In recent years, the Shoalhaven has become one of the top culinary destinations in all of Australia. The region is filled with high quality produce that thrives in our temperate climate, healthy catchments and unspoilt soils. Farmers, growers and renowned chefs all bring their expertise together to offer up humble, thoughtful and innovative South Coast cuisine. It's all about letting the ingredients shine and the Shoalhaven paddock to plate experience is one to remember. There's nothing fresher than seeing your vegetables being picked from the kitchen garden and heading straight onto your dish! Our food lover's paradise awaits and is a melting pot of gastronomical experiences that will keep you coming back for more. Read on for all of our top hotspots and click to find out more about our delicious Foodie Trail.
Foodie Experiences: Flavours of the Valley Cooking Class, Kangaroo Valley
Are you a bit of a masterchef at home? Then you'll love getting up close and personal with all of our fresh local produce at a hands-on cooking class with Flavours of the Valley. The expert teachers will guide you through everything that's in season and demonstrate how to transform these ingredients into gourmet dinner party masterpieces. The Garden to Table experience truly captures the essence of 'eating local' and includes multiple courses plus introductions into garden foraging, cheese making and bread making. All items that you'll learn to cook with are picked straight from the on-site garden or sourced from nearby farmers and artisanal growers. Classes are held at Wildwood Estate, a gorgeous 100-acre property in equally as gorgeous Kangaroo Valley. Learning the art of simple, rustic cookery while being surrounded by lush greenery is a wonderful way for gourmet food lovers to escape to the country. Click the link to find out more info about our other Shoalhaven cooking classes.
Foodie Experiences: Foodscape Tours, Berry
Can't decide exactly where you want to go on your culinary adventure? Why not leave all the planning to the experts? Foodscape Tours will guide you through all the hotspots in the heart of Berry, giving you a glimpse (and of course, a taste!) of the very best of the town's bustling foodie scene. You'll even get the opportunity to meet a bunch of local producers and go behind the scenes at some nearby farm gates. There are plenty of different tour packages to suit what you're after. Book an Indulgence full day tour, organise a romantic private Winescape tour or embark upon the Bite Around Berry walking food trail if you're a little bit short on time. You'll visit famous foodie haunts like the Berry Tea Shop, Kangaroo Valley Olives and Silos Estate Vineyard. Foodscape offers a fun and easy way of discovering all the delicious flavours of the Shoalhaven's northern producers.
Foodie Experiences: Kenny Escapes Food & Wine Tours, Berry
In the Shoalhaven, it's really not too difficult to live the good life. Decadent food and wine experiences are in abundance and you can discover many of these with the masters at Kenny Escapes Food & Wine Tours. These are an excellent idea for birthday party weekends, hen's gatherings or chilled out bachelor parties as you can organise your own private tour package and even customise to your groups' requests and taste. If you look back on all those holiday moments that you cherish, a lot of them were probably spent with your nearest and dearest over some delicious food and a glass of wine, right? What better way to create a memorable experience with your closest pals than by indulging in a gourmet food experience with some of the freshest produce you can find. The High Tea in the Vines tour is a top pick for girls' weekends or if you want something a little more romantic, check out the Twilight Tasting and Dinner package that's perfect for couples.
Hands on Foodie Experiences: Clyde River Berry Farm, Mogood
Every Autumn from March to April, you can pick your own nuts at Sassafras Nuts. The farm is nestled in the stunning Budawang Ranges and makes for an excellent family day trip. Don't worry if you've missed picking season though, you can still book a trip to the farm all year-round. For those who'd love a go at picking their very own berries, pop Clyde River Berry Farm at the top of your foodie trail list. During December and January, the farm is open to the public for it's "pick your own berries" season. It's an awesome outing for anyone adventuring near Ulludulla or Mollymook, especially because the beautiful forest roads out to the farm are a little bit off the beaten track in Mogood. The working farm grows a range of different berries including blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries which can all be picked when in season. This fun hands-on experience is a great way to pay respect to where our food actually comes from and you can celebrate all the fruits of your labour (we just had to use this pun!) with a well-earned ice cream, made with the on-site berries of course, at the end of the day.
Local Growers: Jim Wild Oysters, Greenwell Point
Hey, all you seafood lovers! You must be dying to try a taste of our incredible oyster coast, home to some of the most environmentally friendly and sustainable estuaries in the world. Greenwell Point is a hotspot for some of the freshest oysters you'll ever taste thanks to its pristine and unspoilt waters. This fishing village is home to Goodnight Oysters, who supply many of our local seafood eateries and restaurants, as well as Jim Wild's Oyster Service which is open to the public. Visiting Jim is a must on your paddock (well, ocean) to plate holiday. The family owned and operated oyster farm lies at the meeting point of the Shoalhaven and Crookhaven Rivers and is the sixth largest coastal catchment in New South Wales. You can book a guided tour with Jim and learn all about the life cycle of an oyster. He shares his extensive knowledge about his trade and explains each crucial stage of an oyster from beginning to end. What's the best part about this tour though? You get to sample some of the freshest Sydney Rock and Pacific Oysters you'll ever eat, direct from the farm. Mmm, delicious!
Local Growers: Cupitt's Growers Market, Ulladulla
Discover a huge selection of local produce vendors, all in one place at the Cupitt's Growers Market, on once a month on Saturdays from 10am - 12pm. Enjoy wandering through this open air market, hosted on the grounds of picturesque Cupitt's Winery. You'll be able to sample all the hard work from local Shoalhaven farmers, buy some of the finest Shoalhaven ingredients and cook up your own paddock to plate feast when you get home. There are herbs, fruits, vegetables and dairy products galore, just to name a few. The culinary options are endless with a great selection of organic produce available from nearby growers as well as Cupitt's very own kitchen garden. Ready-made eats such as scrumptious Cornish scones are available too if you need a little bit of fuel for your market adventure. Or you can treat yourself to a sit-down morning tea with a view from the restaurant. Visit our Farmer's Markets page to find out more about all the different markets throughout the entire region.
Local Growers: Wholefoods Store, Milton
Have a go at creating your own farm to (picnic) table experience at the Wholefoods Store, Milton. With organic, biodynamic and local produce galore, you'll find everything you need for a gourmet and healthy picnic lunch by the beach. The boutique grocer sources produce from local growers who are certified Demeter Bio-Dynamic, meaning their farming practices don't cost the earth and diners get to benefit from the exquisite flavours that come from all natural ingredients. The produce you'll find in store is seasonal and always changing - with a selection of top quality fruit and veg, a variety of delicious nuts and a great range of artisan cheeses from farmers within the region. Grab some snacks and have a lazy meal down near the water at nearby Mollymook or Narrawallee, but remember to grab a $50 fresh veg box on your way out too. That way you can also cook up a delicious South Coast storm when you get back home from your holiday.
Local Growers: Martin's Orchard, Wandanian
Visit our local stone fruit connoisseurs at Martin's Orchard. The farm has been in operation for over 40 years and is famous for their incredibly fresh and delicious cherries, nectarines, peaches and plums. The roadside stall is located on the Princes Highway at Wandananian and hard to miss. If you happen to be visiting during the stonefruit season between November - March, make sure to pop in. It's the perfect snack stop if you're passing through on a road trip. Pull over, grab a tray or two of fruit and be off on your merry way. You'll have fresh and healthy food for the road but the best part is that your car will be filled with the most delicious fruit fragrances you've ever smelt! If you feel like planning your own farm gate trail adventure, check out South Coast Harvest Experience for some inspiration, the website provides information on a great selection of growers in our region.
Local Growers: South Coast Dairy, Berry
Get to know the local milkman at South Coast Dairy. Okay, you won't actually be able to visit him on site - he's a very busy man, you know! But you can sample his deliciously fresh milk at many of the local grocers and eateries in the Shoalhaven. You're probably going to want to relax with a cuppa or two during your holiday so add a bit of local milk to the mix. Or grab a coffee and a bite at The Butterfactory in Pyree or Hedgehogs in Berry. The lush, green pastures of the South Coast make a lovely home for healthy, contented dairy cows who produce fresh and flavoursome milk that's a huge step up from your average supermarket drops. The carefully selected herds are nurtured on some of the richest pastures in Australia and you can really taste the difference!
Dine In: The Dairy Bar, Berry
Seeing as we are already celebrating our local milkman, take it up a notch by channeling your childhood self with milkshakes, gelatos and sundaes at The Dairy Bar in Berry. Their delicious treats are produced from award-winning South Coast Dairy Milk (mentioned above) and a wonderful "cow to cone" experience. The dairy cows that make all these treats possible are literally down the road! Talk about local, the carbon footprint of the menu here is minuscule, measured in metres - just 76m to be exact! Take a trip down memory lane in this milk bar café that creates a perfect sense of retro nostalgia. You might even be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the herd in the pastures while slurping down your milkshake on the deck outside. We didn't lie about just how local the ingredients are!
Dine In: Milkhaus, Milton
What are some elements that make up a truly wonderful farm to table experience? A café that has its own kitchen garden? An eatery inside an old cheese factory that has raises its own chooks? A beautiful large country kitchen where you can take part in artisanal cooking classes? We think all of these sound pretty awesome. What's even more awesome is that you can find all of this in one lovely quaint package at Milkhaus. This Milton café boasts stunning views of green, rolling hills and has become quite the institution in recent years. And it's all thanks to the country charm, delicious coffee and innovative cuisine that celebrates all things local. The seasonal menu is constantly changing and includes creative dishes like the tofu mushroom tart or the corned beef fritters. Foragers, foodies and gourmands unite - you'll end up loving this place so much that you'll wish there was one closer to home.
Dine In: South on Albany, Berry
Modern and creative European cuisine, made with high quality Shoalhaven ingredients. That's exactly what you'll find here at South on Albany. It's become one of Berry's most highly acclaimed food institutions and it's understandable why. Owners John and Sonia have been in the culinary business on the South Coast for many years and have worked tirelessly to build strong relationships with the best local producers. This gives them the opportunity to showcase exactly what the booming Shoalhaven food scene has to offer to diners. Try some of the cured local kingfish or the terrine of local pastured chicken - the menu is a little bit French, a little bit European and a little bit Australian, all tied up in one delicious knot. The eatery is open for both lunch and dinner - we wouldn't be surprised if you loved it so much that you went twice in one day!
Dine In: Cupitts Winery, Restaurant, Brewery & Fromagerie, Ulladulla
You really can't get much closer to a producer to plate experience than this. Sip wines made with grapes from the on-site vineyard. Drink beer that's been produced at the on-site brewery. Eat cheese that's been lovingly tended to in the on-site fromagerie. Last but not least, you can also dine inside the restaurant which sources the best of the Shoalhaven's ingredients and even picks herbs and vegetables from the on-site kitchen garden. This is all available in one spot at Cupitts Winery, Restaurant, Brewery & Fromagerie, tucked away in the green hills of Ulladulla. It doesn't get much fresher when the food and wine are made right there on the property. For travellers who are here on a Friday or Saturday, we recommend you start your visit here with a winery sunset tour which begins amongst the vines at 5pm. You'll get the chance to go behind the scenes, learn all about the artisan process and cap it off at the end with a tasting experience, of course! After your tour, settle in for the night at the restaurant and indulge in dishes like the pan fried barramundi or grilled duck breast - finish it all off with a must-try cheese board.
Dine In: St Isidore, Milton
Go out with a bang and cap off your indulgent foodie extravaganza at the highly acclaimed one-hatted restaurant St Isidore in Milton. This contemporary Australian eatery serves up only the best seasonal and local product in humble dishes like the smoked quail, snapper fillet or the fried green tomato salad. The Spaniard St Isidore was the patron saint of farmers, peasants and day labourers, which sums up perfectly what this restaurant is all about - the celebration of all the hard work that goes into creating delicious food that's great for the body and soul. The restaurant lies in a modest building with a tin roof that pays homage to the essence of a country farmhouse and is situated on 3 acres which overlook Milton Valley. The chefs source many of their ingredients from their very own on-site garden and the venue offers beautiful outdoor seating where you can watch cows graze, spot carrots growing and hear the local birds chattering away. Bon appetit!