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SEVEN REGIONAL FINE DINING SPOTS WITH A PLACE TO STAY
Outside of major cities, Australia’s regional areas boast plentiful produce and top-notch restaurants, many of which sit alongside luxurious five-star retreats. These seven mouth-watering regional restaurants have upscale lodgings onsite, making them a perfect escape for incentive groups.
Barossa Valley, South Australia
Located in the middle of one of Australia’s most famous wine regions, this estate is a wining and dining destination in itself. The restaurant, Appellation, celebrates local produce – 85% of the menu here comes from within the Barossa Valley and South Australia – and champions ancient food traditions with minimal waste. After feasting in the private dining room delegates can retire to one of 15 luxurious suites and relax with views of the stunning vineyard surrounds.
Lockyer Valley, Queensland
An hour’s drive or a short helicopter transfer from Brisbane is Spicers Hidden Vale – a beautifully restored Australian homestead set on 12,000 acres (4,856 hectares) of natural bushland. After a recent rebuild, Homage Restaurant now has a new home as part of the magnificent main homestead which combines stylish modern touches with country charm. The team here is passionate about crafting dishes using ingredients harvested from the onsite market garden, orchard, mango trees and beehives, as well as produce from nearby growers. With three private dining spaces and 34 rooms ranging from luxury suites to private cottages, this retreat is perfect for a mid-sized incentive group.
Freycinet Peninsula, Tasmania
A 45-minute helicopter flight from Hobart, the Freycinet region of Tasmania’s east coast is best known for its spectacular scenery – think Wineglass Bay – and for its seafood. Delegates staying at luxury lodge Saffire Freycinet can don a pair of waders and discover the secrets of a working oyster farm before indulging in plump oysters paired with a glass of Tasmanian sparkling. The onsite restaurant, Palate, is supplied daily with locally caught crayfish, scallops and deep-sea fish, from which the chefs create delectable dishes along with local grass-fed beef and lamb, flavoursome game meats and seasonal fruit and vegetables. After dinner, there are 20 luxuriously appointed suites for delegates to retreat to, all offering captivating views of the Hazards mountain range and Great Oyster Bay.
Margaret River, Western Australia
Tucked away on 40 acres (16 hectares) of picturesque parkland in the Margaret River region is Cape Lodge, featuring manicured gardens and 22 elegant private suites within a vineyard setting. At the restaurant, Executive Chef Tony Howell is renowned for his careful and creative treatment of local ingredients like marron and truffles, and he’ll even share his culinary secrets with delegates as part of a private cooking class. There’s also a new wine lounge here overlooking the lake, which is perfect for pre-dinner cocktails.
Uluṟu, Northern Territory
For fine dining under the stars look no further than Table 131, the signature dining experience of Baillie Lodges’ Longitude 131. This is no ordinary al fresco restaurant - starting with its secret location among the red desert dunes overlooking the Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park. Delegates will experience a decadent degustation under a star-filled sky, then be immersed in an interpretive stargazing talk from the resident naturalist. When it’s time for bed, they’ll be transferred to one of 16 luxury tented pavilions, and awake to commanding views of Australia’s most iconic rock formation, Uluṟu.
Cabarita Beach, New South Wales
Just up the road from the famous Byron Bay lies the breezy coastal hamlet of Cabarita Beach, which is home to the five-star Halcyon House. This boutique 19-room hotel overlooks the beach, but it’s not just about the seaside location and the eclectic interior design here. Hatted restaurant Paper Daisy is the jewel in this coastal crown, serving simple, elegant fare that showcases the region’s quality local produce and sustainably sourced seafood. With its award-winning wine list and availability for exclusive buyout, this property is well-positioned to host small incentive groups.
Mornington Peninsula, Victoria
Jackalope is set on a private vineyard in the Mornington Peninsula wine region, just an hour’s drive from Melbourne. This 5-star hotel is sleek and sophisticated, and aims to unify art, design, dining and storytelling. In the onsite restaurant Doot Doot Doot, delegates will marvel at the 10,000-globe chandelier that adorns the ceiling before sitting down to an ever-evolving array of dishes like smoked eel with buttermilk and potato crisp, paired with superior Australian wines from the extensive wine list. Delegates can then relax in one of the 45 rooms which feature deep-soak baths and private terraces.
Published: 14 January 2021