Spring in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales is a time of year to enjoy find food and lovely scenery. Here are eight amazing foodie experiences to enjoy in the Southern Highlands in Spring and one very special glamping experience.
1-Wild Native Feast
Treat yourself to an evening of magic and mystery while dining under the stars in the ruins of an old mining town. Wild Native Feast is an innovative Southern Highlands event put together by the imaginative team at travel adventure and events company, WILDfest.
The seven-course gourmet dining experience on the 28 October 2017 is a formal dinner with a difference.
It brings fine food and Southern Highlands sophistication to Joadja’s historic mining ruins. Gentlemen will be provided with top hat and tails while ladies will wear long gloves and tiaras for an evening of feasting and surprises.
2-Canoes, Champagne and Canapes
Imagine gliding through the mists of an eerie sunken forest off Kangaroo Valley in a custom-crafted double-canoe rig with built-in tabletop and ice bucket.
Nibble on forest canapés and let your eyes drink in the spectacular wilderness setting. A convict-built sandstone road winding through the bushland along the banks is a stunning backdrop.
The rigs are designed to have the stability of a catamaran so you can relax and enjoy the bounty on board.
On the menu? Baby strudels of yam with Warrigal greens and wild basil, wild lime olive and mint lamb skewered on eucalyptus twigs.
Is your mouth watering? How about damper rolls with local yabby in native lime mayo and land cress, Robertson spring water trout sugar cured with beetroot pesto in Robertson potatoes and The Loch Farm lamb in foraged herb crust.
3-The Loch Farm at Berrima
The Loch at Berrima has fast become a foodie hub of the Southern Highlands, due to the efforts of farmer and chef Brigid Kennedy.
Kennedy converted the property’s original estate stables into a lavish contemporary guest house., which showcase antiques lovingly restored on the farm by her partner Kevin.
Each Sunday in Spring, The Loch swings open the farm gate to welcome foodies who are keen to stock a French market basket with farm fresh produce and chefs condiments from The Loch Farm Stall or eat something delicious at the Loch Tasting Room in the open gardens.
A driving force of the local food scene, Brigid introduced Foodie Field Days to The Loch which she now runs seasonally.
These Foodie Field Days revolve around the concept of the long lunch and dishes are prepared with fresh produce from The Loch Farm and local producers.
The seasonal events showcase local growers and food artisans, who often join guests at the table and offer insights to their growing, cooking and farming methods.
4-Grand Bistro Bowral
If you want to meet Southern Highlands locals, head to Grand Bistro. It’s easy to see why Grand Bistro is a favourite among Southern Highland foodie circles.
Dynamic Sydney cafe duo Damien and Justine Monley (Flat White Cafe in Woollahra and Madame Char Char Surry Hills) traded their glamorous life in the big city to get back to being hands-on and closer to the food source in the Southern Highlands.
They took on Howards Lane Vineyard and it wasn’t long before foodies were blazing a pathway to the little timber cabin on the property for Damien’s chefs-garden aperativo enjoyed with a wine tasting.
Now back in the saddle, doing what he loves best, Damien has transformed an old country pub in the heart of Bowral into another local dining institution.
You’ll jostle with locals for a table, so be sure to book. The menu is local produce driven – fuelled by Damien’s own chefs garden and surrounding small farms.
With an abundant local harvest to work with, the spring menu at Grand Bistro Bowral is full of flavoursome offerings. The duo host monthly wine dinners in partnership with local family-run wineries.
5-Joadja Whisky Distillery
Break away from the bitumen for an off-road adventure to Joadja’s Whisky Distillery, where you’ll find big copper stills and a barrel room set up in the heart of a remote wilderness.
The Jimenez Family invite visits by appointment only and offer guided ghost town tours of the ruins of the early mining settlement on site.
6-Southern Highlands Food & Wine Clusters
Download a touring map from the website and take-off for a day drive or a short break touring the food and wine clusters of the Southern Highlands.
Over 150 local growers and artisan producers have banded together under the clusters banner to attract visitors off the well-worn tourist trail and straight to the farm gates of local small farmers and foodies.
The clusters identify distinct producing regions, with farm gates, markets, local dining and accommodation recommended, to offer an authentic experience of Highland food and Highland country living.
7-Exeter General Store
The community hub for local farmers, Exeter General Store, is a must-do stop. Think seasonal local-produce-driven menus, country hospitality and sensational coffee.
Little brown paper bags of the local harvest and small batches of produce from neighbouring farms are available to take home with you.
The sunlit front window at Exeter General Store is a haven for coffee and the papers. Their whisky porridge and breakfast board are sublime for crisp Spring mornings!
8-Robertson Crop Swap
The picturesque village of Robertson is famed for the filming of Babe and community spirit is alive and well in this hamlet of the Southern Highlands.
Every Saturday, local growers and keen gardeners pile their excess fresh produce or home cooked jams and so on, onto the tray of an old pick-up truck outside of Rockabella’s Diner.
Anyone is welcome to take part and you are free to take away as much as you like, regardless of your contribution.
The whole idea is to do away with food waste and make meaningful connections in the process.
Local yoga guru and organic farmer from Chirons Gardens Orchards, Pi Wei Lim, is behind it. She frequently organises gatherings at her own farm around the season’s press, cooking up pots of pear jam, along with pruning and picking at her beautiful orchard.
Her orchard has several varieties of exotic Asian pear. And you wouldn’t guess she’s also the local doctor.
This is an enjoyable and rewarding get together where you can rub shoulders with locals, introduce your kids to food from the source and take home some lovely fresh local produce for free.
This content was sponsored by WILDfest, the organiser of wilderness festival WILDfest Southern Highlands (27 to 29 October 2017).
Discover the Southern Highlands with WILDfest Southern Highlands (27 to 29 October 2017).
Remote Glamping Experience
An all-inclusive long weekend, WILDfest’s Remote Glamping Experience is three days of luxury glamping in the Southern Highlands wilderness.
Can you imagine yourself rejuvenating at the Wild Bush Spa while your concierge makes up your luxury designer tent? Oh yes, this is a wilderness experience with all the creature comforts.
Looking for more things to do near Sydney? Here’s why you should consider visiting Wollongong.