Hayden Quinn's guide to New England
Australia's favourite adventure foodie Hayden Quinn gives his insider tips for New South Wales’ New England region.
"My top tip is to get a feel for the real rural life. Check out a farm stay, jump on a horse, and meet the animals."
Hayden Quinn is an Australian author, podcaster, TV personality and all-round foodie. He has appeared on TV series including Masterchef Australia and Taste of Australia with Hayden Quinn, and regularly creates recipes inspired by local Australian produce.
As a lover of both food and travel, Hayden has always been drawn to the most delicious regions of Australia.
One of his favourites, the New England region in central New South Wales, offers farm-fresh food, cattle stations, fishing, gem fossicking and more.
Here he shares his insider’s tips to making the most of this mouth-watering region.
Where to stay
"I would recommend people check-in to Waterloo Station up in northern New South Wales, west of Coffs Harbour; they have a range of accommodation options. When I stayed there I was in the refurbished shearers lodgings. It was such an incredible set up.
"There are seven individual rooms with ensuites that sit behind an amazing common room, which includes a massive dining table and the most spectacular fireplace."
What to do
"The New England region is famous for precious stones and gems, in particular sapphires. It’s an amazing experience to connect with a local fossicker and learn the art of gem fossicking. I spent some time with a local legend, Al Davis, and he showed me the art of digging for sapphires. I even came away with a few beauties myself."
Where to eat
"The New England region is known for its beautiful bushland and delicious produce, so it’s no surprise the region is a favourite for food-lovers. There are some great cafés, breweries and farmers' markets to visit while you’re in the area. Try to visit a historic pub, like the Tattersalls Hotel in Armidale. Follow it up with a cold beer from The Welder’s Dog."
What to buy
"There’s no better New England souvenir than something harvested locally. Swing past Rochford Organic Garlic just outside of Tenterfield and grab some of their incredible garlic (plus some other farmstall produce!)."
What to pack
"Pack your fishing rod and head to Deano’s Springwater Smoked Trout to try your luck in one of his trout ponds. If you don't have a rod, don't worry; Deano can lend you one. If you’re just looking for some of the best smoked trout in Australia, you can still swing by and stock up for the road."
When to go
"I think the ideal time to visit New England is during the winter months when the autumnal colours are popping and the air has a nice chill. It means early evenings by the fire and crisp mornings with warm cups of tea before heading out to explore!"