One of the best ways to explore a new place whilst travelling in your RV is to sample the local food. The best way to see all the local produce on offer? A food festival!
With such massive growth in the 'local and regional' trend, people are understanding the importance and quality of local products more than ever. The public shift away from cheap, imported goods has become evident as people become more concerned with sustainable, local products. Australian townships are now well aware of the opportunity to showcase their local food culture to the public, and we have hence seen a rise in the number of regional food festivals around the country.
For the benefit of all the travelling 'foodies' out there, we’ve compiled a list of what we think are the best regional food festivals that Australia has to offer at the moment. See them all below (in no particular order).
1. Tastings on Hastings - Port Macquarie, NSW.
Date: 28th - 30th October 2016.
Port Macquarie’s Tastings on Hastings festival runs over three action-packed days in October. The festival is filled with an array of culinary celebrations that will send your taste buds to heaven. It originates from the Hastings Farmers Markets and is the Port Macquarie region’s premier food festival. It aims to showcase the finest regional farmers, artisans, food producers, wine growers, brewers, restaurants and cafes. The festival is inspired by a different theme each year, with 2016 announced as ‘Fire, Water, Harvest’. Need accommodation for Tastings on Hastings festival? Why not hire a caravan?
2. Cape Jaffa Seafood and Wine Festival 2017 - Mt Gambier, SA.
Date: 15th January 2017
Mount Gambier’s Cape Jaffa Seafood and Wine Festival welcomes attendees to the beautiful oceanic city of Kingston Council during January of each year. This festival is great for everyone, and offers a wide range of edible seafood offerings and very drinkable wines from the finest vineyards that Coonawarra has to offer. Aside from dining on the fantastic food and wine, we recommend relishing the opportunity to enjoy beachside activities in the sunshine. If that isn’t enough, keep your eyes and ears open for the live music and entertaining acts performed throughout the festival. Needing easy accommodation for Cape Jaffa Seafood and Wine Festival?
3. Taste Tamworth Festival - Tamworth, NSW
Date: 28th April - 7th May 2017
The Taste Tamworth Festival is the premier annual food event on the region's calendar, highlighting growers, makers, chefs and diners in 10 days of events that include Taste Pop-up Bar, Taste in the Park, The Long Lunch, and Farm Gate Trail.
The curtain raiser to the festival is the Pop-up Bar. The celebration continues with Taste in the Park - a showcase of regional food at beautiful Bicentennial Park, attracting 10,000 people. A week later, it's The Long Lunch. Leading Tamworth chefs cook a five course lunch matched to local wines and live music. During Taste Tamworth there are cooking lessons, workshops and organic markets and also the Farm Gate Trail, where producers open their gates to host visitors, providing an insight into how they farm and market their produce.
4. Taste of Kingscliff and Tweed Coast - Tweed Heads, NSW
Date: 8th July - 17th July 2017
Taste of Kingscliff and Tweed Coast defines the coastal and regional character of the area by hosting a series of events over 10 days in various locations along our Tweed Coast and hinterland. It is one of Australia’s best food festivals, successfully fusing coastal culture with regional agriculture. Enjoy delicious local seafood and farmfood from restaurants with amazing views of the ocean and hinterland. The festival has guided tours to suit all curiosities, as well as the continuation of the good old Aussie beach holiday atmosphere.
5. Sample Food Festival - Byron Bay, NSW
Date: 2nd September 2017
Sample Food Festival is a Northern New South Wales festival that celebrates the creativity and wellbeing of the local food. Bright tropical flavours and bold creative flair attract over 17,000 visitors annually. Sample Food Festival is held in the village of Bangalow and is supported by over 200 stallholders made up of local restaurant owners, farmers, and local food producers.
6. Toast to the Coast – Melbourne, VIC
Date: 29th - 30th October 2016
Held over the Melbourne Cup long weekend and only an hour from Melbourne, Toast to the Coast is an event not to be missed if you’re around the area. Over two full days, attendees have the opportunity to explore each of the three Geelong Wine sub regions. Each region boasts it’s own unique qualities and stunning scenery. Visit one region, or two, or even all three! Over 25 different wineries participate each year, with excellent transport options in between each. Explore the vineyards, enjoy the local music, food, and, most importantly, try the award winning wines. If you decided to camp at a nearby holiday park, no worries - just catch the shuttle bus. Why not book an RV on Camplify to hire for your weekend at Toast to the Coast? It’s easy!
7. Relish Fraser Coast - Maryborough, QLD
Date: 3rd June 2017
The purpose of the Relish Fraser Coast food story is to promote the unique food story of the Fraser Coast, instilling pride in their fantastic food and agri-businesses.
This festival has been designed to connect Fraser Coast residents (and visitors) to what goes on around them. It is a truly awesome package that provides a strong sense of pleasure and enjoyment. Sounds like the perfect place to park your caravan, right? Fun and relaxation - what a great combo.
8. Slice of Haven Food and Wine Festival - Camden Head, NSW
Date: End of May 2017
Slice of Haven Food and Wine Festival is a great event that showcases this relatively unknown region of just 10,000 people - all while celebrating local produce, products, talents and icons. The organiser’s vision is to develop an identity for the Camden Haven region, and to stage an individual, sustainable and superior gourmet/lifestyle event. You know what? It’s working! This festival is a true gem that provides attendees with a professional, safe, comfortable, wholesome, festive experience with “a dollop of indulgence and a dash of quirky”. Taste your slice of ‘Haven’ and stay the night in a local camping ground. Perfect.
9. Mudgee Region Food and Drink Trail - Mudgee, NSW
Date: Mid April 2017
Enjoy a gastronomical adventure through Mudgee as you follow the food and drink trail across the region. The Mudgee Region is abundant with fresh produce, delectable drink options and is at the forefront of paddock to plate dining. Your Trail Pass is the key to unlocking an amazing food and drink matching journey throughout the festival. Each voucher on your pass can be exchanged for a sample of local wine, beer, spirit or other beverage, expertly paired with a regionally inspired small dish. With over 15 unique stops and experiences to choose from, the trail offers something for everyone!
10. Orange F.O.O.D Week - Orange, NSW
Date: 31st March - 9th April 2017
Orange F.O.O.D Week (Food of Orange District) is Australia’s longest running regional food festival. It is held in the emerging cool-climate wine region of Orange in and was recently named one of the state’s premium events by Destination NSW.
Founded in 1991 by a group of passionate local foodies and vignerons, F.O.O.D Week was created with an ethos of showcasing the region’s excellent fresh produce and award-winning cool climate wine, as well to provide a platform for its clever food producers, providores and innovative chefs, cooks and caterers. The festival incorporates a number of signature events designed to appeal to both residents and visitors, as well as over 100 satellite events held by local restaurants, cafes and wineries – resulting in a ten-day feast of the senses that you won’t want to miss, and will keep coming back for again and again.
11. Apollo Bay Seafood Festival - Melbourne, VIC
Date: February 2017
Apollo Bay Seafood Festival freshly launched in February 2016 and was a tremendous success. It is the perfect event to grab your family, friends and picnic rug and head on down to Victoria's own "Paradise by the Sea”. Aside from the beautiful scenery, there is of course an array of delicious foods. The day includes cooking demonstrations from local and celebrity chefs, live entertainment, market stalls, wine, beer and an abundance of locally sourced, fresh seafood.
12. Lovedale Long Lunch - Hunter Valley, NSW
Date: Mid May 2017
The Lovedale Long Lunch is a progressive style lunch where food and wine lovers are invited to discover the wonders of Lovedale. Each May, a decadent line up of the Hunter Valley’s leading chefs team up with seven of Lovedale’s finest wineries and local entertainment for a weekend of foodie fun. Gather a group of friends, hire a few local caravans from Camplify, build your itinerary, book a bus and enjoy a fun and relaxing weekend away at the Hunter Valley’s biggest food and wine event of the year.
13. Gold Coast Food and Wine Festival - Gold Coast, QLD
Date: June 2017
The Gold Coast Food and Wine Festival is a month-long signature event to celebrate the quality and variety of eating experiences on The Gold Coast. The festival aims to not only showcase what the Gold Coast can do with food, but elevate the eating experience. The festival program has a particular focus on theatre and the art of food, with performance art, sensory experiences and musical performances incorporated into the festival to pay tribute to the Gold Coast as on of Australia’s best destinations for food and entertainment.
14. The Winter Harvest Festival - The Scenic Rim, QLD
Date: Early July 2017
The Winter Harvest Festival is a fabulous, relaxed day out for families and food lovers. Taste the food, meet the producers, watch the cooking demonstrations and feast from the Scenic Rim’s smorgasbord of fresh produce. The Winter Harvest Festival offers visitors the opportunity to literally eat their way around the Scenic Rim. Book your camping accommodation now!
15. Margaret River Gourmet Escape - Margaret River, WA
Date: 18th - 20th November 2016
Margaret River Gourmet Escape, presented by Audi in November, is a unique opportunity to discover wondrous produce, taste world-renowned wines and meet internationally celebrated chefs, food producers and winemakers amongst the extraordinary natural beauty of the Margaret River Region. Over 50 culinary superstars from around the world will share their knowledge and passion across an abundance of mesmerising food encounters to celebrate the festival’s 5th anniversary. To take the hassle out of your weekend, why not hire a caravan, campervan, camper trailer or motorhome from someone in the Margaret River Region?
16. Noosa International Food and Wine Festival - Noosa, QLD
Date: May 2017
Possibly the most unabashedly hedonistic of the food festivals, and definitely the biggest of the regional events, Noosa's food party each May still retains its personal touch thanks to the continued work of festival director and local restaurateur Jim Berardo. If you want to see the world's top chefs in boardies and bikinis (not always a good thing), the Noosa International Food and Wine Festival is the festival for you.
17. KI Food Safari - Kangaroo Island, SA
Date: August 2017
First mounted in 2011, the KI Food Safari has fast become an institution among lovers of the carefully grown produce and rich seafood of Kangaroo Island. It combines the elegant cliff-top luxury of Southern Ocean Lodge with daily expeditions among the producers who have helped forge the island’s reputation for high-quality food and sustainable practices. Returning in August 2017, the week-long Safari event promises to be a hands-on, muddy-boots paddock and vineyard discovery of Kangaroo Island and its produce as it journeys to the menus at Southern Ocean Lodge.
18. High Country Harvest - High Country, VIC
Date: Mid May 2017
Sip, sample and savour the delights created by High Country’s local chefs, artisan producers, craft brewers and winemakers from more than 40 different culinary events over 10 action-packed days. This is one you definitely don’t want to miss! Plenty of camping options close by, too.
19. The Taste of Tasmania - Hobart, TAS
Date: 28th December 2016 - 3rd January 2017
The Taste of Tasmania is Tasmania’s most-popular and enduring summer event. Hobart’s waterfront festival runs from the 28th of December 2016 to the 3rd of January 2017, and is a great way to celebrate the end of another year. If there’s one culinary specialty that Tasmania stakes a claim to, it’s definitely seafood. This is the perfect opportunity for you to indulge in the finest seafood that the Apple Isle has to offer. Also on the menu will be statewide grown and produced cheeses, berries, wines, boutique beers and ciders - and much more. Like all great food festivals, expect an awesome display of musical entertainment.
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