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In the late 18th century, British, French and Dutch explorers all set out to discover and map the shoreline of an intriguing new island continent on the opposite side of the world. Though all three nations’ great captains, like Cook, Van Dieman, Flinders and others, brought backbrought back treasures and fascinating new forms of flora and fauna, it was the British who set about establishing a trading colony on the eastern shores of what came to be known as Australia. Due to the vast distance from the homeland, the British also sent their prisoners away to these faraway lands, many of whom remained in what had become paradise to them once they had completed their obligations. Thus modern Australia was formed as a remote outpost of savvy traders, wranglers, bushmen and larrikins (ruffians).
The new arrivals to Australia discovered an indigenous population that had lived for nearly 50,000 years with survival skills conveyed from generation to generation in secret ceremonies, desert artworks and a grand «Dreamtime» storyline. While the Aboriginal people of Australia were dismissed as slow to learn (they had thrived in the wild without a written alphabet), in the past four decades their artistic skills have brought about a great awakening of respect and curiosity about the symbolism and pattern repetition in large canvases executed by the current keepers of the Dreamtime. An exploration of the “red center” of Australia invariably includes time in an outback indigenous village art center, discovering the mystery of a gifted race living in the 21st century while embracing the core teachings of their forefathers.
Restaurant in town. Between the port and the business district of Sydney, Eleven Bridge, occupies the first floor of a magnificent sandstone building. With an emphasis on this country’s finest and most sustainable produce, chef Phil Wood’s seasonally inspired a la carte menu offers a diverse selection of modern Australian dishes, interspersed with celebrated classics from Rockpool’s rich culinary history. In the kitchen, the skill of the chefs is paramount as they highlight the nature of individual ingredients and traditional cooking methods: a roasted lobster; a whole partridge steamed in bread; native abalone pan fried and doused in brown butter and herbs at the table. ... Learn moreless
Restaurant in a vineyard. A dirt track wends its way through the heart of the vineyard to the old farm outbuildings. The restaurant occupies elegantly restored stables overlooking the wine cellar. The roof and solid stone walls have been preserved and offer an authentic backdrop to Chef Lachlan Colwill’s cuisine. He was brought up in Barossa Valley, but then travelled the world over before returning to his native land to serve modern Australian cuisine, based on local ingredients designed to match the estate wines: freshly-picked salad accompanied by red tuna and chicken livers, squid with a rustic blend of leeks, linseed and sorrel. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant in the mountains. Perched breathtakingly atop the Cedar Mountain plateau, Spicers Peak Lodge commands soul-stirring views of the surrounding mountain range and pristine National Park wilderness. Sensitively designed, Spicers Peak Lodge is an intimate, private retreat offering total immersion in the natural location, abundant wildlife and showcasing the very essence of Australia. Guests are taken on a culinary journey with daily changing menus that honour local ingredients and the story of the place, the connection and respect to the mountain location. Welcome to the luxury Australian bush experience where the rock wallabies, the mascots to the Queensland High country will honour you with a visit to say hi. ... Learn moreless
Restaurant in town. Consistently cited as one of the greatest chefs of his time, Tetsuya has created a world renowned restaurant. In contrast to its bustling central location in Sydney, Chef Tetsuya Wakuda’s serene Japanese inspired building with exquisite gardens works in harmony with the perfectly balanced dishes. The degustation menu may feature a delicate Sashimi of Kingfish with Black Bean and Orange to an exquisite Chocolate Mousse Cake shimmering under a Chocolate Miroir. Tetsuya is inspired by flavours of Japan with classical French techniques and a bounty of extraordinary Australian produce and his signature dish is a Confit of Ocean Trout with Celery, Witlof and Unpasteurised Ocean Trout Roe. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant in the country. A great circle of steel sculpted by local artist Greg Johns is a focal point at the entrance to the hotel and restaurant. Behind it, a collection of contemporary limestone buildings merges into the countryside. The Louise, atop a gentle hill in the middle of Syrah vineyards, has all the charm of a boutique hotel with elegantly designed suites nestled in the heart of the Barossa wine valley. You can admire the sun set over vineyards, enjoy a delightful outdoor shower, meet the wildlife at ‘breakfast with the kangaroos’ and in between these peaceful activities, taste world-class wines which go beautifully with the highly renowned cuisine at Appellation, the hotel’s restaurant. ... Learn moreless