BOASTING rust red soil and perched on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, it’s little wonder Bundaberg North Burnett is one of the most fertile food spots on the planet. Join us for 9 divine wining and dining experiences
Perfectly balanced along the Burnett River, not only are the sunset views superb here, but so are the meals at this seafood market and takeaway. Home cooks will enjoy foraging through the market section which is home to wild-caught prawns, Bundaberg scallops and fresh reef and estuary fish. Diners with a little more time or money will enjoy the open-air dining experience on the deck while selecting from menu items such as lobster mornay and grilled Moreton Bay bugs.
More for the corporate and function world than individuals, but worthy of a mention, Water Street Kitchen is all about delivering fresh local produce from the paddock to the plate and on to the desk of busy workers. Specialising in corporate and bespoke catering, and gourmet lunch delivery, this is an ideal innovation for Bundaberg with everything from sliders, sandwiches, salads and platters.
Snatching pole position on the corner overlooking the esplanade and the ocean beyond, Kacy’s Restaurant Bargara is somewhat of an icon in the region. And it’s a fitting venue from which to order a wide selection of seafood, including the Brandy Butter Bugs and Hervey Bay Half Shell Scallops.
The Hill of Promise winery was named after owner Terry Byrne’s Sicilian grandparents who arrived in Australia with half a dozen words of English, 10 shillings and “a suitcase full of hopes and dreams”. Terry first starting making wine with his grandfather when he was nine years old. Fast forward to 2000 and Terry and his wife Mary planted grapes on 6ha. But a series of weather events forced them to buy local grapes from other producers. They opened their cellar door in 2003 and stopped growing their own grapes shortly after.
These days, they make about 1000 bottles of any variety in a year and have won a gold medal at the Queensland Wine Awards for their white muscat which has also been named Best Fortified Wine in Queensland.
The newest wine makers along the Childers Wine Trail, Zoe Young and Josh Phillips, had a self-confessed “early midlife crisis” and decided to give up their office jobs and buy a winery. Opening Ohana Winery in 2015, Zoe, 29 and Josh, 28, started with a couple of hundred of bottles of their fruit wine but now produce 2000 of each. And rest assured, it’s not that sickly sweet fruit wine which gave Queensland a bad reputation 20 years ago. In fact, so good is their wine, they entered 10 different drops in two different wine competitions and have won 10 out of 10 places.
Marianne Lethbridge bought Vinters Secret Vineyard in 2009 with a desire to show the rest of the world that grapes could be grown in Childers. These days, you’ll find 2.4ha of land under vine including Marsanne, Verdelho, Shiraz and Cabernet.
“The first message we have to get out is that you can grow grapes here. We grow the right ones for the region,” Marianne says.
“It was born of a migrant’s dream. I’m from Holland and I’m a war baby and when the war ended Holland was totally decimated.
“My family came to Australia to make a life on a farm. That was the dream, growing small crops in the Hunter Valley.
“I clearly remember when I was seven years old and my dad getting a hand of dirt and putting it in mind and saying ‘this is the only thing in life that will make your life worth living. You must own and look after land.’
“I can still feel that dirt in my hand today.”
Set in a bush setting a little along the beaten track, Brierley Wines has posted a series of signs on trees encouraging visitors to “keep going” as there’s wine ahead. The first grapes were planted around 29 years ago, and wine making started 17 years ago. These days, the winery produces between 6000 and 10,000 litres with chambourcin its most famous drop. While they don’t use preservatives, they do still use corks, and they make their wine the old-fashioned Italian way. The labels are named after the women in the family including Annie, Renee, Alyce and Suzy and the dry white Y Not is actually the first name of owner Tony Brierley, spelt backwards.
Just outside of Childers, in the tiny township of Apple Tree Creek, you’ll find this unlikely Canadian Inspired Australian Cuisine establishment. For those craving a Canadian treat, and wishing to sit among reams of Canuck memorabilia, this is the place for you. Among the extensive menu, try the Reuben sandwich which is actually more American, than Canadian, but in a place like this, anything goes.
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