A Foodie's Guide to Road Tripping from Sydney to Tasmania
Savour every moment with these seven pit stops.
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What's better than a road trip through the epicurean delights of Tasmania? Undertaking the unforgettable road trip all the way there from Sydney, stopping to feast along the way. Long gone are the days when the culinary offerings on the road were limited to Maccas and 24-hour servos, and it mightn't be obvious from behind the wheel, but the route along the Hume Highway is dotted with foodie adventures — from rolling vineyards to 19th-century pubs serving up seasonal produce. Here's where you should plan a pit stop between Sydney and Melbourne (before you board a ferry to Tassie).
From pristine beaches and bountiful wine regions to alpine hideaways and bustling country towns, Australia has a wealth of places to explore at any time of year. We've partnered with Tourism Australia to help you plan your road trips, weekend detours and summer getaways so that when you're ready to hit the road you can Holiday Here This Year.
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After a 3.5-hour drive south from Sydney, take the Barton Highway exit and drive for 15 minutes to reach this cute village in the Yass Valley; it's a gateway to wineries, restaurants and cute shops, including Robyn Rowe Chocolates, whose sweet treats are inspired by local produce, including walnuts from a backyard tree and coffee beans roasted in Canberra. If you're not the designated driver, drop into Helm Wines, afterwards, where you get to wine taste in an 1888 public schoolhouse; and Clonakilla, where some of Australia's best-reviewed wines are made. If you happen to be passing by on the second or fourth Saturday of the month, then have a wander through the Murrumbateman Village Markets, which are packed full of local produce and cooked goodies.
After another hour cruising south, turn off to Jugiong, a pretty village on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River. At the Long Track Pantry, you'll find good coffee, hearty brekkies and lunches, and a delicious collection of homemade jams, chutneys, oils and sauces. From there, pop into the Jugiong Wine Cellar to sample up to 18 drops from the surrounding wine regions of Gundagai, Tumbarumba, Hilltops and Murrumbateman. Also worth a visit is the Sir George, a warm and welcoming pub. Built in 1852, it also houses an artisanal bakery, a restaurant and, in winter, an open fire. On the menu are share plates of lamb croquettes and cauliflower fritters, as well as pub classics like beer battered fish 'n' chips, sausage and mash, and free range parmas, all taken to the next level with premium-quality local ingredients.
BORAMBOLA WINES, NEAR WAGGA WAGGA
This idyllic winery lies just 15 minutes' drive from the Hume along the Sturt Highway, which travels to Wagga Wagga. It's a relaxed spot, family owned, and where you can take your time working your way through several drops while soaking up the views of rolling vineyards. Plus, there's an apple cider and a lager, both named after the Dog on the Tuckerbox. If you've time to spare, continue to Wagga Wagga, where you can try more wines at Eunonyhareenyha Winery and Cottontails and locally brewed beers at Thirsty Crow Brewing Co.
RIVER DECK CAFE, ALBURY
Perched on the banks of the mighty Murray River, Albury is surrounded by lush farmland. Numerous local eateries take advantage of this fact, and one of the best is the River Deck Cafe. You'll find it right on the water, in leafy Noreuil Park. The French-inspired menu changes with the seasons, with dishes varying from steamed Murray cod with seasonal greens, lobster bisque and zucchini flowers to kangaroo loin served rare with white and black-eyed peas, cos lettuce and game jus. If you're wondering where the produce comes from, it's usually written on the menu, and one of the River Deck's favourite suppliers is RAD Growers, a small, independent farm that lies 20 kilometres west.
Handmade cheeses, spicy mustards, locally grown olives and wineries: there's enough deliciousness in Milawa, a tiny town near Wangaratta — just ten minutes' drive from the Hume — to keep you going all day. If you're keen to stretch your legs, grab a free bike from Brown Brothers Winery and go exploring on two wheels. Whichever way you travel, stops should include Milawa Cheese for cheese created with traditional European methods (book ahead for a tasting); Milawa Mustards for mustards and condiments; the Olive Shop for olives, tapenades and dukkah; and finally back at Brown Brothers Winery for a tasting and lunch at the onsite hatted restaurant Patricia's Table. Just six kilometres south of town is Hurdle Creek Still, a distillery where you can sample small-batch spirits and learn all about the gin-making process.
THE WEEKEND LOCAL, EUROA
Every single product in this friendly shop is made, grown or created within 150 kilometres of Euroa, a little town just off the highway, about an hour's drive southwest of Wangaratta. There's coffee from Mansfield Coffee Merchants, sourdough from Strathbogie, pasta sauces, oils and pastes from the Yarra Valley, pastries from Salus Bakery and so much more. In fact, you could pretty much do your week's shopping here. It doubles up as a cafe, serving up excellent coffee and dishes driven by local produce. Another spot worth visiting in Euroa is Fare Enough, which offers light, fresh dishes, including pad thai and wombok salads.
BLUE TONGUE BERRIES, NEAR SEYMOUR
Take a break from driving with a bucolic frolic at this 20-acre blueberry farm, close to the Hume on Seymour's northwestern outskirts. This organic paradise is dedicated to growing the juiciest blueberries possible without harming the environment. To that end, the entire shebang is off-the-grid and self-sufficient, via a mix of solar and wind power. If you're passing by in berry season — November to February — call in advance to book a tasting session. On top of berries, the farm grows loads of seasonal fruit and veggies, as well as producing free-range eggs and lamb. Swing by the farm gate any time to grab some supplies or settle in at the cafe, which overlooks the Tallarook Ranges. You can even stay the night in one of the four homestays, all listed on Airbnb. That way you can time your visit with one of the farm's live music sessions before heading to Melbourne the next day. You're only an hour and 15 minutes' drive to Port Melbourne, where you can board a ferry to Tasmania on any day of the week.
Whether you're planning to travel for a couple of nights or a couple of weeks, Holiday Here This Year and you'll be supporting Australian businesses while you explore the best of our country's diverse landscapes and attractions.
Top image: Borambola Wines via Destination NSW
Published on July 03, 2020 by Jasmine Crittenden