Southern Queensland Country is a generous slice of the state, taking in numerous food and wine regions from the Granite Belt in the south, to west around Toowoomba, the Bunya Mountains and beyond. One of the most flavoursome areas is concentrated around the South Burnett in Southern Queensland's north, so join us on this tasty journey.
The Fat Hen Farm
For something different and a true taste of a local experience, start your day near Kilkivan at this 72ha farm and pick up some olives grown on the 600 trees on site here. Fat Hen owner Brownyn Wood also makes olive oils and tapenades as well as beauty products which are almost good enough to eat. www.fathenfarm.com.au
The Left Bank
Head further down the road to this 100-year-old original Union Bank building where the vault serves at the office, and buy a range of local products. Word has it that Bruce's tomato relish is so good, he's sold 5000 jars. www.theleftbank.com.au
The drive through the South Burnett will have you ready for lunch in no time. At Clovely Estate winery, dine in either the Old Dairy Restaurant – a former dairy with original cow bales – or at the cellar door – the former hay shed. The menu in both venues on the 173ha Clovely Estate is much the same. Think local pork, Mooloolaba prawns, Theebine red claw, and Kilkivan ducks. Wally Pesudovs also has the Murgon Butcher smoke him some local pork which he has placed on the menu as “Gypsy Pork” and you can wash that down with Wally's rare Italian Nebbiolo red. www.southburnettwine.com.au/clovelyestate.php
Captain's Paddock Cafe
Wind your way closer to Kingaroy and towards the Captain's Paddock Café, for some more wine tasting and afternoon tea. The menu is largely based around the peanuts for which this region is famous with dishes such as spicy peanut soup; and peanut pesto. But it's the shiraz and chardonnay jellies which are creating a new taste sensation. The owners saw the mechanical grape harvester was damaging the grapes at the end of each row, so turned those grapes into jelly to be served with their savoury and sweet scones. www.captainspaddock.com.au
Taste South Burnett
Just on the edge of town, and if you could only go to one place in this rich region, head to Taste South Burnett. There's 37 different wines here and don't get us started on how many kinds of home-made fudge, because we're talking hundreds. Located in the Old Butter Factory in Kingaroy, this is your one-stop shop to get a grasp on the South Burnett's flavour. Apart from the wine, there's local olives, cheeses, peanut products, salami and other small goods, in which you can partake in tastings, lunch or buy to take away. www.tastesouthburnett.com
With all this fresh, country air, by dinner you'll be ready to head to Accents where Scottish chef Jimmy Stephens uses as much local produce as he can source such as Kingaroy pork and beef. His most popular dish, the pan-fried barramundi, is from nearby Hervey Bay. And then, with all this, Jimmy is trying to gently bring a little bit of Europe to his Kingaroy establishment through French, Italian and Turkish flavours. www.accents.net.au
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Author: Christine Retschlag
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