Sampling delicious food accompanied by great wine is a true pleasure..
The region’s Mediterranean climate and close proximity to the ocean creates near-perfect grape growing conditions and Australia’s South West is continually recognised as one of the premium wine producing regions of the world. There are six distinct wine regions within the South West and all offer the opportunity to hop from cellar door to cellar door, sampling award winning wines.
With good wine growing conditions comes good food..
Australia’s South West is almost as well known for its gourmet food as it is for its wine, and the pair go hand in hand. Many wineries have restaurants on site and you’ll often find the region’s best chefs working behind the pass, creating unforgettable cuisine. Dotted between cellar doors, you’ll find plenty of other tasty delights such as cheeses, olives, olive oils, marron, chocolate, fudge and so much more, fresh from the producers at boutique shops, cellar doors, farmers markets and farm gate stalls. Most towns within the south west hold farmers’ markets on the weekend where you’ll find the region’s delicacies all in one place.
Our Top 10 food and wine experiences
There’s so much to do in Australia’s South West when it comes to fresh produce and fine wine, but here’s our pick of the best foodie and beverage experiences of Australia’s South West.
1. Enjoy a long lunch at a winery
Sit back and enjoy a three course or degustation feast paired with the winery’s own wine. Some of the best chefs in the region work at winery restaurants. You won't be disappointed.
2. Spend a Sunday Session at a brewery
Many breweries are located in relaxed outdoor settings and offer live music on the weekend. Best spent pint in hand, a slice of pizza in the other, getting the most from your weekend!
3. Catch your dinner
There are lots of aquaculture farms where you can buy yourself a guaranteed catch of fish or marron (freshwater crayfish). While fishing in the wild is very rewarding (and we recommend it if you’ve got the time and equipment), heading to a marron or trout farm takes the hassle out of carrying your own gear and means you’re guaranteed to bring home the supper!
4. Fill your picnic basket with local gourmet produce
There’s nothing more delicious than stocking up on gourmet treats from your day’s exploring, and heading down to the beach for a sunset picnic. You’ll know that everything is fresh, and you’ll probably have even met the person who made it that day!
5. Join a winery tour
While cellar doors and produce outlets are all within close proximity within the regions, drinking and driving is against the law. Take the stress out of your cellar door hop by joining a full day tour.
6. Head to the farmers’ market
Markets are usually held every other weekend. Often the farmers from the country will come to town for the day to sell their produce, and it becomes a one stop shop for you to purchase fresh fruit and vegetables. Plus you’ll feel good that your hard earned dollars are going direct to a hard working farmer!
7. Plan your trip around a food festival
As the region prospers as a wine/food growing destination, the number of food-related events grows. The Margaret River Gourmet Escape and Taste Great Southern are annual events which showcase their region’s wine and food, with world-renowned chef demonstrations, master classes and more.
8. Pick fruit straight from the orchard
Channel your hunter/gatherer instincts and head into the orchards and pick your own fruit. Many orchards in the region allow you to do this, and it’s an activity in this adult-friendly list of activities that the kids will love.
9. Sample bush food
Have you heard that witchetty grub tastes like chicken? Neither. But find out what insects, kangaroo and other bush foods taste like on a tour with local indigenous or bush tucker guides.
10. Relax over brunch
Aussies know how to do breakfast. You’ll barely find a standard English Breakfast on a menu anywhere. Think freshly baked bread with poached eggs, fetta and chorizo, or French toast with seasonal berries and locally made yogurt. Yum!
To plan your gourmet adventure, check out the Travel Inspiration pages. You’ll find a list of self-drive itineraries, plus information on travel times and distances.
When you’re on the road, ask at the visitor centres for the best places to sample the region’s produce, market dates and gourmet drive trails.
Note: Wine tastings add to your blood alcohol concentration.
As a guide, within any one hour period, five standard 20ml tastes of wine will put you dangerously close to the legal limit (0.05%). So either buy a bottle for home, nominate a skipper or catch a bus tour.