Ten Gift Ideas for People Who Love Australian Cuisine (Because Who Doesn't?)

From picturesque oyster feasts to bush tucker tastings, these food-filled adventures make for ideal pressies.
Libby Curran
Published on November 05, 2021

Ten Gift Ideas for People Who Love Australian Cuisine (Because Who Doesn't?)

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From picturesque oyster feasts to bush tucker tastings, these food-filled adventures make for ideal pressies.

Choosing a birthday gift for your food-loving friends is easy. You just wine and dine them, meaning you both get to enjoy the spoils of dining out. But when it comes to the holiday season (AKA silly season), our calendars are already filled with parties, lunches, drinks and every other type of social occasion — and this year is tipped to be busier than most. So, what do you get them?

After a year of being relatively housebound (or, at least, state-bound), it's time to up the ante by treating them to a full blown food-fuelled travel adventure. There's more to fancy big-city fine diners, after all. Dig a little deeper and you'll discover Australia's exceptional culinary offerings from country to coast.

In partnership with Tourism Australia, we've rounded up ten gift-worthy dining (and wining) experiences to rock a food-lover's world, including everything from guided bush tucker tastings to sky-high feasts. You can bet they won't be forgetting these next-level presents in a hurry.

  • 10

    You won’t find a more majestic backdrop than Uluru — especially at dusk. Whoever you gift this to will enjoy a three-course meal crafted around native bush ingredients, under the stars and overlooking Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. You can’t beat that, really.

    Ayers Rock Resort’s Sounds of Silence experience begins with a didgeridoo performance paired with canapes, before guests sit down to a feast inspired by traditional bush tucker, plus a selection of Australian beer and wine. A guided tour of the night sky led by the resident star talker rounds out the evening’s magic.

    Image: Tourism Australia

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  • 9

    Good food and good wine go hand in hand. And at South Australian winery St Hugo, you can be the master of your own vino-fuelled feast thanks to its Chef’s Table Experience. So, if you have someone on your gift list who’s an epicure, this could be just the ticket.

    This hands-on affair will see them explore the sprawling kitchen garden, selecting fresh ingredients and using them to whip up lunch while under the expert tutelage of St Hugo’s Head Chef. And once lunch is served, they’ll get to enjoy the fruits of their labour — and sip a range of signature St Hugo drops, too.

    Image: St Hugo

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  • 8

    Cairns is known for its tropical rainforests and world-famous reef, but what you probably didn’t know is that the region also lays claim to a burgeoning craft beer and spirits scene. The Cairns Brewery & Distillery Tour lets you get up close and personal with five of the area’s top independent booze-makers in one glorious afternoon.

    The small, guided group tours run three times a week, as well as on request, usually kicking off with a sit-down lunch and a tap brew at the celebrated Sauce Brewing Co. Other stops might include the likes of Macalister Brewery, Barrier Reef Brewing, Wolf Lane and FNQ Spirits. Your mate, dad or whoever you got for Kris Kringle will get to chat to the makers, sample their wares and get a grasp on what goes into their favourite tipple.

    Image: Tourism and Events Queensland/ Tourism Tropical North Queensland

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  • 7

    Your foodie friend is probably well acquainted with the idea of farm-to-table dining. Now, it’s time to get more of a taste of what the native Australian version looks like. Tweed Eco Cruises offers a hands-on food adventure through the mud crab-filled Terranora Lakes mangrove system, which is an ideal gift for any crustacean lover in your life.

    Led by ​​Bundjalung Nation descendant Luther Cora, the experience teaches guests about First Nations hunting practices firsthand — yep, whoever you gift this to will use bamboo spears to catch mud crabs, stingrays and fish, before enjoying the spoils cooked over a bonfire. The four-hour adventure continues with a boat ride through the oyster leases with plenty of freshly shucked snacks included, and concludes with a sumptuous seafood feast enjoyed with fellow hunters.

    Image: Tweed Eco Cruises via Destination NSW

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  • 6

    When it comes to winemaking, biodynamic is no mere buzzword — for some, it’s the heart and soul of producing fine drops. Gemtree Wines, located in McLaren Flat, helps people wrap their heads around the moon-orientated grape-growing concept with its educational (and super-tasty) Being Biodynamic Tour.

    During this tour, guests discover the ins and outs of biodynamic winemaking on a guided exploration of the property and its dedicated Biodynamic Hut. Naturally, whoever you gift this to will take their understanding to new depths by sampling Gemtree’s wine — paired with a platter of local cheese, cured meats, condiments and fresh bread, no less.

    Image: CityMag, Josh Fanning via South Australian Tourism Commission

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  • 5

    If you know someone who’s mad for molluscs, the ultimate harvest-and-dine adventure awaits them in the crisp waters of Tasmania’s Coles Bay.

    Freycinet Marine Farm’s guided Taste Experience is a hands-on homage to the humble oyster. Your bivalve-loving buddy will don a pair of waders for an immersive tour of the oyster farm, and enjoy a lesson from the farmers on how they grow their prized crop. The two-hour session also involves plenty of snacking on oysters freshly plucked from the water; a how-to session on mastering the art of shucking; and a feast of even more fresh oysters along with juicy steamed mussels and glass of local riesling.

    Image: Tourism Tasmania & Adrian Cook

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  • 4

    Not all wine tours are created equal. For example, this one will see your mate exploring the stunning vineyards of the Canberra wine region on two wheels, at their own leisure. Canberra Wine Region E-Bike Tours has a fleet of e-bikes it hires out for the main purpose of cruising along a self-guided, 14-kilometre trail and visiting eight of the top winery pit stops around Murrumbateman village.

    Your friend will soak up sweeping countryside vistas in between venues, and work off a few of those tastings with some good old-fashioned pedal power. They can even pimp out their two-wheeled steeds with various picnic packages and add-ons like picnic rugs, hampers and wine coolers.

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  • 3

    Vue de Monde does what it says on the tin — and that’s offer world-class views. Headed up by celebrated Australian chef Shannon Bennett, this sky-high spot is one of the top restaurants in the country and it’s known for its theatrical approach to fine dining. So, if you know someone who loves a little drama with their dinner, consider your gift sorted.

    The interiors are inspired by the Australian landscape — think black basalt bars, bespoke kangaroo fur chairs and corrugated iron walls. The Australiana theme carries through to the food, with its Chef’s Tasting Menu championing native Australian ingredients thanks to Executive Chef Hugh Allen. The degustation menu changes regularly, but whoever receives this fine gift could be tucking into the likes of oysters with native citrus, Western Australian marron curry, and cantaloupe and green ants.

    Image: Harvard Wang

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  • 2

    Swan Valley is home to some of Western Australia’s oldest grape vines, so you can expect some top-notch drops when visiting the region, particularly at the well-established Mandoon Estate. Located on Noongar land, the winery honours the Traditional Custodians of the land with its intimate bush tucker tasting sessions, led by Noongar Elder Dale Tilbrook.

    Your giftee will sip wine and sample an array of native ingredients, learning some of the stories and history behind them. Plus, the winery runs a range of other experiences sure to delight grape buffs, including a wine immersion session and an interactive wine-blending class, should you wish to tack on another experience to your pressie.

    Image: Tourism Australia

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  • 1

    An idyllic backdrop of rolling green hills? Check. Some top-notch local plonk and snacks? You betcha. It’s safe to say the picnic situation at Audrey Wilkinson’s Hunter Valley vineyard will make for a stellar present this holiday season.

    Located on 270 acres, the winery and its Picnic Among the Vines experience are sure to impress any wine aficionado. It kicks off with a self-guided tour of the on-site winemaking museum, followed by an expert-led masterclass and tasting to get you sipping and swirling like a pro. With palates warmed, it’s onto a private picnic feast overlooking the vines, featuring a hamper chock full of goodies and a bottle of Audrey Wilkinson vino.

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Give the gift of travel this season and get your mates, partners and parents to Holiday Here This Year (or in years to come). For more unforgettable gift inspiration, visit Australia.com.

Top image: Freycinet Marine Farm, Tourism Tasmania & Michael Walters Photography

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