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Bundaberg Region Winterfeast

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There's nothing like Australian food & wine. Hand's up if you've travelled for a food and wine festival or jetted interstate to try a new restaurant in the last 12 months? Tourism Australia report high value travellers rank good food and wine in the top five most important factors when choosing a holiday destination.

While most travellers think of foodie getaways to Melbourne, Noosa or Margaret River, what about the emerging foodie destination of Bundaberg?

Bundaberg is less than an hour's flight from Brisbane and has the enviable location of being the gateway to the Southern Great Barrier Reef. With stunning coastal and aquatic attractions such as the turtles at Mon Repos and inland its fertile soil produce a staggering 25% of Australia's food, making it both an aquatic wonderland and foodie paradise.

To showcase and celebrate the incredible fresh produce, the region stages an annual 10-day Winterfeast Festival, an authentic farm gate to plate experience in Bundaberg, North Burnett Region Queensland.

In part one of our Bundy series we bring you the highlights from this year's festival!

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Let The Night Be Gin
You've all heard of Bundaberg Rum, but have you heard of Bundaberg Gin? Rick Prosser (ex-Bundaberg Rum) launched this family owned and operated business just 18 months ago and flung open the doors to the distillery during the festival for a night of gin cocktails and the chance to blend our own gin. The night included premium gin cocktails such as the exquisite Fig Jam Martini created by gin queen Belinda aka 'The Patron Saint of Gin', a scrumptious three course menu from the inventive boys of The Bundy Burger Company (with not a burger in sight) and the opportunity to blend our very own bottle of classic gin. Honestly, it was a brave soul to attempt to co-ordinate a bunch of gin drinking revellers to focus on blending our own and we'll soon find out the results, with our group-blended gin being shipped to us in the coming weeks!
The Kalki Moon cellar door is open all year round for tastings, a must-do for gin lovers.

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Artisan Food Tour
What better way to unlock your passion for food than a guided food tour of the region with Bundy Food Tours' Suzie Clarke. This small intimate day tour with like-minded foodies visited a bunch of passionate farmers and producers tasting, picking and cooking our way around the region. Highlights included a behind the scenes tour of the Grunske seafood market and a platter of their finest (pictured top), picking strawberries with the effervescent Tina from Tinaberries, eating the flakiest pastries in Australia's smallest bakery at The Pocket Storehouse and more.
Similar tours run all year by Bundy Food Tours, and it's a must-do when visiting Bundy.

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A Winterfeast for the Senses
A masterful idea to combine the regions fine food with a side of culture! Bundaberg Region Art Gallery (BRAG) staged a stunning evening showcasing artist Hobie Porter's contemporary landscape retrospective, to the strains of the Bundaberg Sinfonietta and delicious morsels by Chef Dion Taylor from Food for Fork; it truly was a feast of the senses!
Check out BRAG for current and upcoming exhibitions.

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Farm Flavours Picnic
Bundaberg produces a whopping 25% of Australia's macadamias with nearly 2 million trees in the region, so it was a genius idea to picnic amongst the trees at the Farm Flavours Picnic! Guests grazed on a picnic basket filled with local ingredients including Barritt's smallgoods, The Pocket Storehouse sourdough and Tinaberries strawberries featuring on the most delicious mini passionfruit cheesecake with fresh strawberries. The family friendly event saw groups gathering on blankets amongst the macadamia groves enjoying the sunshine and live entertainment for the most delicious, leisurely afternoon.
Seek out Macadamia Australia's Lemon Myrtle Macadamias online or local stockists. Yum!

With sunny skies and winter temperatures around 26 degrees, more southerners should make their escape north to Bundaberg during Winterfeast. The incredibly friendly people, magnificent produce and laid-back lifestyle make Bundaberg a foodie destination worth exploring.

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Missed out? Visit anytime to enjoy a taste of Bundaberg or subscribe to be among the first to hear about next year's event!

Create your own gourmet getaway with a stay at Bundaberg's most luxurious accommodation ZEN Beach Retreat boasting absolute beachfront location at Bargara, now available to book on alluxia.

Have you visited Bundaberg Winterfeast? Did you love it too?

Image credit: IG @alluxia, IG @_sally_scott_

The writer was a guest of Bundaberg North Burnett Tourism.
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