Top foodie destinations in NSW

Escape the madness (and heat) of the festive season with a trip out of town. Drive north or south for a day trip, weekend or even a week away.

1) Brokenwood, Hunter Valley

2-hour drive from Sydney

401-427 McDonalds Rd, Pokolbin NSW 2320

Wine. Need we say more? Just a simple two-hour drive from Sydney, the Hunter Valley institution, Brokenwood, is launching its brand new cellar door on the 7 December and is worth a trip north for. With two amazing restaurants, The Wood Restaurant and Cru Bar + Pantry, a wine museum, intimate circular tasting “pods”, two private dining rooms, two private tasting rooms and, most importantly, a never-ending supply of wine, it’s the perfect weekend road trip destination.


2) Biota Dining, Bowral 

1.5-hour drive from Sydney

18 Kangaloon Rd, Bowral NSW 2576

Enjoy the fresh air of the Southern Highlands and James Viles’ award-winning restaurant. Only an hour and a half, come just for the day or make the weekend of it and stay the night at Biota or the Barn Loft. For lunch, there’s a casual share style menu for lunch that can be enjoyed on the lawn, in the restaurant or at the bar. For dinner, sit down for a five or seven-course tasting menu. If you’re feeling spontaneous and forgot to book - the casual bar menu is available on a walk-in basis for dinner.


3) BARN. by Biota, Bowral 

1.5-hour drive from Sydney

Wildwood Hill, East Kangaloon

Located in East Kangaloon on 100 acres of farmland and 25 minutes from Bowral, BARN. is the wild sibling of James Viles’ two-hatted, Biota. BARN. holds a series of dinners each month using only what they source from local growers and farmers who inspire them and share the same core values. The menu consists of ingredients that are best that day, that week and that month. This immersive, sensory experience is worth the trip from Sydney, and won’t fail to leave you speechless. With your belly full of food and drink, stay the night in the Loft above the Barn and wake up to breakfast hampers.


4) Bannisters Mollymook 

3 hours drive from Sydney

87 Tallwood Ave, Mollymook Beach NSW 2539

Head south to Mollymook where the crystal blue ocean matches the pool at Bannisters. This weekend luxury coastal vacation spot is just three hours from Sydney and will make you feel miles away from busy life at home. Book a two-night stay to really switch off and soak up the sun at one of three accommodation options: from the beach-chic style of The Pavilion to the panoramic views and luxury escapism of Bannisters by the Sea, or even the relaxed vibes of one of the awesome beach houses, Bannisters has something for everyone.


5) Bannisters Port Stephens 

 3-hour drive from Sydney

147 Soldiers Point Rd, Soldiers Point NSW 2317

The newest addition to Bannisters coastal destinations, Port Stephens, is the ultimate luxury boutique hotel by the sea. With sweeping ocean views, the access to fresh seafood is boundless, bringing the best produce to the restaurants within the hotel. The perfect weekend escape, Bannisters Port Stephens transports you to a blissful beachside resort far from everyday life where you can enjoy the freshest local seafood cooked by Mitchell Turner and the team at Rick Stein at Bannisters, alongside sunshine by the pool with panoramic ocean views.


Or if time allows, head on a longer road trip towards the beautiful town of Byron Bay and check out…

6) Three Blue Ducks at The Farm, Byron Bay

147 Soldiers Point Rd, Soldiers Point NSW 2317

Located on an 86-acre working biological farm in Ewingsdale, Three Blue Ducks Byron Bay is a fully licensed restaurant and providore serving the best in local and fresh produce. Wine on tap, a pioneering method of providing full flavoured and high-quality wine in a sustainable way, is also available. Try something a little different - grab a hamper from the providore and set up lunch at one of the many picturesque picnic spots.

For the kids - there’s a playground and cricket pitch, or feed their adventure and explore the foraging trail.


7) Locura, Byron Bay

6 Lawson St, Byron Bay NSW 2481

If you’re doing a weekend trip to Byron, make sure Locura (Spanish for madness) is on your agenda. The latest venue by the Three Blue Ducks team is a late night bar that will feature a pop-up kitchen showcasing Latin American inspired dishes. Locura’s menu showcases a variety of smaller style plates influenced by a blend of Mexican, Costa Rican and Peruvian cuisine. Tickle your taste buds by topping your dish with a variety of house-made fermented hot sauces, rubs and salsas.