Six Aussie winter food festivals that are totally delicious

Usually recognised for its summer charm, one of the most underrated joys of travelling in Australia during winter is the abundance of festival feasts on offer. From hip hop yoga with a 5-course après feast in Margaret River, to a truffle dog hunt and ‘black diamond’ desserts in the nation’s capital, Australia’s unique winter dining events will keep the seasonal sadness at bay. Pop on your beanie and stretchy pants, because here are six delicious festivals you don’t want to miss! Book your tasty stay now at Choice Hotels.

1. Cosy up for dinner at Cosy @ The Quay, Perth (WA)

Perth is going big this winter with its food and community festival Cosy @ The Quay. Visitors flock to Elizabeth Quay to ice skate, dance to live music, peruse markets and enjoy the wares of local food vendors. Seize the opportunity to dine on the iconic footbridge – one of Perth’s finest spots to soak up views of Kings Park, the Swan River and Perth city skyline. For a limited time during the festival, the footbridge is converted into a warmly lit dining venue. Be sure to try the chicken spare ribs with sweet and spicy sauce from Korean food truck favourite Franny’s Moving Kitchen.

Need a place to stay?

Choice Hotels has several hotels in Perth. A stay at Quality Hotel Ambassador Perth means you’ll be within walking, free-transit bus and affordable taxi fare distance of the city’s key culinary hubs. Elizabeth Quay is a 15-minute walk from the hotel.

More: Top 5 Pumpin’ Perth Bars

2. Dig up a delectable diamond at the Canberra Truffle Festival (ACT)

Canberra Truffle Festival is a decadent celebration of our favourite fungi. Paying homage to the season in which it grows, this mid-winter event is one to warm your heart and satiate even the most selective of eaters. This festival connects black winter truffle growers, buyers and enthusiasts alike. There is something for the novice attendee too; with truffle hunt expeditions, cooking classes and stalls showcasing Canberra’s finest suppliers. Delight in truffle cheese, popcorn, desserts and even truffle beer!

Need a place to stay?

Quality Hotel Dickson Canberra is perfectly positioned as a base for exploring everything the capital has to offer. Guests enjoy complimentary parking and Wi-Fi, and the hotel’s 24-hour reception team is always on hand to help with dining recommendations.

aussie winter food festivals
Canberra Truffle Festival. Image courtesy of VisitCanberra

3. Cook up some fun at Cabin Fever Festival, Margaret River (WA)

Located three hours’ drive south of Perth, Margaret River’s Cabin Fever Festival showcases the unique personality the southwest is best known for. Winters’ down south come alive with smokey campfires, stormy grey skies and the dewy forests. Enjoy some Fondue by the Fire at Howard Park Wines, taste test entries at the highly contentious Cheese Toastie Battle, or attend the seam-busting Amazing Graze. For a truly unique experience, don’t go past the Hip Hop Yoga Brunch. Arrive with a cocktail and chaturanga your way through an hour-long yoga session, followed by a five-course vegetarian brunch.

Need a place to stay?

Comfort Inn Busselton River Resort is just a short drive from the famous Jetty precinct and Busselton’s eclectic dining scene. The many wineries of Margaret River are within easy reach.

4. Tempt the tastebuds at the Taste Bundaberg Festival (QLD)

Bundaberg has more than its signature rum to boast about. Agriculture at its backbone, the city hosts four weekend-long mid-year mini festivals as part of the Taste Bundaberg Festival. Each champions the unique flavours of that particular time of year. The July instalment plans to keep you warm with locally grown spice at the Chili & Lime Fiesta. If chili isn’t your thing, the Bundy Flavours and Farmer’s Market showcases a variety of local produce and offers live cooking demonstrations. For the hands-on feaster, book a spot on the Taste of Bundaberg Experience – a tour that introduces guests to local food producers, topped off with a delicious farm lunch.

Need a place to stay?

Econo Lodge Park Lane is the perfect spot to base yourself to explore everything Bundaberg and the surrounding region have to offer. Located right by the city centre, you can walk to cafes and restaurants with ease. The hotel also has an eatery onsite.

aussie winter food festivals
Taste the abundance of Bundaberg’s farming culture. Image courtesy of Tourism and Events Queensland

5. Dine on good times at the Darwin Festival (NT)

Darwin is immune to the southern winter chill, and crisp, dry mid-year nights make this the perfect time to get out and explore the city. Over 18 nights you can enjoy the raucous Darwin Festival, which brims with live local and international performances. While the shows may take centre stage, the local food vendors are certainly nothing to scoff at. Dine around the world, from Italian pizza by Cucina Sotto Le Stelle to Taiwanese gua bao at Bamboo Lounge. No matter what the cuisine type, eating well is a given at this festival.

Need a place to stay?

Quality Hotel Darwin Airport makes a great base for enjoying the best of the Northern Territory capital. Pee Wee’s at the Point is one of the city’s top dining options and is just a short drive from the hotel.

aussie winter food festivals
Enjoy great tastes at the Darwin Festival. Image courtesy of Tourism NT. Image – Elise Derwin

6. Enjoy melt-in-the-mouth moments at Melbourne’s Winter Night Market (VIC)

The annual Winter Night Market sees the Queen Vic Market festooned with hundreds of fairy lights and enveloped in the aromas of delicious delights. Chase the scent of warm cinnamon from the American Doughnut Kitchen – a vintage bus and Melbourne food truck staple. Snag yourself a chicken katsu bao burger from Wonderbao, or perhaps a custard option to indulge your sweet side. For true winter comfort eating, head to Melted Cheese Bar for crusty buttered bread slathered with a generous helping of melted French import raclette.

Need a place to stay?

Choice Hotels has several amazing hotel options on offer in Melbourne. Walk to the Queen Victoria Market from the Clarion Suites Gateway.

aussie winter food festivals
Sample the delicious flavours of the Winter Night Market in Melbourne. Image courtesy of Visit Victoria

About the writer

Michelle Thomas is a Perth-based freelance writer who loves to pen prose about all things travel and lifestyle. When she’s not running her freelance writing business, she spends her time patting dogs, eating burritos and planning her next travel adventure.