The Southern Splendors of Australia are renowned for their wine, cuisine, and wildlife, but while each share these three qualities, their identities are far from similar. Down Under Answers takes you on a trip through unique regions of Australia where you’ll discover the hidden gems of the South.
As Victoria’s capital city, Melbourne embodies excellence and glamour with tons of shopping, a passion for food and wine, dozens of festivals and events, luscious gardens and parks, and a love for the arts.
Melbourne’s eclectic dining scene makes it favorable among tourists with a varied appetite, ranging from modern and exotic to twists on home-style favorites. As a melting pot of cultures, the city offers an assortment of international cuisines from Italian to Vietnamese or Greek to Peruvian . If you’re interested in finding the best of what Melbourne has to offer, treat yourself to an award-winning meal at Attica, Flower Drum or Vue Du Monde,. Food trucks are also prevalent throughout the city, so track down Beatbox Kitchen or Taco Truck, two originals in the area, for a taste of the urban street food revolution. On a night when you’re craving a late night bite in a fun atmosphere, drop into Choo Choo’s at the Toff for a Thai inspired menu with drinks to match.
While Victoria’s cities have a reputation for good food, they have also made their mark in the wine industry. With rolling hills and boundless vineyards, Yarra Valley is a mecca of stunning scenery with wines to match. The cool-climate produced wine was the first of its kind in Victoria, and remnants of early beginnings can be found throughout the vineyards in rustic tin sheds hidden among the vines. Accompany your visit with a meal at the winery as you take in the impeccable surroundings.
Throughout Victoria you’ll discover an endless array of natural landscapes and iconic wildlife. Whether you’re walking the white sandy beaches, trekking the lush green rain forests, or exploring the park reserves, there are endless opportunities to come up close and personal with natural inhabitants. After wondering the city of Melbourne, take a trip out to Phillip’s Island to see the renowned Penguin Parade. Every afternoon visitors line the beach and observation decks to witness the penguins waddle back to shore from a long day at sea, a truly remarkable sight. Although you might get caught up in the fast-moving atmosphere in a few of Victoria’s cities, slow down to take in the natural beauty that aligns every inch of this spectacular state.
Having long been at the receiving end of many mainland jokes, Tasmania has finally dismissed the isolation label and is getting the recognition it so rightfully deserves. With its uninhabited well-preserved wilderness, bountiful wildlife, historical landmarks, gourmet food and wine, and thriving art scene, Tasmania is bustling with visitors year after year.
The compactness of Tasmania makes its many diverse environments easily accessible—from alpine ranges and grasslands to temperate forests and coastal regions. The Warrawee Forest Reserve is a great place to check out Tasmanian wildlife, as well as the Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park, where you can come face to face with the nation’s mascot and learn about the Tasman Isolation Project. For tree-lovers, this area of Australia is a well-preserved treasure with many natural wonders waiting to be explored.
Tasmania is known for its organic farming and sustainability, making for an authentic food and drink experience. Its cool-climate winemaking has given Tasmania an international reputation as a leading wine producer, particularly with its Pinot Noir and sparkling wines. Travel on the Southern Wine Route, exploring the vineyards of the Tamar and Huon Valley, where you can sample the finest wines while dining in a quaint cottage.
From the Salamanca Market to fine dining restaurants, Tasmania’s fresh produce is on display daily. Ranging from contemporary to hearty comfort food, Tasmanian cuisine spoils visitors with inspiring dishes using local ingredients that will satisfy even the pickiest of appetites. As Tasmania’s most popular dining scene and capital of the country, the city of Hobart is home to many talented chefs serving a variety of delectable dishes. A few places to check out include the Point Revolving restaurant, Ristorante Da Angelo, and Cornelian Bay Boathouse restaurant, all highly acclaimed eateries. The city also offers many classes on how to prepare traditional “Tassie” dishes, a fun and unique experience to take part in while visiting.
Captivating tourists with its 18 district wine regions, fresh local produce and diverse wildlife, South Australia boasts a charming atmosphere paired with an adventurous attitude.
Immerse yourself in colonial ambiance as you travel through the city of Adelaide while bustling through the City Market to sample local, handpicked fruits and vegetables. Make your way to 1 or more of the 200 cellar doors on Adelaide’s doorsteps and get a taste for why this part of the country is famously known as the “Wine Capital” of Australia. From Barossa to McLaren Vale and Coonawarra to Clare Valley, South Australia is adorned with some of the finest wineries in the world.
Yet, this area blends more than just wine. South Australia prides itself on cuisine, with hundreds of restaurants and bistros offering home-style meals and original creations that are sure to delight your taste buds. From handcrafted cheeses and chocolates, to a variety of locally caught seafood, discover the vibrant food scene that occupies this southern region. For a fine dining experience, indulge your appetite at Penfold’s Magill Estate where you can sit back and enjoy a glass of Australia’s most famous wine, Penfolds Grange. This area is also known as aquaculture central, with many restaurants serving fresh oysters, crayfish, and snapper directly to your plates within hours of being caught. To satisfy your sweet tooth, stop in at Haigh’s Chocolates in Adelaide and sample some of their handmade sweets; beware, you won’t go home empty handed.
When you’re not completely immersed in food and wine, take a trip to Kangaroo Island to check out the stunning scenery and Australian wildlife. It’s easy to think the island is uninhabited while strolling through the bush land or coming up close and personal with a colony of endangered sea lions, but there is a small population of less than 5,000 residents that share pride in calling this natural treasure home. Among the wildlife you might come across include kangaroos, koalas, wallabies, penguins, enchiladas and many more. A trip to South Australia is not complete without a visit to Kangaroo Island.
Explore and discover the Southern regions of Australia and savor the cuisine, the wildlife and great Australian hospitality on your Aussie vacation.