Throughout the year across Australia you’ll find plenty of food and wine festivals and other fun indulgences.
Australia is renowned for its fine fresh gourmet produce and wines of world-acclaim. Almost every city hosts a major food and wine festival every year. Visit during the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival to taste the flavour of autumn; or the Great Barrier Feast for Australia’s fresh seafood. Dig for truffles in Western Australia or Canberra. Enjoy vineyard concerts in the Margaret River. Toast the New Year with Tasmania’s finest sparkling wine in Hobart or the country’s entire rich harvest during Aussie Wine Month. All year, all throughout Australia’s you’ll find fine food and wine festivals and other fun indulgences.
Hamilton Island, Queensland
Hamilton Island’s highly successful Great Barrier Feasts includes a series of separate haute cuisine weekends at the luxury resort qualia. Held over four weekends throughout the year, they offer guests the exclusive opportunity to immerse themselves in an intimate ‘behind the scenes’ gourmet experience and learn directly from a world-class chef in a world-class setting. These gourmet weekends begin with a welcome dinner designed by qualia’s executive chef, paired with fine wines. Guests can join cooking master classes. A showpiece dinner allows guests to watch a world-renowned chef prepare culinary delights step-by-step via a live camera link-up from the kitchen.
Discover some of South Australia’s best wines matched with fashion, music and art, as more than thirty wineries open their cellar doors at the Crush Festival, the Adelaide Hills annual food and wine festival held over the Australia Day long weekend in January. The Crush Festival presents a diverse program which includes picnics, cooking demonstrations, live music, meet the wine makers lunches and dinners and fashion parades. Each of the wineries features gourmet local produce accompanied by entertainment ranging from jazz to Latin beats. The Crush Festival is held against the stunning backdrop of Mount Lofty in the Adelaide Hills.
McClaren Vale, South Australia
The Harvest Festival McLaren Vale is a celebration of the diversity of fine food, world-class wines, music and the arts from the McLaren Vale region. This annual event is about fun and family, with plenty of activities to keep children entertained: from face painting and craft lessons, to pizza making and pony rides. For adults there is the chance to meet celebrity chefs, see cooking demonstrations and join in cheese, olive oil, beer and wine master classes. A boulevard of stalls offers tantalising local regional fare. The day extends into the evening with musical performances in an open air concert.
Cellar Door Wine Festival
Adelaide, South Australia
Explore iconic South Australian wine regions and enjoy unlimited tastings from more than 150 wineries. Discover new favourites from South Australia’s top food and wine producers at Adelaide’s annual Cellar Door Wine Festival. Thousands of wines are showcased at the event, from internationally renowned brands through to niche boutique producers presenting their newest and finest selections. Sample wines from some of South Australia’s internationally acclaimed wine regions such as the Barossa Valley, Coonawarra, McLaren Vale and the Limestone Coast. Join wine-tasting master classes with the experts and indulge in a range of local specialty produce at the regional Farmer’s Market.
Tasmania is renowned for its world-class cool climate wines, beers and fresh produce. Festivale, an annual summer three-day celebration offers an opportunity to sample the very best of Tasmanian food, wine, beer, arts and entertainment. Launceston’s historic and picturesque City Park lends a unique ambiance to this outdoor event. Festivale is one of Australia’s premier events, attracting around 40,000 people each year. More than 65 stalls offer visitors the opportunity to taste and savour highly renowned Tasmanian gourmet food and wine amongst the colour and fun of family entertainment, dance, music and street theatre provided by Tasmanian and Australian artists.
27 February – 15 March 2015
From World’s Longest Lunches in breathtaking places to avant-garde tasting dishes from global culinary superstars, the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival has it all. Indulge the senses over 17 days as a diverse program of one-off events unfold throughout Melbourne and regional Victoria.
Devonport Food & Wine Festival
A delicious program of events makes March a great time to explore Devonport. The Devonport Food and Wine Festival is a month-long celebration of the region’s local cuisine and produce. Cooking classes, cooking competitions, exotic barbecues, family picnics, wine and beer tastings, dinners by celebrity chefs, indulgent lunches in vineyards and other special events are just some of the gourmet experiences on offer. Also in Devonport in March, the Taste the Harvest festival celebrates the diversity of produce available on Tasmania’s North West Coast. This family-friendly event features children’s activities and live entertainment, along with cooking demonstrations and local produce.
Sydney, New South Wales
Taste of Sydney is an annual celebration of the diverse and delectable restaurant and food scene in Sydney. The event transforms Sydney's Centennial Park into one of the world’s largest outdoor restaurants. Here you can sample tastes from Sydney’s culinary elite as Sydney’s latest and best restaurants and their chefs cook for thousands of food-lovers over four days. The event also features wines, champagne, beer and produce from more than 120 of Australia's finest boutique producers. Taste of Sydney also presents a line-up of innovative and interactive programs on cooking and dining as well as live entertainment throughout the festival.
1 – 31 May 2015
Aussie Wine Month puts the fun into exploring the country’s fine wine and food. With events unfolding around Australia, including vineyard concerts and bicycle tours of wine regions, visitors can head off the beaten track or let the wine come to them at a major city event.
Kangaroo Island Seafood ‘FEASTival’
Kangaroo Island, South Australia
The Kangaroo Island Seafood ‘FEASTival’ is a celebration of fine seafood and Kangaroo Island’s famous local gourmet produce and wine. A range of separate dining events are held over the week-long festival at stunning seaside settings around the island. Indulge yourself with degustation dining events, campfire cooking and seafood barbeques by the sea. There are also master class demonstrations and exclusive dinners with celebrity chefs. Each event provides a unique opportunity to enjoy Kangaroo Island’s natural wilderness, wildlife and lifestyle, meet the producers, and taste the organically-grown produce, fresh seafood, meats, cheeses and wines for which the region is renowned.
Orange, New South Wales
Each April, the regional centre of Orange in New South Wales plays host to ten days of divine fresh food and wine at the Orange F.O.O.D (Food of Orange District) Week . A short distance from Sydney, visitors can savour the region’s famous fresh flavours and meet the people who create them at more than 60 events. Have breakfast in the vineyards, wander the apple orchards or take a cooking class in one of the acclaimed local restaurants. Attend a degustation dinner or a masquerade party. When the official events finish, venture further and explore the area’s internationally renowned cool-climate wineries.
Adelaide, South Australia
April – May
Tasting Australia is an internationally successful food and wine festival held over eight days every two years in April and May. The program of events includes hands-on cooking classes, celebrity cooking demonstrations with local chefs and international culinary celebrities. Indulge in a long lunch in the vineyards or a degustation dinner prepared by different chefs. Visit farmers’ markets and join the celebrations along Adelaide’s picturesque riverbanks. Wine is also a focus of the festival, with wine regions such as the Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Clare Valley, Coonawarra and Adelaide Hills offering tastings, wine auctions and food and wine master classes.
Hunter Valley, New South Wales
This Hunter Valley event is a progressive-style lunch where food and wine lovers can wine and dine around a number of Lovedale wineries over the third weekend in May each year. Several Lovedale wineries team with local Hunter Valley restaurants for two days of fine wine, gourmet food and live entertainment. You can go from winery to winery while the restaurant serving up delectable dishes to match the premium wines. It’s a very popular event and requires a ticket to attend. Stay in artist’s cottages and unique bed and breakfasts or upmarket hotels and spa resorts in the Hunter Valley.
Noosa Food & Wine Festival
Based in Noosa on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, the Noosa International Food and Wine Festival is one of Australia’s premier food and wine events. The festival features a line-up of more than 200 leading international and national chefs, iconic winemakers, high profile food and wine media, restaurateurs and serious food lovers, who converge on the seaside setting of Noosa to taste, talk, debate, dine and indulge over four days. The festival features an exciting combination of events including long lunches, wine tasting, food trail adventures, concerts, degustation menus, guest chef dinners, produce markets and cooking demonstrations and classes by celebrity chefs.
High Country Harvest Festival
High Country Harvest is a regional celebration of food, wine and beer in Victoria’s spectacular High Country. Surrounded by the Victorian Alps and alongside the Murray River, this region is home to some of Australia’s finest gourmet producers, acclaimed restaurateurs and internationally recognised winemakers. More than 100 km of cycling rail trail runs beside clear rivers, through natural bushland and mountain landscapes, and past vineyards, hops, orchards and olive groves. This sealed, off-road cycling path offers the perfect link between culinary villages including Bright, Beechworth, Rutherglen, Milawa and Mansfield. Taste hand-made butter, artisan cheeses and mountain-fresh Australian lagers and ales.
Hobart and regional Tasmania
May – June
Since launching itself on the culinary scene in 2009, Savour Tasmania has evolved into a highly anticipated annual epicurean festival, celebrated by food lovers and embraced by Tasmanian food and wine producers. Savour Tasmania raises the profile of the Tasmanian food and beverage industry, promoting the state as a destination for unique food and wine experiences. Savour Tasmania invites a line-up of internationally recognised chefs to present a range of degustation dinners focusing on natural Tasmanian ingredients in world-class restaurants and venues. Savour Tasmania also includes the Tasmanian Red Wine Weekend featuring a range of master classes and wine tastings.
Darwin, Northern Territory
May – October
Every Thursday and Sunday evening at sunset from May to October, the Darwin beachfront comes alive at the Mindil Beach Sunset Markets. The market features a multitude of stalls with local arts, crafts and entertainment, as well as stalls cooking cuisine from around the world. The eclectic range of merchants includes masseurs, tarot readers, leatherworkers, indigenous artists, tailors and jewellers. Entertainment is provided by free live street theatre, magicians and an array of local and international buskers. After browsing the stalls, enjoy a picnic dinner on the famous beach and watch the spectacular tropical sun set into the Indian ocean.
Manjimup, Western Australia
Western Australia is the biggest producer of truffles outside Europe, and more than 70 per cent of the black truffles produced in Australia come from Western Australia’s southern forests region. One of the country’s most prestigious truffle events is held at Manjimup every year in June. Truffle Kerfuffle draws thousands of visitors to the region. Events include a day-long festival showcasing celebrity chefs and regional food and wine, culminating in a gala degustation dinner. Advance bookings are essential. The Australian truffle season runs from late May through early September. Manjimup is around 300 km from Perth in Western Australia’s southwest.
Canberra Truffle Festival
Canberra and regions, Australian Capital Territory
Late June – early August
Winter in Australia marks the start of truffle season in the Canberra region, one of Australia’s key truffle growing areas. Truffle growers, chefs, restaurants and food lovers from far and wide gather to celebrate the truffle season and the region’s highly prized French Black Truffles at the Canberra and Capital Region Truffle Festival. The festival includes truffle hunts, master classes and cooking demonstrations by renowned chefs, truffle inspired menus and tasting sessions at some of the region’s best restaurants and wineries. There is also the opportunity to participate in educational truffle growing experiences and expert talks on Australian native truffles.
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
Held throughout the month of August, the Fireside Festival is full of warming Southern Hemisphere winter experiences; from degustation dinners and wine tastings to performances. At various venues around Canberra, you can sip on exquisite cool climate wines, taste the delicacies from the region, meet passionate local artists, or just relax in front of an open fire. Some featured events include 100 mile dinners, featuring fresh local ingredients sourced from within 100 miles of the city; and wine master classes. Follow the Poacher’s Way just outside Canberra and you’ll find around 140 vineyards and 33 wineries dotted throughout the countryside.
Barossa Valley, South Australia
The Barossa Gourmet Weekend held in August in the world-renowned Barossa Valley wine region, is a true feast for the senses. The festival features more than 30 events over three days, including food and wine tastings, family fun days, special children’s menus and activities, artisan’s markets, live entertainment, degustation dinners and intimate gourmet events, cooking classes and wine master classes. The Barossa Gourmet Weekend provides a window into the rich food and wine culture of the historic Barossa Valley wine region. From big winery celebration days to bespoke, intimate events, the weekend offers something to suit all tastes and ages.
September – October
Melbourne dining comes alive with hot and spicy, sweet and sour and all flavours in between at Melbourne's month-long Asian Food Festival. The festival features a program of Asian-style cuisine events across in more than 50 restaurants across Melbourne, as well as Melbourne’s vibrant Chinatown in Little Bourke Street and a number of other venues. Celebrate Melbourne’s multi-cultural heritage with Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Malaysian, Thai and Vietnamese cuisines. There are Asian food themed cruises, progressive dinners, and special tours of the Chinese Museum, along with dance performances and other unique events. Chinatown lights up during the Mid Autumn Lantern Festival.
Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Brisbane
October – November
Throughout October and November, food lovers can celebrate Australia’s largest food festival during Good Food Month in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Brisbane. Good Food Month showcases Australia’s enormous range of culinary talents, with everything from fine-dining banquets cooked by some of the world’s leading chefs, to free, family-friendly outdoor festivals. These month-long food and wine events showcase some of Australia’s leading restaurants and feature the local produce of each State and its regions. Good Food Month is held in Sydney and regional New South Wales; Canberra; and Brisbane and regional Queensland in October; and Melbourne and regional Victoria in November.
21 – 23 November 2014
Margaret River, Western Australia
In just a few decades, the Margaret River region has asserted itself as one of the great food and wine destinations. No wonder the annual Margaret River Gourmet Escape is now on the calendar of many global culinary stars. Head to Western Australia’s south-west for a weekend filled with fabulous food, premium wine and a beachside surprise or two.
Join over 24,000 food-lovers in a celebration of Melbourne’s diverse dining scene held over four days in November in the grounds of Melbourne’s Albert Park. Melbourne’s best and newest restaurants create special menus of tasting dishes for the occasion, showcasing local seasonal and premium ingredients. Learn how to become an expert mixologist in a cocktail master class, or a sommelier in the Wine Theatre. Try your hand at a cooking class with a master chef. Daily lunch and dinner sessions last for 4-5 hours to give you time to sample dishes and wander around. Tickets must be purchased in advance.
Australia’s largest beer festival transforms the Hobart waterfront into a world of boutique and craft beer each November. It’s not just local Australian beer. Breweries large and small from across Tasmania, Australia and overseas attend to put their best brews on show. Princes Wharf is transformed into a waterfront beer garden for two days of live music and entertainment. Meet the brewers and get tips on beer tasting. Sample excellent craft ciders and local Tasmanian produce. Whether your interest is recreational or professional, the Tasmanian International Beerfest offers a great opportunity to immerse yourself in more than 100 boutique beers.
28 December 2014 – 3 January 2015
The Taste of Tasmania is one of Australia’s most popular food festivals. Stallholders use their creativity to present a variety of dishes such as wallaby burritos for those a little more adventurous to the family favourite, freshly cooked fish and chips. The festival also hosts a vibrant New Year’s Eve party for all to enjoy from the live entertainment to the midnight fireworks to welcome in the New Year.