Big day out: South Burnett food trail road trip
Just as you need fuel in the tank to get the car moving, I like my road trips to have a little more incentive than just pretty countryside views and a killer playlist. So, when you can add the allure of farm gates, cellar doors and quaint village providores to visit along the way, I’m all ears.
Locals have been singing the praises of the quiet achieving food and wine scene of the South Burnett region for years, and with nutrient-rich soil that allows grapes, peanuts, pumpkin, wheat, corn and citrus to thrive, it makes sense that this lesser-known region is becoming a hot bed of food and wine experiences.
We set off from Brisbane on a food trail road trip to Kingaroy and its surrounding towns, in search of local drops, charming tea breaks and of course, the famous Peanut Van.
Here’s how you can do the same in just one day.
9AM: Aland’s Fruit and Veges, Kilcoy
(Brisbane to Kilcoy, 99km)
Make a pit-stop in Kilcoy to stretch your legs and pick up some fresh fruit and veggies from Aland’s. The bright and cherry sign out front welcomes you into a treasure trove of local produce – from pumpkins and chokos barely out of the soil, to jams and pickles made with love, meat from nearby Woodford, and pure honey from Morayfield.
This cute little greengrocer – that’s been a stalwart in the town for 36 years – also has a great gluten-free corner and a nice range of organic products, and if you’re keen to stock up for a picnic, this is the place to do so.
(Psst! If you’ve got time later or are keen to return another day, the Exchange Hotel across the road has recently undergone a refurb and is dishing out quality fare. We’re loving the sound of the lamb shank pie.)
A: 28 William St, Kilcoy
P: 07 5497 1596
10AM: Morning tea at Pottique Lavender Farm
(Kilcoy to Kingaroy, 105km)
On the outskirts of Kingaroy, make a stop at one of Australia’s largest working lavender farms (with antiques and pottery to boot) – Pottique.
Browse through their store where you’ll find 50 shades of lavender – from headache balm to lavender cheese, lavender wine, liqueur and tea, right through to lavender jam, peanuts and sweet chilli sauce! If you can infuse it with lavender you can bet they’ve done it here.
Order the lavender Devonshire Tea and enjoy it outside in the Alice in Wonderland-esque gardens where tubular blooms spill down from shady trees. When the season is in full bloom, you can pick your own lavender to take home too.
A: 15645 D’Aguilar Highway, Kingaroy
P: 07 4162 2781
Open: Wednesday to Sunday 10am-4:30pm
11AM: Visit the famous Peanut Van
It wouldn’t be a foodie road trip without a stop at the Peanut Van. This humble humpy has been dishing out tasty local peanuts since 1969 and has more than 20 flavours on offer, along with traditional raw and roasted peanuts, and delicious peanut butter.
Friendly shopkeeper Alwyne dishes out taste testers so we can decide on our favourite flavours. “I keep a kilo bag of the Ginger & Honey in my freezer and add it to my cheese plates,” she says.
Bags of their signature Ginger & Honey and ‘Kurry’ peanuts in hand (with a mental note to pick up some cheese), we head to our next stop.
A: 77 Kingaroy St, Kingaroy
P: 1300 818 283
Open: Daily 8:30am-5pm
11:30AM: Stock up at Taste South Burnett
In the middle of the Kingaroy CBD, Taste South Burnett is the central nervous system of the South Burnett food scene. The gourmet deli and cafe also acts as a cellar door for the surrounding vineyards.
Here you can sniff and swill your way through a selection of local drops (Verdelho is the grape star in this neck of the woods), pick up some award-winning Barkers Creek Pork, locally-farmed chevon (goat) meat, Ivyhome Organics milk, and Bunnyconnellen olives. Then, treat yourself to a rainbow of creamy fudge, and get that cheese plate sorted!
Owner, Shannon Scott, is only too happy to talk us through some of the local standouts, including Bunya Red Farm capers and Richard’s Country Kitchen pickles and sauces – which are all organic, gluten and sugar-free. In fact, everything in the store and on the menu is gluten-free – music to the ears of any intolerant foodies.
A: Shop 4/36 Alford Street, Kingaroy
P: 07 4162 8222
Open: Tuesday to Friday 11am-5.30pm; Saturday and public holidays 10am-4pm
12:30PM: Lunch with a view at Cassis at Booie
(Kingaroy to Booie, 8.4km)
A subtle nod to the local farms comes in the form of peanut dukkah served with house made sourdough and olive oil to kick things off at Cassis at Booie – an unexpected culinary surprise hidden in a decidedly Mediterranean hilltop tower building.
It’s over a long lunch that the expansive views out over the valley below can be truly appreciated. Along with a glass of one of the local drops, of course!
Our meals come to the table looking more like art than lunch, served in gorgeous ceramic bowls. We share the seared fillet of tuna with a melon foam and herbs; slow-cooked pork belly, with sweet corn custard and pickled red cabbage; and a walnut, nashi pear and mesclun salad with peanut dressing. This is definitely the type of meal worth travelling for.
A: Cnr Haydens & Schellbachs Road, Booie
P: 07 4162 3465
Open: Wednesday to Saturday 10:30am-10pm; Sunday 10:30am-5pm
2:30PM: Wine tasting at Crane Wines
If you’ve got the time, and a designated driver to keep you moving, drive up the road to boutique winery and bed and breakfast, Crane Wines.
The pretty heritage homestead has a lovely verandah with views out over the valley if you wish to sit and ponder life over a glass of port with winemaker Bernie, or you can enjoy tasting their local vintages and liqueurs in the cellar door.
A: 162 Haydens Road, Booie
P: 07 4162 7647
Open: Daily 10am-4pm
3:30PM: Keep on exploring…
(Booie to Moffatdale, 54.6km)
While there are plenty of accommodation options in Kingaroy, we continue our journey north to Murgon and Moffatdale with the Bjelke-Petersen Dam and surrounding vineyards firmly in our sights.
4PM: Dusty Hill Vineyard
As far as hidden secrets go, Dusty Hill Vineyard is an absolute winner – a collection of cute cottage accommodation, Irish tavern and restaurant, and cellar door overlooking sprawling vineyards with a great outdoor stage.
Sample their single-vineyard drops and stay for dinner (if you’ve got any room left!). Come October 2016, Dusty Day Out – the annual blues and roots music festival – will be back at the property, providing a great excuse to visit and explore the area.
A: 80 Waterview Drive, Moffatdale 4605
P: 07 4168 4700
Open: Tasting room and cellar door open Thursday to Sunday 11am-5pm; Prendergasts Irish Tavern open for lunch Thursday to Sunday and dinner Thursday and Friday.
5PM: Overnight at Yalakool camping ground
On the banks of Bjelke-Petersen Dam, rolling up to park the motorhome at Yalakool camping ground provides a real dose of serenity at the end of a busy day eating your way around the South Burnett.
Take a picnic rug down to the water’s edge and watch the pelicans make their sunset commute as you snack on the peanuts and cheeses you’ve bought throughout the day.
If you’re into fishing and water sports, congratulations, you’ve found nirvana.
*Huge thanks to Apollo Motorhome Holidays for providing the wheels for our South Burnett food trail road trip itinerary. Check out our 48 hours in Bundaberg post for more foodie road trip inspiration.