The Southern Highlands of New South Wales is a fabulous place to enjoy find wonderful food and lovely scenery. Here are eight amazing foodie experiences to enjoy in the Southern Highlands in Spring and one very special glamping experience.
Southern Highlands Food and Wine
1- Pie Time
Fancy pies and pinot?
The Southern Highlands has a fun winter festival called Pie Time, where talented pie makers show off their culinary skills each year.
Check into a cosy cottage or grand manor and enjoy a weekend filled with the best pies in the country.
2- The Loch Farm at Berrima
The Loch at Berrima has fast become a foodie hub of the Southern Highlands, due to the efforts of the 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 into their growing, cooking and farming methods.
3- 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.
4- Joadja Whisky Distillery
Breakaway 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.
5- 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.
6- 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 papers.
Their whisky porridge and breakfast board are sublime for crisp Spring mornings!
7- 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.