If you dream of exploring Australia, make sure you consider exploring with all of your senses – most importantly, with your tastebuds! Australia is a vast restaurant, and the table is set – all you need to do is turn up, writes Callie Henderson.
The best way to get there is, of course, the open road. Taking a caravanning or motorhoming holiday will enable you to drive right up to the farm gate and cook up a storm in your own home on wheels!
Spring is a magical time of year for Australian produce, and the best way to make the most of it is to get right to the source.
In the heart of Queenslands beautiful sunshine coast hinterland country is the charming town of Maleny. Not only is the drive there a refreshing tour through rainforest valleys, but the Maleny Markets held every Sunday bear witness to a stunning array of locally grown and produced food, arts and crafts that bring to light the change of seasons perfectly. Spring means all the colours of the rainbow will be on show.
Byron Bay is a gorgeous place to stop in and sample the local flavours, especially if you’re doing a coastal drive between Sydney and Brisbane. The local farmers markets are bursting with goodies likelush cheese from the Bangalow Cheese Company, farm-cured pork, freshly shelled pecans, and blueberries by the bucket load. Don’t forget the Coopers Shoot tomatoes too – they are bursting with flavour. If you want to get closer to the ground, try blueberry or macadamia picking on one of the many farms in the hills surrounding the beachside hamlet.
Victorian producers pull out all the stops for spring, with food and wine events across the state throughout the season. For a very special treat after a drive through the Grampian region, stop in at Dunkeld for the Grampians Regional Producers Harvest Dinner. Held in early October, the dinner will introduce you to the best food and drink grown and made right in Western Victoria.
Toast the Coast is in its 13th year in 2014, with wineries across Geelong pulling out all the corks to make it a very special event for food and wine lovers. Delight your palette and revive your senses by indulging in the picturesque city surrounded by Corio Bay and the Barwon River.
If you want to be closer to the Sydney region, why not try out one of the many Farm Gate Trails, or even create your own. Over a week or two you can stop in at any number of farms and local produce markets, and experience the true meaning of ‘Farm Fresh’. It is certainly part of the adventure talking to farmers about the best way to prepare the produce you collect, filling your caravan with all sorts of tasty treats – or even indulging in a meal in a farm kitchen. September and October are the optimum time to do this sort of adventuring, as well as the best time to see newborn baby animals gallivanting around the fields!
A spectacular drive through the undulating plains west of the Great Dividing Range, The Annual Trundle Bush Tucker Day takes place every spring. Now in its 25th year, the day is dedicated to all that the Aussie outback has to offer, and is held at the Trundle Showground near Parkes. There is live entertainment, free bush tucker tastings, a bush cooking competition and plenty of fun for all ages – why not bring the younger generations and do a spot of Gramping in the area? Of course, an Australian fresh produce tour would not be complete without a drive through Western Australia’s famous Margaret River region. It’s not just produce that will attract your attention, but the regions spectacular natural beauty from the Jewel Caves to the glittering blue vista where the river meets the sea. Fresh cheese, wine, and much more will greet you at every turn of the winding coastal road – perfect for a week-long motorhome meander. Fulfil you long-held Willy Wonka fantasies with a stop at the Margaret River Chocolate Factory while replenishing your caravan kitchen stocks with sweet treats for the drive still ahead of you.[pullQuote]“Spring is a magical time of year for Australian produce, and the best way to make the most of it is to get right to the source.”[/pullQuote]
If you haven’t yet, consider hiring a motorhome and do Tassie the way it was intended. Our smallest state is a foodie haven, brimming with delicacies like fresh oysters, Tasmanian salmon, and market stalls with every imaginable condiment to keep your pantry well-stocked. Make sure your trip takes you to Oast House on the Redlands Estate where one of the oldest ovens will provide you with that quintessentially Tassie taste- scallop pies. Treat yourself to a whiskey tasting while you’re there – Redlands is one of only two paddock to barrel distilleries in the world!
Wherever your sense of taste sends you, always remember to make the journey there part of the experience. A visit to a small town bakery or farm-gate strawberry seller might just be the highlight of the trip!
For travel ideas, download the 99 Experiences e-book for free at experiencecaravanningandcamping.com.au – it is the ultimate travel guide for the Australian drive tourist. It will inspire you to venture where you probably haven’t thought to tread, and give you that final push to see that place you’ve always meant to experience.
Getting all your equipment for your next trip doesn’t need to be a drain on your back pocket. You can save hundreds of dollars when you join Camper Coupons (campercoupons.com.au), a discounts program that provides you with exclusive deals on the latest and greatest products and services for the drive tourist.
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