Australia’s Fantastic Food Culture Ranges From Ruggedly Authentic To Fine Dining

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  • Thursday, 25 Jun 2020

Dine with amazing views at Byron Beach Café, Byron Bay, New South Wales - photo: Tourism Australia.

After months of home-cooked meals and local take-out, set your sights on the best culinary experiences Australia has to offer. From catching your own food to dining in the wild, tempt your senses with Australia's finest and drink experiences and indulge in these on your next trip Down Under, when it is safe to do so.

Food from the source

Experience seafood in its most authentic form – straight from the water. Head to Tasmania and join Pennicott Wilderness Journeys’ Seafood Seduction tour to experience the ultimate seafood tour. Oysters are pulled fresh from the sea, shucked on board and your guide will also dive for abalone and sea urchin for a fantastic feast. Have your fill of rock lobster, mussels, oysters, salmon and more with a gourmet spread of fresh bread, salads and cheeses, paired with premium local wine as you dip your feet into the crystal clear waters.

Enjoying fresh seafood on the Seafood Seduction Tour, Tasmania. Photo: Tourism AustraliaEnjoying fresh seafood on the Seafood Seduction Tour, Tasmania. Photo: Tourism Australia

In Coffin Bay, located in South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula, Oyster Farm Tours will take you wading out into the waters and give you a hands-on shucking lesson and a taste of fresh oysters.

Open-air eating

Take in countryside views as you dine alfresco, metres from where your food grows. Plenty of pop-up diners not only use native produce in meals, but also set up alfresco spots in the countryside for an authentic dining experience. In Western Australia, stare up at the stars as you dine with al fresco dining specialists Fervor (which has locations all over the state) or enjoy a meal of local marron (a premium Australian speciality similar to lobster) on a stretch of secluded Margaret River beach.

Enjoy munching on fresh fruit from the native boab tree at an outback experience in the Broome holiday hub, all while you take in the beauty of the land.

Tuck into bush food prepared by RT Tours' Bob (Pernuka) Taylor. Photo: Tourism NT & Archie SartracomTuck into bush food prepared by RT Tours' Bob (Pernuka) Taylor. Photo: Tourism NT & Archie Sartracom

In the Northern Territory, experience bush foods and the culture that has used them for thousands of years through immersive dining experiences. One such option is a three-course meal near Alice Springs, hosted by Arrernte Aboriginal chef and host Bob Pernuka of RT Tours. Indulge in a delicious meal infused with unique flavours of the Australian bush, and spot animals after dinner while you marvel at the stars above.

A flourishing hub of Italian-Australian restaurants call Little Italy in Melbourne home, and it’s an excellent place for travellers and locals to grab some gourmet grub or casual chow. You’ll be spoilt for choice with plenty of restaurant and café options that offer coffee, pastries, pizza, wine and pasta. If it’s a nice day, have your meal to go and find a nice spot to eat in a nearby park.

Feast on a wide array of pastries from popular Italian café Brunetti, Melbourne - photo: Visit VictoriaFeast on a wide array of pastries from popular Italian café Brunetti, Melbourne - photo: Visit Victoria

The area is also home to 400 Gradi, owned by former world’s best pizza maker, Johnny Di Francesco, the first Australian to be accredited by the Naples Pizza Association.

Wine that’s uniquely Australian

For those who enjoy an alcoholic beverage with their meal or connoisseurs in search of the wines, a trip to Australia wouldn’t be complete without a taste of its homegrown wines.

Orange or amber wines could easily be mistaken for rosé, and the ancient winemaking techniques used to produce this unique taste have been rediscovered by winemakers. Put simply, orange wines are white wines made using the same processes as reds, with extended maceration (the period during winemaking when the grape skins remain in contact with the juice) resulting in a full-body, intense flavour that more closely resembles a red wine than a white.

Try amber and orange wines at Pink Moon Saloon, Adelaide. Photo: Josie Withers PhotographyTry amber and orange wines at Pink Moon Saloon, Adelaide. Photo: Josie Withers Photography

Made on a small scale, seek out small cellar doors in Australia’s wine regions for a taste of these unique drops, or head to bars specialising in boutique wines.

In Sydney, book a table at Ester where you can match their menu with up to 15 orange wines featured on their rotating list. When in Melbourne, check out Marion, which offers an extensive wine list, including some Australian amber wines, while The Moon in Collingwood promises an impressive wine list. If your destination is Adelaide, Leigh Street’s Pink Moon Saloon includes a great selection of orange and amber wines for you to sip on in its cosy interior which is just 3.6 metres wide, divided into three spaces.

Stunning seaside scenery

When it comes to views, Australia is blessed with beautiful beaches and crystal clear waters, making coastlines the perfect place for seaside dining.

Dine on delicious dishes at these gorgeous locations in Sydney - Icebergs Dining Room and Bar, which overlooks Bondi Beach, Quay near the Sydney Opera House, or Catalina at Rose Bay – while you breathe in the fresh sea breeze. Alternatively, visit the quieter but popular Balmoral beach for soothing sea views, and in Perth, check out the various cafes and restaurants along the lily-white sands of Cottesloe beach or grab some fish and chips and enjoy it on the beach while watching the sun set.

Seaside dining at Balmoral Beach, New South Wales – photo: Tourism AustraliaSeaside dining at Balmoral Beach, New South Wales – photo: Tourism Australia

The Burleigh Pavilion in Gold Coast, Queensland, is a perfectly picturesque spot and one of the area’s most popular choices for a meal with a view. The restaurant and bar serves lunch and dinner between two distinct zones, so customers can choose between a casual bite after a day at the beach or a fine dining experience.

Vibrant food markets

Discover a huge variety of delicious food, vintage clothing, treasures and trinkets as you soak in the vibrant energy at Australia's open-air markets, most of which operate on the weekends, and some during weekdays.

In Melbourne, the Queen Victoria Market is a must-visit venue, with more than 700 stalls spread across 17 acres. Known for its extensive range of food stalls, you can find the freshest meat, fish and vegetables, along with locally grown olives and cheese. Check out the grilled bratwurst from the Bratwurst Shop & Co, and the hot jam doughnuts from the American Doughnut Kitchen van.

Lose yourself in the maze-like interior of the South Melbourne Market, Melbourne's oldest market (in operation since 1864) that's known for fresh produce, spicy paella and French pastries, among others.

Eat Street Northshore, Queensland. Photo: Tourism AustraliaEat Street Northshore, Queensland. Photo: Tourism Australia

In Queensland, Brisbane's Eat Street Northshore has become a dream destination for food enthusiasts since its launch in 2013. Every Friday and Saturday night and Sunday afternoon, people throng this dining spot, an old abandoned docking site with over 70 shipping containers fitted out into food stalls. A foodie's paradise, you'll find everything from classic burgers and Aussie fish and chips, to snails in garlic and parsley butter sauce and Korean sliders.

For more ideas to help you plan your Australian holiday, visit:


Want some inspiration on whipping up an Aussie feast at home? Check out this video by Masterchef Australia favourite, Hayden Quinn, as he serves up a classic Sunday lunch:

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