When going on a holiday, it’s fun to have a bit of a mission to accomplish. Visiting a country like Australia in particular means that there’ll be so much to do, so much to see and of course, so much to taste. From your quintessential brunches, to your fresh seafood- did someone say oysters?- to wine tastings and more, here’s a guide to delight your senses!
You cannot visit Melbourne and not have its coffee. The city is known for producing some of the best specialty coffees in the world and for good reason. While some may say that it’s because of the beans and the roasting process, there’s a theory going around that the main factor is its water. Whatever the reason, if you love having a cuppa, or two, or three, here are a few places to check out.
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Market Lane has been serving great quality specialty coffee for over a decade. They have a few branches and are usually attached to major markets like Prahran, South Melbourne and Victoria Market. This is especially convenient as you can grab a latte or a long black to sip on as you casually meander through the markets. If you like what you have tasted, you can also get some beans to go.
For those who treat coffee drinking like a religion, there’s Aunty Peg’s. Here is a place dedicated to the art of brewing coffee with lessons from their friendly baristas and brew gear such as V60, Aeropress, french press and brew dripper for you to experiment with. There’s even a free weekly tasting event where all you need to do is show up. Do note that they only serve black coffees. Yes, they are that hardcore.
Some people would argue that brunch is Australia’s national dish. If that were the case, Melbourne would be home to some of the best brunches served. Cafes go to great lengths to get it right when it comes to ambience, quality of coffee and complexity of meals.
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A favourite among locals and tourists is Top Paddock. Located near the Royal Botanical Gardens and the Yarra River, you will find many joggers heading here after their morning run. With items like slow-roasted lamb shoulder, barramundi burger and braised brisket on their menu, you know you’re in for a good feed. Their ricotta hotcakes deserve a special mention because of their perfect texture and generous serve of fruit, seeds and edible flowers. It’s beautiful and massive, so you might want to share. Of course, the coffees are good too.
Other brunch places to check out include Higher Ground, Bowery to Williamsburg and Rudimentary.
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Sometimes, all our tummies want is a piping hot bowl of noodles in soup. For those moments, there’s authentic Vietnamese fare in places like Springvale and Richmond. Head into a restaurant for a generous serving of beef or chicken pho or some broken rice and pork chops. Alternatively, grab a Bahn Mi (Vietnamese sandwich) with your favourite fillings to go as you explore the area.
Pho in Springvale- Pho Hung Vuong
Bahn Mi- Minh Duc
It’s no surprise that Melbourne boasts some of the best food in the world. Keen to taste for yourself, find out more about our Melbourne packages here.
There’s something about craft beer that we cannot get enough of. For those who feel the same way, Perth offers some of the best in the business. Head over to Little Creatures in Fremantle and enjoy a guided tasting. You could also grab a pint or two with some of their famous wood-fire pizza.
Other craft beer spots to hit within the Perth city itself include Northbridge Brewing Co, Lot 20 and Meat Candy.
To experience more of aboriginal culture, join one of the tours at Koomal Dreaming. Get ready to be taken on a cultural journey spanning thousands of years into the history of the Wadandi and Biboolman people. Listen to stories as you walk through the bush and taste dishes that celebrate native ingredients. This is an experience not to be missed!
If you’ve always wondered what it would be like growing up in one of those orchards you read about in books, this is your chance! Maggie Beer- world renowned chef and author, has prepared a cosy and delightful home for your enjoyment. The place comes fully furnished and its kitchen well stocked with local produce including free range eggs, premium local bacon, fresh milk, jams and lots more. You are also encouraged to wander around the orchard and pick any fruit you like or visit the Maggie Beer Farm House for more local supplies! This is country hospitality at its finest. For more information on reservations, check out the website here.
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Known as Adelaide’s top outdoor activity, this is the MacLaren Vale Bike and Wine day. Ride through National Parks, take in the scenery and stop for tastings on the way. Have a breather and enjoy a glass of red or white along with some local produce. The best part is that the journey starts close to the highest point so you’ll be riding downhill mostly! Find out more here.
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Pavlova en route #bennelongrestaurant #chefpetergilmore #pavlova #dessert
Sydney’s restaurants boast sophistication and originality. For something a little fancy, head over to Bennelong located at the iconic Sydney Opera House. Expect to be taken on a culinary journey through Australian cuisine. You could order a la carte or go for the pre or post-theatre dining experience or simply hang out at the bar. You’re sure to be mesmerized by both the food and the stunning views over Sydney Harbour.
Eating at Colombo Social isn’t just good for your cravings, it’s good for the community too. This restaurant partners with refugee support organizations and aims to provide asylum seekers recruitment while serving up a delicious fusion of Sri Lankan flavours and Australian cuisine. Items like spiced soft shell crab in a Roti Taco and vegetarian Bhaji made with beetroot and caramelised onion shine on their menu. Don’t forget to try some of their specialty cocktails to complete your dining experience.
A trip to Sydney wouldn’t be complete without a stop at the fish market. As one of the biggest markets in the Southern Hemisphere, you will find all kinds of seafood here. So come hungry and sample what the vendors have brought in. Popular dishes include fresh Sashimi, torched scallops, lobster tails and salt and pepper calamari. If you’d like to do more, you can even book a tour or join a cooking class. There's a lot of fun to be had.
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Starting to salivate at the thought of all that good food, check out our deals for Sydney here.
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Tasmania is known for some of the freshest seafood including mussels, lobsters, abalone and yes, oysters. Creamy, smooth and full of umami describes them at their best. If this is your kind of food, check out Get Shucked for the region’s haul. Tuck into a tray of freshly shucked oysters, with a glass of white wine and enjoy the view!
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If you prefer something a bit less seafood-y a but just as fancy, treat yourself to some Bruny Island cheese. Cheeses here are local, handmade and produced the traditional way. The flavours are unmatched. There’s also beer and bread to complete your afternoon tea!
If you’d like to do a bit of work for your food, check out the activities at off the table. Have you ever wondered what’s the deal with truffles and what it means to forage for them? Here you will be able to get a hands-on educational experience searching for truffles (with dogs) and then enjoy a decadent tasting afterwards. If fungi aren’t your thing, you could go on an ‘eggspedition’ and learn about what goes on in a free range egg farm before enjoying a morning tea. Or you could attend a cooking class for serving up the perfect steak!
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Kristy Tan is a teacher and mother who believes that travelling is good for the mind, soul and the body. When she isn’t chasing her two boys around the garden, she can be found writing articles and researching places for their next family holiday.