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