located smack-bang in the middle of the Yarra and serves up great beers and tasty share plates.
Sharpen your skills
A Masterclass series will celebrate the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, which will be released in conjunction with the festival. Revellers will have the opportunity to watch, taste and learn the secrets of some of the globe's top chefs. In previous years chefs have included Jamie Oliver, Nigella Lawson, Anthony Bourdain and Heston Blumenthal.
Head out from Melbourne
Don't limit yourself to the Melbourne city limits. The event extends into regional Victoria and gives you a chance to take in sights and food and wine experiences throughout the state. The Regional World’s Longest Lunches will take place in spectacular locations around Victoria, including the Mornington Peninsula, High Country and Daylesford, as chefs create tasty menus using local produce with matched wines.
Head to the buzzing Festival Hub located in the heart of Melbourne. Every year the festival designs a themed culinary playground to serve up great Victorian food and wine. In 2016 the Festival Hub payed homage to all things dairy, and featured New York's cult ice cream master Big Gay Ice Cream.
HOW TO GET THERE
International flights arrive direct to Melbourne Airport from many global hubs. From the airport it's an easy 30 minute taxi or shuttle bus ride to the city centre, where many of the festival's venues and restaurants are located. The City Circle Tram is a free tourist service that provides a convenient way to get around central Melbourne.