There are foodie tours. There are the foodie tour operators who are as passionate about their product as they are about where they live.
You may be embarking on an incredible culinary journey when a Darkinjung elder introduces you to a native plant that you have never tasted or heard of.
Outback lambs are proud and pastoral.
Fiona Aveyard and Bill Aveyard are no strangers to the world of farming. The couple was raised on farms in the Tullamore area of New South Wales, 450km west of Sydney. Four generations of their family-owned properties in this area, where they raised herds.
They have a sixth generation to help them: Lily, Archie, Evie, and Jim. On a tour through their Westpoint Property, you’ll get to meet all of them – including the family’s beloved Kelpies.
After walking through these fields, you’ll appreciate your meal more after observing how Fiona Bil,l, and their young entourage care for the environment and their animals.
Junee Licorice and the Chocolate Factory: A Willy Wonka Moment
How long is a piece of licorice measuring 612m? What is the length of a part of a rocky road measuring 62.2m? You’re not too far off if you think these are something Willy Wonka would have created. The Junee Licorice and Chocolate Factory in the southern Riverina area of the state is a magical confectionery paradise. It’s a place that experiments with giant chocolate “pizza wheels” and organic red raspberry licorice – without artificial flavorings – at the Druce Family owners’ insistent request.
The 1934 flour mill that the business is located in is just as impressive. A stone mill on-site still transforms the organic grains of the family into bread and pizza bases to be consumed at the restaurant.
Husk Distillers: For the love of rum
Husk is an all-family affair. From the husband-and-wife founders, Paul Messenger and Mandaley Perkins, to their three daughters. There’s also the “recycling” team (aka doe-eyed cows) and Matilda Messenger, an excitable vizsla dog and morning tea supervisor.
With a little help and some of the finest distillers in the nation, they create spiritual magic with their Ink Gin and Husk Rum. Both products are a reflection of their origin and location. The rum is a reflection of the farm’s place in the Tweed, on NSW’s North Coast, with its salty air, fertile volcanic soil, and crystal-clear waters. The gin is packed with local ingredients such as lemon myrtle, pepperberry, and volcanic soil.
You’ll learn about the farm’s cane and cattle farms in the foothills of Wollumbin, which is home to the family. Grace will take you on a tour behind the scenes. Her favorite cocktail? The gimlet. Each experience is immersive, insightful, and unique. It reveals how Paul and Mandy add a distinctive Australian twist to their delicious creations.
Indigenous connection: Firescreek Winery
Darkinjung Land is the Central Coast area of NSW, around Territory. It is a land rich in Aboriginal history and flora. On an Aboriginal Storytelling & Wine Tasting Tour, you’ll meet a Darkinjung Elder and learn about the rich wildlife and native plants that thrive on the property.
Nadia and Francis O’Connell, a husband and wife team who create distinctive wines, have incorporated many of these flavors into their wine. Blackcurrant with coffee and chili citrus are two examples.
The cleansing ceremony, digeridoo music, and subsequent plant and wine tasting in organic gardens offer a soul-stirring connection with the land.
Meet Robertson Truffles, a fun guy.
Bella is a beautiful Italian Lagotto Romagnolo who lives with her labrador brothers on a farm located in the Southern Highlands. She spends three months of the year on the hunt for Perigord Truffles (June to August), but the rest, she, Robertson Truffles, and their owners, Samantha Appel and John Phizacklea, enjoy the paradise they have created, a 2-hour drive south of Sydney.
The couple moved to the area for a change of trees after falling in love. They haven’t looked back since. They now nurture a grove of oak and hazelnuts and the black fungus, which thrives at the roots during the winter.
It’s hard to resist the couples’ love for their property and their dogs. Sam and John will get you dirty on their property as they follow Bella to find ‘black diamonds’ while explaining the intricacies of growing this aromatic delicacy. You can enjoy your truffle harvest at the end, a delicious, truffle-infused dinner you will never forget.