Sydney Oyster Farm Tours, Mooney Mooney, New South Wales © Tourism Australia
Australia’s sustainable food and drink experiences
Dig in to some of the most sustainable ways to sip and savour Australia’s diverse culinary scene.
By Carolyn Beasley
Australia’s clean environment and glorious weather help grow some of the world’s most delicious and healthy produce. And the country's chefs, producers, farmers and Indigenous guides are all doing their part to make sure Australia’s food and drinks are easy on the environment. Here’s how to dine deliciously – and sustainably – in Australia.
Explore native dining
Isolated for millions of years, the Australian continent is home to many plants and animals that live nowhere else. Sustaining Indigenous people for millennia, Australia’s native foods are gaining wider popularity, from juicy finger limes to citrusy green ants. Choosing native ingredients is a great way to dine sustainably; it often involves low food miles and frequently provides jobs for Indigenous people who collect or grow the ingredients.
Find out where to try native ingredients
Forage for native foods
Prefer to find your own native ingredients? Australia is a great place to forage a feast. Foraging tours are as varied as the different environments in Australia and your location will dictate what you find. Some tours operate from the heart of our cities, while others are in the desert. Coastal foraging may include beach fishing, finding wild oysters or catching a mud crab with an Indigenous guide.
Find your feast on these forage a feast
Embrace plant-based dining
Some travellers choose to decrease their environmental footprint by consuming fewer (or no) animal products. Luckily, Australia has the freshest of farmed produce. Vegan and vegetarian restaurants are now found all over Australia, from cities to small towns, and some have been awarded with the highest of dining accolades.
Enjoy farm-fresh eating
Australia's farmers markets are a great way to buy sustainable food directly from the farmers themselves. Stock up on picnic supplies and sample the seasonal, local produce of the region. If you’d prefer to have an expert prepare your produce, try paddock to plate dining, where accomplished chefs are waiting to serve you right at the farm’s own restaurant.
Try these farm-to-fork dining experiences
Try our sustainable seafood
Australia’s clean oceans are teeming with a vast array of fresh seafood. Backed by research and strict fishing laws, we have some of the world’s most sustainable fisheries, with many certified by the Marine Stewardship Council. Australia is home to a vibrant, non-polluting oyster farming industry, where the delicious shellfish actively clean the waterways as they grow. You can taste fresh oysters and much more on unique seafood experiences across the country.
Seek out unique seafood experiences
Look for low-waste options
Another way to dine more sustainably is by avoiding food waste. ‘Nose-to-tail dining’ sees the whole animal being utilised in creative ways. For plant-based dishes, parts of the produce that would normally be discarded (like stems and leaves) are repurposed into tasty bites and even cocktails. With many of Australia’s top chefs advocating for the minimal waste approach, innovative dishes are appearing throughout the country.
Say cheers to sustainable drinks
Across Australia’s diverse wine growing regions, sustainability is being embedded into the way winemakers grow, harvest and produce the country’s top drops. Certified organic and biodynamic wines are becoming increasingly popular, and are said to be a pure reflection of the soil in which they’re grown.