Celebrate the joys of gastronomy and travel by planning your next trip around the food festivals of Australia.
A universal love language that sparks passion and creativity, food has a magical ability to bring people together. Every year, Australia’s culinary aficionados fill their calendars with incredible gourmet festivals, celebrating the country’s diverse range of fresh seafood, homegrown wines, artisan produce and global influences.
Whether you’re tempted by the farm-fresh tastes of Tasmania, rich wines of Western Australia, or Melbourne’s multicultural food scene, Australia has a foodie festival to tantalise your tastebuds. Here, we round up our pick of the country’s greatest gourmet events so you can plan your next trip accordingly.
Western Australia Gourmet Escape
Every year since 2012, WA’s renowned foodie regions have come alive with a calendar of extraordinary gourmet events, taking place across Perth, Rottnest Island, Swan Valley and Margaret River. The state’s reputation for fantastic local produce has attracted some of the culinary world’s biggest names, with David Chang, Nigella Lawson, Heston Blumenthal and Rick Stein among past festival attendees.
Events change every year but expect waterside gourmet BBQs, wine tastings, beachside parties hosted by the region’s best restaurants and showcases from big-name chefs.
Date for your diary: November.
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Tasmanian Wine Festival, Hobart
Food, wine and music come together to warm up a cold Tassie winter at this cosy event. Join fellow foodies at The Goods Shed, Hobart, to celebrate the island state’s fertile vines with food pairings, fire pits and live entertainment.
Participating Tassie wineries include Frogmore Creek, Tamar Ridge, Coal Valley Vineyard and Swinging Gate, who will all be putting their finest drops on display. Complement your favourite wine with Bruny Island oysters, local truffle and food trucks from Chan Bao, Masaaki’s Sushi, Wattlebanks and more.
Date for your diary: August.
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Melbourne Food & Wine Festival
A city obsessed with food, Melbourne's own food festival is an epic affair. From hosting the world’s longest lunch (which saw more than 1,600 revellers sit down to savour a three-course meal headlined by guest chefs Stephanie Alexander, Jacques Reymond and Philippe Mouchel) to food and drink masterclasses and exciting music and menu collaborations, MFWF doesn’t do things by halves.
An annual statewide celebration of Victoria’s food and wine industry, this is the ultimate showcase of local producers, regional fare and wines from the Yarra Valley, Mornington Peninsula, Rutherglen and beyond.
Date for your diary: March.
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Canberra Truffle Festival
Distinctive, decadent and utterly delicious, truffles definitely deserve their own festival. Celebrate their unique flavour and aroma in the Canberra region with cooking classes and demonstrations from accomplished chefs, and an extensive market selling beautiful truffle creations from local cafés, bars, restaurants and wineries.
One of the best ways to immerse yourself in the foodie fun is by joining a truffle hunt followed by lunch. Trail the trained dogs as they sniff out the elusive Perigord truffle, then sit back and enjoy a decadent three-course meal in rural surrounds.
Date for your diary: June/early July.
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Orange F.O.O.D Week
The regional gem of Orange has firmly cemented itself as one of NSW’s – if not Australia’s – most exciting culinary destinations. Every year, passionate gourmands gather to enjoy the region’s impressive fresh produce and cool-climate wines during Orange F.O.O.D Week, offering a program of more than 100 events.
What started in 1991 with a small group of passionate local foodies has grown to become Australia’s longest-running food and wine festival and the country’s first globally ISO 20121-certified sustainable food and wine sustainable event. Join the fun just a 3.5-hour drive from Sydney with exciting events such as dinner under the stars and ‘Forage’, a walk through vineyards with food and wine tastings every 500 metres.
Date for your diary: April.
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Taste of Kakadu
Take your senses on a three-day journey through Kakadu National Park with a celebration of cuisine, culture and country. Immerse yourself in the wonderful world of bush food with a range of events, from ranger-guided tours to canapé cruising and damper workshops.
Mix it up by sipping Kakadu-inspired cocktails and tucking into huge locally sourced buffets before taking part in cultural activities such as spear-making, bark painting and Indigenous art tours. Surrounded by the breathtaking landscape of Australia’s largest national park, this is one of the country’s most unique food festivals.
Date for your diary: May.
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Tasting Australia, Adelaide
Brimming with fresh seafood, local wines and artisan produce, South Australia is a veritable heaven for foodies. Discover what’s new on the menu during Adelaide’s premier food and wine festival, where world-class chefs come together to present a line-up of beer, wine and spirit tastings, meet-the-maker sessions and incredible dining experiences.
Join a black truffle dinner party, tuck into a Barossa-themed barbeque, learn how to minimise food waste, take a pizza crawl bus tour or go on a virtual safari through South Australia and South Africa – anything is possible at Tasting Australia.
Date for your diary: July.
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Noosa Eat & Drink Festival
Spend four mouthwatering days eating and drinking your way through Noosa during this annual celebration of all things food. On the menu are beachfront brunches, celebrity-chef dinners, cooking demonstrations, parties under the stars and so much more.
Guests are encouraged to wander through the festival ‘village’, stopping to taste the flavours of Queensland or watch renowned chefs cooking up a feast. Culinary icons in the past have included the likes of Diana Chan, Adam D’Sylva, Justin North and Kerrie McCallum. From Noosa beer tastings to the Hinterland Harvest Long Lunch and The Chefs Kitchen culinary presentations, this is a true feast for the senses.
Date for your diary: June.
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Please note, festival dates are subject to change. Please check the festival website for up-to-date information.
Featured image is courtesy of Western Australia Gourmet Escape.
Looking for more inspiration? Check out our gourmet guide to Melbourne's CBD.