European settlers, a proximity to Asia and a rich and complex Aboriginal heritage are just three of the factors influencing Australia’s incredibly interesting local cuisine.
Multiculturalism, geographic isolation and clear, untouched waterways: Australia’s local cuisine is influenced by a variety of factors that work together to create some of the most celebrated food experiences on Earth. Dine on extraordinary seafood, imbibe on award-winning wines, raise your glass to an extraordinary view or try one of the world’s best whiskies: it’s all on offer in Australia.
Have a bush tucker dining experience
Australia’s Aboriginal people have a deep connection to the earth, and the native ingredients that grow from it. Bush food - ingredients found in the outback - plays a huge part of cuisine in the Northern Territory. Now, you can gain unique insight into local culture with the Mbantua Dinner Tour. You’ll head into the rugged West MacDonnell Ranges to savour a three-course dinner made from native ingredients. Explore the land on foot before watching the sun sink low, changing the colour of the surrounding rocks. Your dinner will be cooked using the beautiful flavours of burning Mulga wood, and you’ll learn some of the cooking techniques and produce of the outback. After you’ve indulged in the exceptional meal, watch the desert come alive with animals after dark.
Taste exciting flavours on Kangaroo Island
Kangaroo Island is known for its pristine landscapes and abundant wildlife, but it’s also a foodie destination unlike any other. After reaching the island either by flight or car and ferry, you’ll step into a gourmet escape featuring fine dining, local spirits and quality wines. Head to The Oyster Farm Shop, an iconic blue shop front, for ocean-to-plate seafood. Stop by Kangaroo Island Spirits to sip beautifully crafted local gins before enjoying a range of wines and ocean views at Dudley Wines Cellar Door. A tour with LifeTime Private Retreats will grant you access to The Enchanted Fig Tree, a dining experience within the branches of a 100-year old fig tree. No matter your tastes, there’s a culinary experience to suit on Kangaroo Island.
Indulge in seafood dining experiences
Australia is home to some of the world’s most pristine waters – one major reason why Australian seafood has a global reputation for excellence. If you’re keen to sample some of Australia’s best seafood, start at Sydney Fish Market - an iconic local attraction in Sydney where visitors flock daily to see the bountiful supplies of fresh fish. On Tasmania’s beautiful eastern coast, at luxury lodge Saffire Freycinet or Freycinet Marine Farm, you can even pluck your own oysters and eat them directly from the sea. Embark on Tasmania’s Seafood Seduction experience to watch your freshly-caught oysters, abalone and sea urchin transform into a seafood-lover’s feast. Or head to the Kimberley to experience the traditional hunt for mud crab with Aboriginal custodian Brian Lee.
Feast on Australia's best at food & wine festivals
Australians celebrate their local produce and world-famous wines with a wide ranges of festivals. One of these is the annual Western Australia Gourmet Escape in November. A highlight is the Gourmet Beach BBQ where you'll dine on the shores of the Indian Ocean and enjoy cocktails, canapés and local produce cooked on the fiery grill as Castle Rock Beach at Dunsborough transforms into a stylishly laid-back waterfront restaurant. The week-long Taste of Tasmania festival in summer is the ultimate way to enjoy the sunshine on Hobart's waterfront. Victoria is also known for its impeccable produce, with the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival raising a toast to the state’s culinary innovation.
Check out Australian food and wine events
Discover a multicultural culinary landscape
Australia’s culinary reputation has been built, in recent years, on its rich multicultural tapestry. Across the country you can find restaurants and experiences that cater to cultural needs, such as halal certification. From south-east Asian eateries and Middle Eastern-inspired restaurants to even the humble burger, Australian chefs are switched on to making their food accessible to everyone. Gazi, owned by celebrity chef George Calombaris, specialises in Greek street food, with wood-roasted meat and a typical Melbournian energy. At Efendy in Sydney’s Balmain, chef Somer Sivrioglu explores the food of his Turkish homeland. Both offer halal menus.
Get hands on
Food always tastes better when you’ve had a hand in creating it. And there are plenty of opportunities to get hands-on food experiences in Australia’s pristine growing regions. They present not only a great way to get a taste of rural life but the chance to meet farmers who’ve lived on the land for generations. Try picking a tree-ripened apple at Rayner’s Orchard in Victoria’s fertile Yarra Valley or plucking fresh berries from the bush at Hillwood Berry Farm in Launceston in northern Tasmania. In the Margaret River region of Western Australia, stay at Burnside Organic Farm, and wander around their organic vegetable gardens, picking as you go, or head to Manjimup and take the dogs out in search of the prized black truffle.
Live an island dream
Tasmania might be best known for its pristine wilderness, but it’s also home to some of the world’s best whisky distillers, including Lark Distillery in Hobart. You may also wish to discover Nant, located at Bothwell in the Central Highlands (an hour north of Hobart), or travel to Burnie on the island’s northern coast, where celebrated Hellyers Road Distillery offers behind-the-scenes tours. Tasmania’s success in distilling isn’t limited to whisky, either; with Hartshorn’s burgeoning reputation for craft gin and vodka. For in-depth whisky drinking experiences, head to Tasmania in August for Whisky Week, where you’ll learn the art of distilling, meet the makers, and of course, try the state’s best spirits.
Dine al fresco, Australian style
Year-round sunshine, picturesque locations and a laidback local lifestyle: it’s perhaps not surprising Australia has developed a strong culture of al fresco dining. As a visitor, you’ll benefit from restaurants in memorable places, where the view is often an integral part of the dining experience. In subtropical Brisbane, experience a cosmopolitan mix of eateries by the waterfront, such as Jellyfish, Customs House and Hello Please. In Perth, you’ll find breakfast on the balcony at Bib & Tucker or lunch overlooking the Indian Ocean at Odyssea. Alternatively, take to one of the many rooftop dining locations in Melbourne – Rooftop at QT might be a good place to start. You can also choose to break away from the city entirely, experiencing outdoor dining with an element of adventure via the likes of Fervor in Western Australia.
Discover Brisbane’s best outdoor dining hotspots