You don’t need a reason to visit regional NSW. But if you’re looking for one (or many), make it the state’s destination restaurants. Think dining rooms that not only come with dreamy backdrops, whether coastal or country. But also deliver a taste of place, hero-ing local producers, growers, makers and bakers.
Many of the state’s top restaurants are committed to growing their own produce. Harvest is a restaurant, bakery and delicatessen in the historic village of Newrybar on the North Coast, which sources ingredients from its own gardens and surrounds. Chefs at Bells at Killcare on the Central Coast also pluck fresh produce from the on-site gardens.
Visit the Hunter Valley for the wines and stay for the exceptional food. Savour nuanced European-inspired cuisine overlooking a patchwork of fields at Bistro Molines – if you want to linger even longer, there’s a cottage to check in to. Head to EXP for a menu that is experimental and entertaining, but also delivers on flavour. Or enjoy pretty plates of mod-Aus fare with a view at Restaurant Botanica.
Lunch at Sister’s Rock, just outside Orange in country NSW, offers a palpable sense of place, both in interior design and food. The restaurant overlooks pinot noir vines on Borrodell Estate, in the foothills of the ancient volcano of Mount Canobolas. The Zin House and Pipeclay Pumphouse in Mudgee also sit on vineyards, which means you can sip wines from the estate while enjoying flavour-packed meals – both establishments farm and grow much of the produce on your plate. Further north, Graze Restaurant at the Willow Tree Inn near Quirindi takes home awards for its steaks, the black angus beef raised locally and dry-aged in house.
The culinary team at the Smokehouse Restaurant at Poachers Pantry, a 30-min drive from Canberra – smoke and cure proteins in-house, while herbs and veggies are delivered straight from the gardens to the kitchen each day. Further south still in the Riverina region of the state, Magpie’s Nestgrows almost all of its produce on its estate in Wagga Wagga – chefs even make their own olive oil.
The Three Blue Ducks’ paddock-to-plate concept has come to roost at the luxe Nimbo Fork fly-fishing lodge in the foothills of the Snowy Valleys. The team also have an outlet on The Farm in Byron Bay – be sure to book well in advance, as this place is seriously popular.
Destination NSW acknowledges and respects Aboriginal people as the state’s first people and nations and recognises Aboriginal people as the traditional owners and occupants of New South Wales land and water.