20 Queensland food festivals to add to your calendar now
With such a phenomenal variety of produce grown, caught, baked, served and celebrated in Queensland, you can fill your calendar (and your stomach) with delicious food and wine festivals running from Southern Queensland Country to Port Douglas on any given weekend.
Get your celebrity chef groupie on and follow this festival line-up in celebration of our infatuation with all things gourmet and of course, sinfully indulgent.
South Burnett Wine and Food in the Park Festival
When: 11 March 2017
Where: Kingaroy, South Burnett
What: Discover one of Queensland’s ‘secret’ wine regions with this fun community event in the peanut capital of Kingaroy. Tastings from local wineries are paired with great food stalls and a relaxing vibe. With a great line-up of live entertainment, wine samples from South Burnett’s leading wineries and a wide variety of food stalls on site, the Wine and Food in the Park Festival is not to be missed.
Feast of the Senses
When: 23-28 March 2017
Where: Innisfail, Tropical North Queensland
What: Picture food stalls, cooking demonstrations and gala dinners much like any other food festival, and now give it all a tropical twist. From a market day extravaganza to a showcase of the tropical fruits, seafood and meat of the region, if it’s exotic and unique, you’ll find it at Feast of the Senses.
Felton Food Festival
When: 25-26 March 2017
Where: Felton Valley
What: The ethos behind the Felton Food Festival is Grow. Gather. Enjoy. And being in one of Queensland’s ‘food bowl’ regions, there’s no better place to do a spot of your own gathering and enjoying with delicious local produce on offer.
Kenilworth Cheese, Wine and Food Festival
When: 15 April 2017
Where: Kenilworth, Sunshine Coast
What: Spend your Easter long weekend at the Kenilworth Cheese, Wine and Food Festival. With cooking demonstrations and food tastings for the adults and a Cheester Egg Hunt, flavoured yogurts and ice cream for kids, this is one event that the whole family can attend.
NOOSA FOOD AND WINE FESTIVAL
When: 18-21 May 2017
Where: Noosa, Sunshine Coast
What: After undergoing a full revamp in 2016, the Noosa Food and Wine Festival is back with another delectable line up of great food and wine. From culinary artists and leading chefs to fine Australian wine and fresh produce, this is one of those events where you let your stomach guide you through the stalls. Rumour has it that 26 restaurants are participating this year and over 20 specialist chefs will be in attendance. Did I mention that over 40 of the best Australian wine-makers will be there as well? I guess it’s settled then; I’m off to Noosa in May.
Paniyiri Greek Festival
When: 20 May 2017
Where: South Brisbane
What: Paniyiri = Greek for coming together to let the good times roll. So get thee to a celebration of fried haloumi, baby octopus, honey puffs, and of course, dancing. Oh, and if you’re wondering if you get to smash plates, yes you do!
The Hampton Festival
When: 21 May 2017
Where: Hampton, Southern Queensland Country
What: Less New York City escape and more crisp country air and great food and wine, The Hampton Festival marries food and art in perfect harmony. Sample fresh produce, picked only hours before (from just down the road), taste test your way around the myriad of local restaurant stalls and discover the artsy side of the region at the opening night of the Hampton Art Exhibition.
Port Douglas Carnivale
When: 26-28 May 2017
Where: Port Douglas, Tropical North Queensland
What: With a packed program that includes street art, market stalls, the famous ‘longest lunch’, seafood extravaganza and fireworks, this isn’t just a food festival; it’s an all-eating, all-drinking, all-dancing marathon.
Goomeri Pumpkin Festival
When: 28 May 2017
Where: Goomeri, Southern Queensland Country
What: What started as rolling pumpkins down a hill for fun has grown to be one of the best events at the Goomeri Pumpkin Festival – The Great Australian Pumpkin Roll. With the festival attracting around 14,000 visitors each year, you’ll find plenty of pumpkin throwing, rolling and eating, as well as a whip-cracking competition and animal nursery to keep the kids entertained.
Relish Fraser Coast
When: 3 June 2017
Where: Maryborough, Fraser Coast
What: Relish has got that ‘chill out’ factor that a Pete Murray song brings to a Sunday afternoon. Set along the Mary River, a great variety of food and wine stalls, combined with cooking demonstrations and entertainment, make for a foodie’s perfect escape.
When: 15 – 16 July 2017
Where: South Bank, Brisbane
What: Bringing the country to the city, you’ll find fine food from Queensland farmers and gourmet food trucks at this festival, as well as celebrity chef appearances and live entertainment. The best part? It’s free!
The Winter Harvest Festival
When: 24 June 2017
Where: Aratula, Scenic Rim
What: The Scenic Rim is what Disney movie are made of. Think: mountain ranges, vineyards, art galleries and bush-walking tracks. The Winter Harvest Festival is the signature event during Eat Local Week and offers bush tucker experiences, wine tastings and more from this beautiful region.
Bundy Winterfeast Festival
When: 7-16 July 2017
What: The word Bundaberg automatically conjures thoughts of rum and ginger beer but the Bundy Winterfeast Festival is all about fresh, locally-grown produce and new ideas on gardening. Bring the family so you can enjoy a day out learning and tasting together.
Caxton Street Seafood and Wine Festival
When: TBC 2017
Where: Paddington, Brisbane
What: There’s a reason this immensely popular festival has been attracting revelers to Caxton Street for 20 years and that’s because it provides the perfect combination of seafood, booze and tunes – what more could you ask for in a street party, really?
Hervey Bay Seafood Festival
When: 17 August 2017
Where: Hervey Bay
What: Get your fill of fresh-off-the-boat seafood at the only festival in Australia managed by the people who do the catching. If you’re not much of a fish fan, you’ll still enjoy the live music on offer… and the strawberry crepes, pancakes and churros might just twist your arm, too.
Gourmet in Gundy
When: 10 September 2017
Where: Goondiwindi, Southern Queensland Country
What: Set along The Macintyre River next to big river gums, with lush green lawns and an amphitheatre, this festival is perfectly poised to celebrate the start of spring. Catch some live tunes and have your fill of local produce and award-winning wines on one of the biggest days on the Gundy social calendar!
Real Food Festival
When: September 2017
Where: Maleny, Sunshine Coast
What: If you’ve ever had the chance to visit the Sunshine Coast you’ll know it’s three things: friendly, beautiful and down-to-earth, which is exactly the tone of this festival. Head along to learn how food gets from the farm to your fork and sample a wide range of local produce.
Capricorn Food and Wine Festival
When: 15-17 September 2017
What: The moment you drive into Rockhampton, or ‘Rocky’ as it’s affectionately called, you’ll know you’re in cowboy territory. It’s one of the only places in Australia where you can have a beer and catch a rodeo in the local pub. But the Capricorn Food and Wine Festival offers a chance to rub shoulders with celebrity chefs, taste test your way through a wide range of food stalls and enjoy cocktail evenings and gala dinners.
Palm Cove Reef Feast
When: 5-8 October 2017
Where: Palm Cove, Tropical North Queensland
What: Four glorious days of exclusive wine and produce dinners, cooking demonstrations, live music and food seminars, topped off with a family market day where the best restaurants in Palm Cove will be dishing up their tastiest treats. Get a taste of the tropics at the Palm Cove Reef Feast.
Apple & Grape Harvest Festival
When: 23 February – 4 March 2018
What: Get well acquainted with the Granite Belt region’s produce and booming wine industry at the Apple & Grape Harvest Festival! Expect nothing less than nine days of non-stop fun with events like the ‘When in Rome’ gala ball, a multicultural carnival + wine fiesta times two, the legendary grape crush and more.