Australia is a foodie haven, with some of the best restaurants in the world, incredible local produce and powerhouse chefs.
Our go-to guide for the best foodie experiences in Australia will help you navigate everything delicious on offer.
From the country to the city, there’s a whole world of gourmet delights to explore. Enjoy sipping wine among breathtaking vineyards, festivals that celebrate fresh, seasonal produce and everything from fine dining experiences to plucking fresh oysters straight from the sea.
Opening image: A chef frying food at a restaurant in Albany, Western Australia. Image: Tourism WA.
Melbourne is known as an incredible foodie destination, with cool rooftop bars, cutting-edge restaurants and local cafes that take their coffee very, very seriously. Our five favourite eateries – from the buzzing Bangkok vibes of Khaosan Lane to French fine dining with a twist at Poodle – will be sure to get your mouth watering.
Make sure to taste your way through Adelaide’s Central Market, a 150-year-old institution with over 200 stalls. It’s Australia’s largest fresh-produce market offering a delicious amalgamation of cuisine and culture. Here you’ll meet Vietnamese fruiterers, Malaysian noodle-makers and Italian grocers who gesticulate behind bowls of green olives and great dangling salamis.
Mention hatted restaurants and molecular gastronomy, and Queensland’s Gold Coast is probably not the first location to spring to mind. Yet over the past few years a world-class food scene has been growing on the Goldie, with these three gourmet restaurants ripe and ready for serious gourmands.
For all things food and wine in Perth (and Fremantle!), we’ve got you covered with our 2024 foodie guides. Here, there’s no shortage of places to wet your whistle: from new-wave wine bars and rooftop hangouts to old-school pubs and urban craft breweries, these spots will satisfy your thirst and take you right across the city – to its famous beaches, charming suburbia and vibrant inner city.
The thriving regional city of Orange in NSW is well-known for its superb produce, paddock-to-plate approach to dining and enviable world-class wines. There’s so many places to dine amongst the vines, but if you time your visit with Orange F.O.O.D. Week (Australia’s longest running regional food and wine festival), you’ll be able to experience a rich tapestry of events held over 10 days in April. Enjoy long lunches, produce markets, farm gate tours and open cellar doors during the local Autumn harvest and vintage season.
The Gascoyne, WA
With diverse industries like fishing and aquaculture, agriculture and pastoralism, the Gascoyne region has rightfully earned its title as ‘The Food Bowl’ of WA. The annual Gascoyne Food Festival is heralded as ‘Australia’s largest regional gastronomic food experience.’ From July to September, experience events such as the annual Biggest BBQ at Mount Augustus and long table meals at Bullara Station to be immersed in the region’s iconic landscapes.
King Island off Tasmania’s north-west coast offers exquisite cheese from a historic dairy farm, sensational beef, fresh crayfish and whisky worth travelling for. And while Hobart and Launceston are famed foodie destinations, you can also check out some of Tassie’s lesser-known gourmet secrets here.
Wine and dine
It’s fair to say that Australians love their wine. There are more than 2,460 wineries in 65 wine regions across the country, with diverse styles and vintages to tempt any connoisseur.
Regions like the Barossa Valley, Margaret River and the Coonawarra are household names, and nothing beats relaxing with a delicious glass of Australian wine while soaking in a breathtaking view. Check out 10 of the very best regions to go wine tasting all around the country.
Australia also has a fantastic reputation worldwide for its sparkling wines; a selection that is both diverse and delicious. From the multi-award-winning House of Arras to the “easy on your wallet” Clare Valley, the range of Australian sparkling wines provides a fascinating insight into the nation’s benchmark styles. You don’t need a special occasion to enjoy a brilliant sparkling… life is short, enjoy it while you can!
Regions and stays
For more in-depth guides to some of the best wine regions in Australia, check out our roundup of the best wine regions in Western Australia, the ACT and some lavish winery stays in South Australia for when you want to linger a little longer.
Food tours and experiences
Australia is home to some of the finest cheesemakers in the world, with several dedicated cheese regions. There is such an enormous range of fabulous and delicious cheese destinations to taste-test your way around, so take a look at some of our favourite Aussie artisan cheese experiences: whether you’re a soft cheese, blue cheese or cheddar fan, there really is something for everyone!
Ever wonder how honey is made, what it’s like on an alpaca farm or how pearls are harvested? If you want some hands-on experience into how your food is made, look no further than these 10 farm tours around Australia. A highlight is the excellent truffle experience at The Truffle Farm in the ACT, where you can go on a hunt for the gourmet delicacy led by a professional truffle dog team, learn all there is to know about truffle production and enjoy a tasting.
Seafood & oysters
With 34,000 km of coastline, Australia is rightly lauded for its fresh, local seafood. Tucked away on the very tip of the Eyre Peninsula, Port Lincoln is our “seafood capital”. The region produces 65 per cent of the nation’s seafood, plucked from the clear, cool waters of the Spencer Gulf and Great Australian Bight, and it is an extraordinarily beautiful place to chill out and tuck into some of the best produce Australia has to offer.
Meanwhile head to Ceduna for cerulean waters, friendly locals and some spectacular oyster experiences. Tour a working oyster farm and learn how to shuck your own oysters on a dining platform in the middle of Smoky Bay.
A celebrated chef, business owner and food tech pioneer, Shane Delia has made quite a splash on the culinary scene in Australia. His Middle Eastern restaurants throughout Melbourne – Maha, Maha East, Maha North and Jayda – give diners a taste of the flavours he grew up with in Malta. Check out our chat with Shane as we picked his brain for some tips and tricks for budding young chefs.
Hugh Maxwell, the head chef of Sault Restaurant in Daylesford, Victoria, grew up around people doing what he does so passionately now – producing clean, great food that looks as good as it tastes. He shares with us a day in his life as a chef, as well as a recipe for delicious pea parfait with linseed crackers.
Travel Australia with Rex
Rex flies to all these destination and more across Australia. Book your flights here and check out the route map below.