Inspiration Explore Grab Your Fork: 11 Aussie Food & Drink Festivals to Dine For

Grab Your Fork: 11 Aussie Food & Drink Festivals to Dine For

February 9, 2024
A persons arm places a plate of prawns and lettuce on a set table as part of A Table Somewhere festival, one of Australia's best food and drink festivals - Luxury Escapes

Noodles made with fresh abalone, pizzas piled high with truffles and tropical delights from the far north, Australian food festivals highlight the best and brightest of our regional cuisines.

Cooking shows the world over love to tell us how food brings people together, but that is particularly true of a good food festival. Lovers of food, wine and a good time flock to Australia’s annual celebrations of good food from the chilly delights of Tasmania’s Mid-Winter Fest in the Huon Valley to the indigenous produce on offer in Kakadu.

Scroll on for a taster of the country’s best food and wine gatherings.

Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, March 15-24 (Melbourne)

This is the biggest celebration of food and drink on the calendar in a city that knows a thing or two about wining and dining. The signature Melbourne Food & Wine Festival event, World’s Longest Lunch, is back with premier Melbourne chef and restaurateur Andrew McConnell (Trader House group: Gimlet, Cutler & Co, Cumulus Inc). McConnell will be celebrating amazing local produce like poultry from Aurum and pairing with wines from veteran Strathbogie winery Tahbilk. Joining the Melbourne chef on the MFWF line-up is Dan Hunter from Brae opening a one-night-only diner, Pam Yung from Indonesia’s Potato Head group and an AI-generated menu at Estelle. And that’s just for starters.

Canberra Beer & Cider Festival, March 16 (Canberra)

Jervis Bay Brewing Co, The Thirsty Devil Brewery and Stone Dog Meadery are just a few of the makers that will be quenching the thirst of the capital’s craft beer and cider lovers. Snacks are provided by a host of food truck partners like Nachos and Fried Goodness, Jacko’s Pizza and Jono’s Jerky. The festival first started in 2008 and has been growing in popularity since to become one of Canberra’s biggest foodie days out.

Feast of the Senses, March 25 (Innisfail, Queensland)

This festival has been the premier tropical food experience for the past two decades putting exotic fruits, warm-weather herbs and meat and seafood on the plates of visitors since 2003. There is a banana feast with rare varieties, market stalls and a cooking stage. You can be guided on walks along the area’s food trails and get a taste of local colour at Gone Troppo Trivia. The region truly is the home of tropical flavours in Australia and the festival is a sweet place to try them all.

Wild Harvest Seafood Festival, April 26-28 (Mallacoota, Victoria)

A blue net full of abalone in the waters of Mallacoota which is home to the Wild Harvest Seafood Festival, one of Australia's best food and drink festivals - Luxury Escapes
A blue net full of abalone in the waters of Mallacoota. Source: Wild Harvest Seafood Festival.

Making the most of the wild coastland of far-flung ‘Coota, the Wild Harvest Seafood Festival celebrates the lesser-known bounty of the sea with a focus on the abalone that the Gippsland region is famous for. The opening night Whelk-om dinner challenges celebrity chefs like Stefano di Pieri to put their spin on the local marine life, local restaurants like Lucy’s get in on the act and the popular market will be selling fabulously fresh produce straight out of the water. You might even see, or learn, a sea shanty or two.

A Table Somewhere, March 22-23, (Rottnest Island, Perth)

Chef Matt Moran adds seasoning to a metal bowl in preparation for the A Table Somewhere festival, one of Australia's best food and drink festivals - Luxury Escapes
Chef Matt Moran. Source: A Table Somewhere.

Taking place for the first time on Wadjemup/Rottnest Island, A Table Somewhere is a long-table, toes-in-the-sand dining experience that aims to highlight the amazing produce of the west. With a table set on the sands of Parakeet Beach, this travelling restaurant will set celeb chef Matt Moran and West Australian chef Brendan Pratt the task of curating a menu rich in West Australian produce, so grab a seat at the table while you can.

Karrimanjbekkan An-me Kakadu: Taste of Kakadu, May 24-26 (Kakadu, Northern Territory)

Not many food festivals can claim a history harking back 65,000 years, but Taste of Kakadu aims to shine a light on indigenous Australian flavours and produce from the Northern Territory. The program includes an open-air cooking class from famous foraging chef Paul Iskov from Fervor, food stalls at the Bowali Festival Hub and bark-painting and spear-making workshops.

Good Food & Wine Show, June 21-23 (Sydney)

Sydney’s celebration of food and wine takes place under one roof with suppliers manning their stalls and offering a wealth of free samples and great deals for incredible local produce. Come for masterclasses in food and wine pairing, whisky tasting or cheese tastings. You can also find cooking demonstrations from celebrity chefs like Miguel Maestre in the Good Food Theatre where they whip up some of their favourite recipes for the crowd.

Mid-Winter Fest, July 12-13 (Huon Valley, Tasmania)

Embracing the dark side of winter in Tasmania, Mid-Winter Fest takes place at the Apple Shed at Willie Smith’s Cider House. The festival plays up the pagan aspects with a traditional wassail where you make a lot of noise to awaken the apples and scare away evil spirits. There is also feasting, folk music performances, barrel loads of cider and Big Willie Burns where an effigy is set alight to get the party started Wicker Man-style.

The Curated Plate, July 26-August 4 (Sunshine Coast, Queensland)

A mushroom farmer extends a mushroom towards two male customers as part of The Curated Plate festival, one of Australia's best food and drink festivals - Luxury Escapes
Mushroom farming. Source: Visit Sunshine Coast.

Heroing the fresh, flavours that Queensland is famous for – ginger, sugar cane, mangoes and more from volcanically rich local terrain – The Curated Plate runs for 10 days and is packed with nearly 100 different foodie events. Expect unexpected lunch guests like local wildlife warrior Terri Irwin, events that educate you about the wealth of native ingredients and plenty of opportunities to meet the local farmers. Year round you can take part in the new Sunshine Pantry, a guide to the over 900 producers and makers that also ramps up during the festival.

Manjimup Truffle and Wine Festival, June 23-25 (Manjimup, Western Australia)

This three-day fest is one of the best ways to sample what many believe is one of the most luxurious produce offerings in the world. There are a variety of events that see the truffle region – Manjimup, Pemberton and Northcliffe – spring to life with truffle pizza nights, masterclass brunches in how to use truffles properly and truffle hunts organised by local farmers. The region is also home to boutique winemakers with plenty of cellar door activity over the festival weekend.

Tasmania’s Taste of Summer, December-January, (Hobart)

Taking place on Hobart’s famous Salamanca waterfront, Tasmania’s Taste of Summer brings the top picks of the Apple Isle all to one place. Stroll the stalls and taste produce from Tasmanian Oyster Co, Bruny Island Cheese and Beer Co and Fork It Farm. Make sure your glass is never empty with a Gillespie’s ginger beer, Plenty Cider or a craft brew from Shambles Brewery. You can also enjoy a meal from local favourites like Tummy Thai, Queen Sheba Ethiopian or Turkish and Iraqi wraps from Tantuni.

Looking for more foodie inspiration? Find out What to Do in Melbourne: 48 Delicious Hours in the CBD.

About Paul Chai
Paul Chai has been a travel writer for over two decades. He has dived with great white sharks in South Australia, walked the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival and stuffed himself with enough food and wine working on the Good Food Guide to make his GP shake his head. Chai is currently managing editor of Dream by Luxury Escapes.

Tabanan, Bali
Soori Bali
Celebrity-Favourite Oceanfront Bali Hideaway with Two World-Class Restaurants & Infinity Pool
3 nights from
Trending Articles
phone-handsetmap-marker linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram