Top 10 Australian Foodie Escapes

Fancy a taste of a gourmet getaway? Luxury travel specialist and founder of, Sally Scott, shows you where to go!

By Guest Styler | 27th January 2016

If you’re a self-confessed foodie, a gourmet getaway is probably at the top of your bucket list. A weekend of travel and indulgence with a celebrity chef, stunning vistas, and luxurious surrounds? It’s the ultimate foodie escape!

These 10 nosh spots are at the top of the food chain when it comes to Australia’s regional culinary destinations, but make sure you book well in advance!

1. Nu Nu, Palm Cove

Nu Nu, food, tropical beach restaurant at Palm Cove, Australia's best foodie escapes, travel

Nu Nu is a tropical beach restaurant at Palm Cove

What could be better than sitting back with a cocktail and looking out at the spectacular views of the Coral Sea at Nu Nu, Palm Cove? If you can tear your eyes away from the lush palm trees, check out Nick Holloway’s menu, which is just as seductive as the view. We couldn’t go past the house-cured barramundi, orange, toasted crumb and hazelnuts – it was almost too pretty to eat! With chic coastal cool interiors and inventive cuisine, Nu Nu is the ultimate tropical beach restaurant destination in Australia.

Staying and getting there:
Nu Nu is part of Alamanda Palm Cove, where studios start from $243 per night. Palm Cove is a 30-minute drive north of Cairns.

2. Manfredi at Bells, Central Coast

You’ll want to linger on the verandah over breakfast to take in the rolling gardens of this ultimate mini-break destination. Manfredi at Bells perfectly pairs a beachy Hamptons feel with modern Italian cuisine. Beyond the restaurant, a 500-square-metre garden supplies the restaurant with more than 15 per cent of the produce on its menu, ensuring sustainable practices and a fresh, delicious dining experience.

Staying and getting there:
Manfredi at Bells is onsite at Bells at Killcare, where you can relax and indulge in a king spa suite from $370 per night. Killcare is an hour and a half north of Sydney.

3. Lake House Restaurant, Daylesford

Renowned as a foodie haven, Lake House is a destination restaurant not to be missed. Under the guidance of Alla Wolf-Tasker and with two Chef Hats, this restaurant is bathed in awards. Stay and enjoy the culinary delights or interact with like-minded foodies and learn more from some of Australia’s best chefs at the Lake House Cooking School or simply sit back, relax and enjoy the beauty and country charm of Daylesford.

Staying and getting there:
Lake House Restaurant is onsite at The Lake House, which also incorporates a day spa for the ultimate in luxury and indulgence. A two-night escape in a lodge studio starts from $448 per night. Daylesford is just 80 minutes from Melbourne.

4. Royal Mail Hotel, Dunkeld

Sitting at the foot of the Grampians, the Royal Mail is a must-visit for a weekend foodie adventure. Robin Wickens has well and truly taken charge of the kitchen, relaxing the restaurant rules to welcome à la carte as well as degustation diners. Just like the surrounds, the food is elegant and a little bit country. You can join the sommeliers on a tour of the cellar to view the selection of over 2300 local and imported wines from a collection of more than 26,000 bottles. With all that wine, it’s best you stay the night and you’re in luck: the stunning rooms are all in stumbling distance!

Staying and getting there:
Royal Mail Hotel is located in the Grampians region, a scenic three-hour drive from Melbourne. Deluxe mountain view rooms are available from $295 per night.

5. The Peak, Scenic Rim Region

food, dining, travel, Australia's best foodie escapes, Spicers Peak

Peak restaurant at Spicers Retreat, Scenic Rim Region

We’re spoilt for choice with a range of Spicers Retreats within easy drive of Brisbane for our dining pleasure. In our opinion, the ultimate is The Peak at Spicers Peak Lodge in the breathtaking Scenic Rim Region. Bask in the glory of Doug Innes-Will’s incredible food embracing minimalist style with a strong emphasis on respect for produce, producer and environment. Amen to that!

Staying and getting there:
Just two hours’ drive from Brisbane, stay in one of 10 luxury suites from $599 per night including complimentary mini bar and gourmet breakfast.

6. Terminus, Mornington Peninsula

Terminus Flinders Hotel, food, Australia's best foodie escapes

Terminus restaurant at Flinders Hotel

This one ticks all the boxes: fine dining restaurant, boutique hotel and coastal location within the spectacular wine region of Mornington Peninsula. What more could you want? With a strong influence on seasonal produce, head chef Giuseppe Pisciotta delivers a contemporary menu of Mediterranean and modern Australian cuisine. Choose between the open fire in winter and dining alfresco on the terrace on balmy summer evenings. Whatever the season, settle in for a wine weekend in style and visit nearby wineries, boutiques and farm gates.

Staying and getting there:
Just an hour and a half from Melbourne, stay onsite at Flinders Hotel’s Quarters accommodation with hotel rooms from $255 per night.

7. Brae Restaurant, Birregurra

Brae Restaurant is on the top of most foodies’ bucket lists and for good reason. Brae is the vision of chef and owner Dan Hunter (previously of Royal Mail Hotel fame) who has created a modern restaurant set on 30 productive acres. It’s a place to interact with nature and eat from the land. And eat you will, with a degustation menu set at $180 per person, or add $120 per person for matched wines. Plus, Brae will be opening six luxury guest suites in February 2016! Hoorah!

Staying and getting there:
Brae is located in Victoria’s picturesque Otway hinterland an hour and a half from Melbourne and 30 minutes from Lorne. We suggest making a weekend of it in Lorne, staying at La Perouse from $325 per night.

8. Red Feather Inn, Hadspen

Sometimes you need more than just outstanding dining. Get your hands dirty and learn new skills at Red Feather Inn’s Cooking School. Explore the region and enjoy unique dining experiences, showcasing the best seasonal Tasmanian produce on offer and explore the nearby Tamar region for superb cool climate wines. Red Feather Inn oozes charm and French provincial style for a luxurious weekend getaway.

Staying and getting there:
Red Feather Inn is 15 minutes from Launceston. Cooking School from $195 per person and onsite boutique accommodation from $350 per night.

9. Appellation, Barossa Valley

The Louise, Appelation, travel, food, Australia's foodie escapes

The spring salad at The Louise, Appellation

Food, wine, luxury accommodation and genuine welcome await at The Louise in Barossa Valley. Chef Ryan Edwards and his team are passionate about freshness, seasonality and regionalism, with 85 per cent of the menu coming from within the Barossa Valley, including the kitchen garden. Look out for the Barossa winemaker dinners, which occur one Friday a month for an intimate group of just 12 guests. It’s your chance to get to know the real Barossa from one of the local winemakers paired with a five-course menu that you won’t forget.

Staying and getting there:
Appellation at The Louise is located in the Barossa Valley, just over an hour’s drive from Adelaide. Vineyard Suites at The Louise start from $490 per night.

10. Rick Stein at Bannisters, Mollymook

When it comes to seafood, few do it as well as Rick Stein at Bannisters. Be immersed in the chic beach setting and coastal views. The new menu features recipes from Rick’s South East Asian series Far East Odyssey as well as fish curry from India and dishes from his book Venice to Istanbul. If you need another reason to visit, check out the new rooms at Bannisters by the Sea, with penthouses designed in collaboration with Collette Dinnigan. Oh my!

Staying and getting there:
Rick Stein at Bannisters is located on the South Coast of New South Wales, just over three hours’ drive from Sydney. Rooms are available from $255 per night.


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