Best Travel Destinations in Australia for foodies

Life is a cabaret of culinary delights for Aussie travellers.

We’re blessed with possibly the best tucker in the world, not to mention some mighty fine wines to wash it all down with. Here’s a roundup of ten of the best Australian destinations for foodies and wine lovers. Book your stay with Choice Hotels.

1. Adelaide, SA

Adelaide’s Tasting Australia mega foodie-fest happens once a year, but anytime is a good time to get a taste of the South Australian capital’s outstanding dining scene. Make your first stop the venerable Adelaide Central Market, where you can taste your way around the world on a market tour with Food Tours Australia. Meet the vendors, hear their stories, and sample a cornucopia of tasty treats along the way. The city is packed with top notch dining options, but two that shouldn’t be missed are Africola in the East End for sensational South African-inspired fare, and slick Press* Food and Wine on Waymouth Street for modern Australian shared plates. Leave time to visit at least one of the four wine regions located within relatively easy reach of the city.

Need a place to stay?

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2. Margaret River, WA

There are few places that can hold a candle to Margaret River’s formidable foodie credentials. The South West corner of Western Australia is as fertile as they come, and pretty much everything grows or grazes here with relish. The cows are happy, the fresh produce is mind-blowing, and the wines from outfits like Vasse Felix, Voyager Estate, Amelia Park and Cullen are celebrated globally. The Margaret River Farmers’ Market, named most outstanding farmers market in the country by Delicious, brings growers and producers together in one convenient location each week. Skip breakfast, then go forth and sample.

Couple exploring the Margaret River Farmers' Markets
Couple exploring the Margaret River Farmers’ Markets

Need a place to stay?

Comfort Inn Busselton River Resort is just a short drive from Cape Naturaliste, and the many wineries of Margaret River are also within easy reach.

3. Melbourne, VIC

No summary of Australia’s foodie scene would be complete without reference to the Victorian capital. This is a city that can bamboozle the most avid of food lovers with its volume of dining options. There are hundreds of eateries and cafes, and whole precincts dedicated to Greek, Italian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Indian, Turkish, and even Ethiopian cuisine. If you’re not sure exactly where to begin, This is Melbourne offers a foodie walking tour of the inner city. It includes stops at three restaurants (much Instagrammed Supernormal is generally one of them), along with a cheesery, chocolaterie and gelato bar. You’ll walk away full as a goog, but with plenty of intel on top spots to chow down for the remainder of your stay.

Related: Top 5 Vegan Eateries in Melbourne

Food at Hutong Dumpling Bar
Food at Hutong Dumpling Bar

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4. Yarra Valley, VIC

Often seen as part and parcel of Melbourne’s food and wine scene, the bucolic Yarra Valley is really its own microcosm of delectable delights, both plated and bottled, and deserves more than a fleeting visit on a wine tour from the city. There are some 70 wineries to take in, including Rochford Wines, De Bortoli, and the purveyor of all that sparkles – Domaine Chandon. Interspersed amongst the rolling vine-covered hills are paddocks of contented stock, fecund fruit orchards, bountiful market gardens, and busy artisanal producers. The Yarra Valley Dairy and Chocolaterie are, unsurprisingly, two of the most popular stops with visitors.

Need a place to stay?

Lilydale is the gateway to the Yarra Valley, and the Econo Lodge Lilydale makes the perfect base for exploring the region. The hotel is located within walking distance of cafes and restaurants, and guests enjoy complimentary Wi-Fi and parking.

5. Launceston, TAS

Our island state is awash with foodie hot spots, but one of the absolute must-visits is the Tamar Valley north of Launceston. There’s a crispness to this region that you just won’t find anywhere else. Meander along country lanes lined with riotous floral colour, and buzz like a contented bumble bee from one farm-gate stall or boutique cellar door to the next. If you’d like the bounty of the region brought to you on a platter, literally, make Goaty Hill Wines your lunch stop. Graze on a generous selection of deli meats, terrines, paté, local cheeses, olives and more, all of which go perfectly with the winery’s signature sparkling rosé.

Need a place to stay?

Constructed back in 1847 to house a grammar school, Quality Hotel Colonial Launceston offers an atmospheric stay in a fabulous heritage setting. Set aside at least one night during your stay to enjoy a great value dinner at Three Steps On George – the hotel’s onsite eatery.

6. Mildura, VIC

Butted up against the arid expanse of the outback, on the Victorian and New South Wales border, it seems counterintuitive that Mildura should be a foodie destination of note. But they don’t call this region ‘Australia’s food bowl’ for nothing. Thanks to an innovative irrigation system established here more than a century ago on the back of the mighty Murray River, table grapes, almonds, pistachios, carrots, asparagus, melons and citrus are all grown in abundance. Time your visit to coincide with the Sunraysia Farmers Market, which is held on the first and third Sundays of the month on the riverfront.

Display at Murray River farmers markets
Display at Murray River farmers markets

Need a place to stay?

Stay right in the heart of Mildura at the very grand Quality Hotel Mildura Grand. It’s located opposite the mighty Murray, and close to shops, restaurants and cafes. On the opposite side of town (with easy access to the airport), Comfort Inn Deakin Palms offers spacious, contemporary room styles and a central outdoor pool. For good value accommodation, you can’t go past the Econo Lodge Mildura, located on the edge of the city centre. Work off those foodie indulgences in the onsite fitness centre.

7. Mudgee, NSW

Over in New South Wales’ Central West, and surrounded by rolling countryside dotted with verdant family-run vineyards, the rural hub town of Mudgee is near perfect as a short break destination. A wealth of period architecture, a robust cultural scene, and easy access to smaller characterful towns like Gulgong and Rylstone are all part of the attraction. However, if it’s fine wine and tucker you want, fine wine and tucker you shall have. Highlights include Eltons Eating + Drinking and Roth’s Wine Bar (reputedly, the oldest wine bar in the state), alongside more upscale eateries like The Zin House at Lowe Wines, and Pipeclay Pumphouse at the Robert Stein Vineyard.

Need a place to stay?

Located on the approach into town for those travelling by road from Sydney, Comfort Inn Aden Mudgee is the perfect accommodation option for your Mudgee getaway. Choose from a range of comfortable room types, all of which include complimentary Netflix.

8. Canberra, ACT

Fancy a scotch fillet with ScoMo? If there was ever a place for a power lunch, it’s the nation’s capital. Who knows who could be sitting at the next table at amazing eateries like Pialligo Estate, Aubergine, Monster Kitchen and Bar, and newish-kid-on-the-block Rebel Rebel. Canberra also stages a food festival for all seasons. The Forage street food festival takes place in summer, while autumn ushers in Good Food Month (incorporating the Night Noodle Markets). Canberrans’ thoughts turn to truffles in winter, while spring bursts forth with a profusion of blooms and food and wine events at Floriade.

Celebrate truffles in Canberra. Image of a womans hand lifting truffles off a plate.
Celebrate truffles in Canberra.

Need a place to stay?

Quality Hotel Dickson Canberra is perfectly positioned as a base for exploring everything the capital has to offer. Enjoy the comfortable and contemporary accommodation and onsite club facilities, including a restaurant, café, wine bar and lounge.

9. Sydney, NSW

Sydney is best known for its bridge, beaches and ocean bounty. If you love succulent seafood, you have come to the right place. Start with a visit to the Sydney Fish Market – the largest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. Book a behind-the-scenes tour and feast on the catch of the day from one of the onsite food outlets. There’s nothing quite like fresh fish and chips by the harbour, so head over to Doyles on the Wharf at Watson’s Bay and dine in or take away. You’ll find seafood dishes on just about every Harbour City menu, but the quality and presentation are elevated to an art form at Cirrus in the harbourfront precinct of Barangaroo.

Seafood at the Sydney Fish Market.
Seafood at the Sydney Fish Market.

Need a place to stay?

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10. Wangaratta, VIC

Immigrant tobacco farmers from Italy set up shop in the King Valley near Wangaratta after World War II. Many of the farms were later converted to vineyards, and today the region’s Italian heritage is reflected in the styles of wine it produces (think sangiovese, pinot grigio and nebbiolo). The King Valley and neighbouring Milawa Gourmet Region are also renowned for artisanal foodstuffs. Sample the wares of local producers like the Milawa Cheese Company, The Olive Shop, Milawa Bread and Blue Ox Berries.

Need a place to stay?

Quality Hotel Wangaratta Gateway features a range of stylish and sophisticated room types, along with a popular in-house restaurant and bar.

Choice Hotels has you well and truly covered in Australia with a superb range of accommodation options to suit every budget. Search online and book direct for a Lowest Price Guarantee.

About the writer

Adam Ford is editor of The Big Bus tour and travel guide and a travel TV presenter, writer, blogger and photographer. He has previously had the opportunity to travel the world as host of the TV series Tour the World on Network Ten.

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