Australia’s trendiest food and drink experiences
From foraging for your own dinner to reviving ancient winemaking techniques, 2020 is all about taking food and drink back to its roots.
Unpretentious, authentic and pared back – the latest trends on the Australian culinary scene can just as easily be used to describe the passionate Aussies that are leading the charge. Get a glimpse into how Australia is looking to the past for the latest trends.
Foraging for your own dinner
The rise of culinary tourism gives visitors an authentic taste of a place, with everything from urban foraging to oyster shucking. It shares the story of a destination by putting local produce in the hands of visitors, who can experience its provenance in a unique and intimate way.
Rob Pennicott, Pennicott Wilderness Journeys
"We are the only operator in Australia who has a licence to harvest wild abalone and prepare on the boat. Guests can touch and feel the produce, see it prepared and enjoy the freshest seafood possible."
Enjoy seafood straight from the water
In Tasmania, jump on board with Pennicott Wilderness Journeys for their Seafood Seduction Tour. You’ll shuck oysters straight from the sea and cheer on your guide as he dives for abalone and sea urchin. Back on board, you’ll enjoy an incredible seafood feast with the fruits of your morning gatherings. Rock lobster, abalone, sea urchin, mussels, oysters, sashimi, salmon – all paired with a gourmet spread of fresh local bread, salads and artisan cheeses, and matched with premium local wines.Show more
Harvest native ingredients
Winter in Australia is truffle season and the climatic conditions near Canberra and in the Margaret River region are ideal for growing the prized black Perigord truffle. Be led by highly trained truffle dogs through a forest of trees in search of the “black diamonds”. After you find the perfect truffle, settle in for a delicious lunch that showcases the delicacy. Tours and degustations are available at the Truffle Farm in Canberra and the Truffle and Wine Co. in Manjimup from June to August.Show more
Australian distilling is no longer a new trend, but shaking up the industry is a recent increase in trendy distilleries cropping up in urban areas. Now you can experience top quality gins, vodkas, whiskies and rums on a tour, tasting or masterclass without ever leaving the city limits.
The Australian spin on gin
Sydney started it all with the opening of Archie Rose Distillery, which was shortly followed by a spattering of others taking their own spin on spirits. Poor Toms Gin Hall is the quintessential experimental hipster outfit, and if you prefer rum over gin, you’ll find that in Sydney, too. Brix Distillers in Surry Hills creates spiced rums just minutes from the city centre.Show more
Whisky in the city
Australia hasn’t always been known as a whisky-making destination, but top-notch Australian producers are changing the country’s reputation. Manly Spirits Co. creates botanical vodka and whisky blends inspired by its beach location in Sydney. Melbourne’s Starward led the way in Victoria with its approachable take on a modern Australian whisky, matured for three years in red wine barrels; the result is distinctly Australian – whether served neat or in a cocktail.Show more
A shift to sustainability
With a shift towards zero-waste, a wave of new sustainable restaurants are curating their menus to make the most of their seafood, meat and produce. The best part? They’re doing so in a classic Aussie, no-fuss style that showcases the food at its finest – fresh, simple and unpretentious.
In Sydney, try St Peter for sustainable seafood served simply and beautifully, while Acre Eatery is a farm-to-table restaurant located just minutes from the city centre. Acre operates on an ethos of transparency, seasonality and traceability. Suppliers are local farmers and producers, and the menu is designed around what’s in season, meaning you’ll be served beautiful food that hasn’t travelled far to reach your plate.Show more
Queensland’s Sunshine Coast has recently been thrust into the foodie spotlight with a range of exciting restaurants and craft breweries popping up, many of which were showcased at the region’s inaugural food festival, The Curated Plate. Brouhaha Brewery, located in the rich produce hub of the hinterland, is focused on keeping their practices as sustainable as possible. After brewing, grain by-products are sent to feed Maleny Wagyu cows, which are then hand-selected for the Brouhaha kitchen (with offcuts even going to create a Brouhaha dog food). A local butcher also flavours Maleny Wagyu with Brouhaha Stout to make sausages.Show more
Uniquely Australian alcohol
With regions rich in flavoursome native ingredients, producers in Australia are crafting alcohol that tastes of the Australian landscape.
Orange is the new red (wine)
Orange, or amber, wines represent the resurgence of ancient winemaking techniques and lost skills that have been rediscovered by today’s winemakers. With its pastel shade, you could be forgiven for mistaking it for a rosé. It couldn’t be more different. In simple terms, orange wines are white wines that have been made using the same processes as reds – with extended skin contact. This results in a full-body, intense flavour that more closely resembles a red wine than a white. This makes them ideal for food pairings, and the novelty is taking the wine-drinking world by storm.
They’re generally made on a small scale, so head to Australia’s wine regions and seek out small cellar doors to taste some of these unique drops or quietly pass an afternoon in one of the hip city wine bars specialising in boutique wines.Show more
Creatively crafted beers
The craft beer scene in Australia has been growing steadily for a few years now, and as breweries perfect their craft it’s no wonder we’re seeing a rise in unique offerings. From sour and nitro beers to vegan brews, these trends are quickly becoming a hop topic in Australia.
Wayward Brewery in Sydney has had its 'Sourpuss' Raspberry Berliner Weisse on the menu for a while now, and you won’t struggle to find a seasonal sour or menu staple on the list at most local breweries. However, one of the biggest game-changers in sour beer has got to be Wildflower Brewing & Blending in Marrickville. The beers are barrel aged with wild yeast, giving them their tartness.Show more
Sleeping between the vines
While Australia’s wine regions are blessed with beautiful hotels and bed and breakfasts that allow you to spend a few nights in total luxury, the latest trend in accommodation is luxe glamping tents tucked right in the vines. Just under a four-hour drive west of Sydney is the wine region of Orange, where you’ll find cool-climate wines, fresh produce and clean mountain air. Stay at Nashdale Lane to wake up to misty views of Mount Canobolas before a day out wine tasting.
At Sanctuary by Sirromet you can stay amidst the grounds of Sirromet Winery just 30 minutes from Queensland's capital city of Brisbane, while a three-hour drive south of Perth in Western Australia you’ll find the Margaret River region. This premium wine region offers more than its fair share of great cellar doors to visit, so opt for something a bit different with a stay among the olive groves at Olio Bello.Show more