Glorious Foodie Feasts Down South
Long table lunches, shucked oysters, wine masterclasses, cocktail degustations and long table dinners mark yet another exciting food festival season in Western Australia.
With its winning combination of natural beauty and fresh produce, summer and spring is the best time to celebrate all things that grow in WA soil, land and sea. Celebrating apples from Donnybrook, truffles from Manjimup and local seafood, WA attracts a strong community of food and wine lovers gathering for 18-day food festivals or pop-up outdoor dining experiences.
Venture out of town and explore the food capitals of WA — from Manjimup’s cherry season in December, to Donnybrook’s apple season in April — these are the six you won’t want to miss.
Manjimup Cherry Harmony Festival
8 December 2018
A little over four hours south of Perth, Manjimup is one of Western Australia’s foremost food hubs, known for creating the Pink Lady Apple in 1973 and for being the country’s leading producer of black truffles, thanks to as climate comparable to the truffle growing region of Périgord, France. At the tail end of wildflower season, Manjimup hosts their annual Cherry Harmony Festival, a one-day feast of live music and entertainment, local food stalls, art exhibits, light shows, street parades, and wine tastings. Fully booked every year, the prestigious long table lunch attracts people from all over Australia to dine between the cherry orchards.
Grapes and Gallops
21 January 2019
Regarded as one of the top wine growing regions in the state, the climate of Mount Barker is responsible for producing a variety of award winning wines. A four-hour drive south of Perth, the quaint town of Mount Barker hosts the annual Grapes and Gallops Festival to ring in the new year. Race goers donning cocktail dresses and flamboyant headwear can sample the top five Mount Barker wine producers throughout the day, including West Cape Howe and Arcadia. The one-day festival also showcases regional south west produce including fresh shucked Albany Oysters and a paella of local seafood.
South West Craft Beer Festival
16 February 2019
A smorgasbord of 120 craft beers brewed by 20 local producers, there’s no better time for a beer festival than right in the thick of summer. 20 dollars gets you entry and a beer glass to navigate the many stalls with, pouring everything milk stout from Black Brewing Co and black IPA’s from Eagle Bay Brewing Co.
Hosted at Signal Park on the breezy Busselton foreshore, expect gourmet food thoughtfully hand-picked to match the brews on offer, from Japanese inspired panko crumbed prawns and Szechwan tofu, to smokey slow cooked BBQ ribs, brisket and pulled pork from Burnt Ends Smoking Co.
Just like the brews, the live music is said to have a distinctive southwest flavour, with performers that frequent the local breweries and pubs in the region.
Porongurup Wine Festival
3 March 2019
Last year, the Porongurup Wine Festival celebrated its 30th birthday, bringing live music and cooking demos with celebrity cook Anna Gare down to celebrate.
This year, there’ll be the same annual fixtures that the festival is well loved for; from the grape stomping competition, the option of hopping aboard a wine tour through Denmark, or joining a masterclass on the four most well-known varietals (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Riesling and Shiraz), with a top Australian sommelier.
Bringing back the One Wok Wonder in 2019, there’ll be another cook-off against the clock, Masterchef style that will be judged by this year’s celebrity chef.
Donnybrook Apple Festival
20 — 21 April 2019
The first Granny Smith apple tree was planted in Donnybrook in 1900 and the town has since become the home of WA’s apple industry. Kicking off apple season with a street parade of vintage cars, Donnybrook Apple festival features a weekend of cooking and craft competitions, and live entertainment. Think flame throwing cowboy’s, didgeridoo flavoured rock bands and a fireworks show to top it off. Also throughout the weekend is an Easter egg hunt for the kids and Donnybrook’s annual honey competition among the local beekeepers.
Taste Great Southern
4 — 14 April 2019
The Great Southern region encompasses the south coast and farming hinterland of Western Australia. Spanning 18 days, last year’s Taste Great Southern boasted a 40 event lineup of festivals, markets and degustations to celebrate the fresh and seasonal produce from around Albany, Denmark and Mt Barker. Taste Great Southern organizer Richard Campbell, said that this year we can expect a “cocktail degustation at the backdrop of the ‘Field of Light,’ an art installation on Mount Clarence with 16,000 globes.” With a greater focus on the producers, Campbell also says “this year we’re looking at highlighting marron, seafood, lamb, wagyu beef and bringing in the producers a little bit more who are involved with those.”
For more information on foodie feasts down south, visit westernaustralia.com/events