19 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.
APPLE & GRAPE HARVEST FESTIVAL
When: 23 February – 4 March 2018
Where: Stanthorpe, Southern Queensland Country
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.
SOUTH BURNETT WINE AND FOOD IN THE PARK FESTIVAL
When: 10 March 2018
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 FESTIVAL
When: 22-27 March 2018
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.
KENILWORTH FOOD FESTIVAL
When: 31 March 2018
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 yoghurt and ice cream for kids, this is one event that the whole family can attend.
FELTON FOOD FESTIVAL
When: March 2018
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.
When: 6 May 2018
Where: Rockhampton, Capricorn Region
What: It’s a known fact that Rockhampton is Australia’s beef capital and this festival celebrates all facets of the Australian beef industry. From trade expos to cattle farm tours, tasting and cooking demonstrations, you’ll be able to go behind the scenes of our red meat industry.
NOOSA FOOD AND WINE FESTIVAL
When: 17-20 May 2018
Where: Noosa, Sunshine Coast
What: 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. This year they’re introducing a Craft Beer and Cider Corner where you can watch some of the region’s best craft brewers in action. I guess it’s settled then; I’m off to Noosa in May.
THE HAMPTON FESTIVAL
When: 20 May 2018
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 Hampton Art Exhibition.
PORT DOUGLAS CARNIVALE
When: 25-27 May 2018
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.
PANIYIRI GREEK FESTIVAL
When: May 2018
Where: South Brisbane
What: Paniyiri = Greek for coming together to let the good times roll. So, get thee to a celebration of fried halloumi, baby octopus, honey puffs, and of course, dancing. Oh, and if you’re wondering if you get to smash plates, yes you do!
GOOMERI PUMPKIN FESTIVAL
When: 27 May 2018
Where: Goomeri, Sunshine Coast
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.
GOLD COAST FOOD AND WINE FESTIVAL
When: 31 May – 3 June 2018
Where: Gold Coast
What: From Beenleigh to Mount Tamborine and Coolangatta, the Gold Coast has earnt a foodie reputation where you can dust the sand off your feet and enjoy alfresco dining, street food and fine dining. This year the festival is set to attract more than 15,000 food and wine enthusiasts and the theme is ‘Evolve’.
RELISH FRASER COAST
When: 2 June 2018
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.
THE WINTER HARVEST FESTIVAL
When: 7 July 2018
Where: Aratula, Scenic Rim
What: The Scenic Rim is what Disney movies 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.
When: 6-15 July 2018
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.
When: 21-22 July 2018
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!
HERVEY BAY SEAFOOD FESTIVAL
When: August 2018
Where: Hervey Bay, Fraser Coast
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.
CAPRICORN FOOD AND WINE FESTIVAL
When: September 2018
Where: Rockhampton, Capricorn Region
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: October 2018
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.