Gourmet experiences in NSW

Explore the gourmet bounty that rests on Sydney’s doorstep. Leave Australia’s largest city behind and you’ll fast discover that regional NSW is a bit like a Pandora’s box of culinary experiences. Think truffle hunts, oyster feasts, wine tastings, cheese making and more.

Oyster farmer tour guide operning oysters for guests to enjoy on the Oyster Tasting Kayak Tour with Region X in Batemans Bay

Region X, Batemans Bay

Savour seafood

Fun fact: New South Wales has an official Oyster Coast. When you taste the plump molluscs plucked from the waters here, you’ll begin to understand why this stretch of sea along the South Coast was bestowed such a designation. Head straight to the source at The Oyster Farmers Daughter on the shores of Wogonga Inlet, learn how oysters are farmed at Jim Wild’s Oysters in Culburra, savour seafood freshly shucked at Broadwater Oysters and Merimbula Gourmet Oysters, or get on board Captain Sponge’s Magical Oyster Tours in Pambula.

Couple enjoying freshly opened oysters with Jim Wild of Jim Wild's Oysters in Greenwell Point, Jervis Bay and Shoalhaven

Jim Wild's Oysters, Greenwell Point

In the other direction along the North Coast, things are just as briny. Visit Stones Oysters & Seafood near Taree, or Armstrong Oysters and The Big Oyster near Port Macquarie.

Peel things back in Yamba, where ocean-fresh prawns are plump and juicy. Or catch your own mud crab along the Tweed River. Then head inland to hook a fish at the Eucumbene Trout Farm in the Snowy Mountains. Here, you can haul in your own catch, then grill it on the barbecues at the farm for a pond-to-plate experience like no other.

Catch a Crab in Tweed Heads West, The Tweed in the North Coast

Catch a Crab, Tweed Heads West

Sip wine

From Australia’s oldest grape-growing area (the Hunter Valley) to lesser known (but equally tasty) pockets of grapes, NSW is dotted with wine regions. The state’s varying terroir result in distinctive drops: the Hunter is known for its Semillon and shiraz, Orange for delicious chardonnay and pinot noir, the Canberra District for riesling and sangiovese.

Sister's Rock Restaurant - Borrodell Vineyard - Canobolas

Sister's Rock Restaurant at Borrodell Vineyard, Canobolas

There’s nothing more enjoyable than sipping at your own pace in a cellar door. But if you want to elevate your knowledge, tutored tastings, wine schools, and hosted regional tours all take a deep dive into the industry – with plenty of palate-complementing cheese and charcuterie on the side, of course.

Foodscape Tours will introduce you to the South Coast’s food and wine scene, visiting specialty retailers, vineyards, farms, and growers. The company’s ‘Bite around Berry’ walking tour is an insider’s itinerary – a delightful way to track down the food experiences that are creating a buzz – and the ‘Winescape Tour’ visits up to four regional wineries.

Chocolate Tasting at Foodscape Tours

Foodscape Tours, Berry

Inhale truffles

Black truffles may have begun their Australia odyssey in Tasmania, but today these prized fungi flourish across New South Wales. During the autumn harvest season, you’ll find them on state-wide restaurant menus. But nothing beats getting your hands dirty and helping find these nuggets – with a little help from a truffle dog.  

Pull on your gumboots and go on a hunt at Macenmist Black Truffles and Wines near Cooma, Terra Preta Truffles in Braidwood, Lowes Mount Truffiere Oberon in the Blue Mountains, Tarago Truffles in Goulburn and Robertson Truffles outside Berrima. Gumboots remain the dress code at the annual Black Tie and Gumboot Truffle Hunt & Dinner at Borrodell Estate near Mount Canobolas, although if you don’t pair your footwear with a ballgown or bow tie, you’ll look a little out of place.

The good news? After you’ve foraged under elm trees, you’ll sit down to a meal celebrating your haul.

Owners Peter and Kate Marshall searching for truffles with their dog at Terra Preta Truffles, Braidwood

Terra Preta Truffles, Braidwood

Devour meat & charcuterie

Gone are the days when we didn’t care where our food came from – more than ever, there’s a curiosity about how veggies are grown, and how animals are raised. New South Wales’ purveyors are happy to help out. Learn more about ethical and sustainable meat production on Maugers Paddock to Plate Tours, hands-on agritourism experiences in Robertson in the Southern Highlands. Learn to make chorizo, salami and more at Pork Ewe Deli in Newcastle, and embrace the rich legacy of Italian-Australian heritage at the annual Festa delle Salsicce gathering in Griffith. Yes, that translates to “Festival of the Sausage.” Such fun!

Charcuterie Selection at Pork Ewe Deli in Mayfield, Newcastle

Pork Ewe Deli, Newcastle

Chomp on cheese

Cheese dreams are real in regional NSW. Happy free-range cows, goats and sheep make delicious dairy products, like a bitey mature-aged cheddar, robust brie and Persian fetta. These moulds and so much more are on the menu at Tilba Real Dairy, sitting pretty in the lovely heritage area of Tilba in Eurobodalla on the NSW South Coast.

Beautiful Jersey triple cream brie in Central Tilba, Batemans Bay & Eurobodalla in the  South Coast

Tilba RealCentral Tilba

Complete your Hunter Valley hamper (you already have the wine) at the Hunter Valley Cheese Company. This is like a shrine to fromage, with both local and imported cheeses sold in glorious hunks and slices. Every accompaniment under the sun is on offer here, from gourmet crackers to pickles and olives, charcuterie, and those picnic essentials you may have forgotten at home. Nearby, Binnorie Dairy makes more-ish triple-cream brie, labna and marinated feta, while Hunter Belle Cheese in Muswellbrook makes just about every fromage under the sun, which you can sample at the on-site cafe.

Binnorie Dairy in Lovedale - Hunter Valley - Hunter

Binnorie Dairy, Lovedale

Venture south to Pecora Dairy Cheese Shop in Robertson, which makes a mean blue, curd and yoghurt – the artisan cheeses here are all crafted from sheep’s milk. Meanwhile, Coolamon Cheese Co uses milk from local Riverina cows raised on the lush banks of the Murrumbidgee River. Try the double brie with housemade jams and jellies. 

Coolamon Cheese Co. in Coolamon,  Wagga Wagga & Riverina in Country NSW

Coolamon Cheese Co., Coolamon