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When you think of Australian food, barbecue may be the first thing that comes to mind. Yet with vast expanses and diverse microclimates, Australia is home to many unique agricultural regions. Australia’s farmers and gourmet food producers dot the landscape, and many open their doors to visitors. For a special (and delicious) insight into Australia’s fresh produce, food, and wine, you can take a trip along one of the country’s food trails. Food trails map out the local producers in a particular region; allowing visitors to make their way leisurely from café to farm stand to sample the area’s food and wine, right from the source.
Barossa Butcher, Baker, Winemaker Trail
The Barossa Valley is one of Australia’s most well-known wine producing regions, with its lush greenery and mild climate. Driving along this food trail and enjoying the scenery makes for a delightful road trip in itself, but there are many stops to make along the way. You can start at the Barossa Visitor Information Centre to pick up a souvenir hamper and pick up a trail voucher book to use along the way. Notable vineyards in the area include Barossa Valley Estate, Murray Street, Moorooroo Park, and the world-famous Jacob’s Creek. In addition to the wineries, enjoy top gourmet treats from local producers including Angas Park Fruits, Barossa Olives, and Barossa Valley Cheese Company to round out the perfect picnic.
The Hawkesbury Harvest Farm Gate Trail Map covers a wide range of farmland to the north of Sydney, skirting through Hawkesbury and Picton. There are nine pick-your-own farms to explore at your leisure, where you can select your own mandarins, chestnuts, plums, strawberries, and other seasonal fruits. Farmer’s markets are held on the 1st Saturday of every month in Penrith if you want to skip the road trip and see the best of what the 44 farms in the area have to offer in one central location.
Hahndorf Food and Wine Trail
One of Australia’s most sought food trails is located just outside of Adelaide, surrounding the German settlement of Hahndorf. This perfectly preserved German-styled village will make you feel like you’ve wandered into Bavaria, with its rolling vineyards, pastures, and bushland to explore. The meandering roads of the Adelaide Hills are a delight to explore in a rented convertible or high-speed KTM motorcycles for the more daring. Be sure to stop at the Udder Delights cheese cellar, and pick up some smoked seafood at the local favourite Harris Smokehouse. There are a number of cellar doors offering wine tastings on this trail as well, alongside traditional German pastries and sausages.
Taste of the Tropics
Launched in 2001, the Taste of the Tropics Food Trail covers the tropical northern region of Queensland, where the local produce varies quite considerably from what’s grown in the more Mediterranean climate of the Barossa Valley or Adelaide. You can enjoy locally grown mangos, lychees, persimmon, and jackfruit; either fresh or cooked into exotic meals at the local restaurants along the trail.
Enjoying Australia’s food trails not only helps you gain a sense of the country’s diverse range of gourmet products and freshly grown produce, but it also helps small farmers stay afloat. There has been a growing interest in recent years in the culinary traditions of Australia, and today its food and wine industry is a major draw for many visitors from around the world.