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Destination Dining Spotlight on The Northern Rivers

August 28, 2017 Dining No Comments Email Email

The Northern Rivers region of New South Wales is a food lover’s paradise. Blessed with an endless coastline and lush hinterland, the region is flush with fresh seafood, fertile valleys and sub-tropical areas.

Destination NSW Chief Executive Officer Sandra Chipchase said, “From sampling fresh prawns straight off the boat in Yamba to mingling with the locals at the Mullumbimby markets, a visit to the Northern Rivers wouldn’t be complete without sampling some of the region’s fantastic local produce. Here’s a list of just a few “must-try” foodie experiences to get you started on your destination dining trail.”

Markets galore

There’s a farmers’ market on almost every day of the week in the “Rainbow Region” – New Brighton on Tuesday, Byron Bay on Thursday, Mullumbimby on Friday and Bangalow on Saturday.  At the Byron Farmers’ Market try Chef Roberto Costanzo’s menu at The Nomadic Kitchen; he buys his produce direct from fellow market stallholders and comes up with some really inventive dishes.

The prawn capital of Australia

It would be remiss to stop in Yamba without sampling the local prawns for which the town is famous.  Located in the Clarence Valley, Yamba has an established fishing fleet that supplies the local cafes, restaurants, markets and much of the State. While in town stop by the popular Clarence River Fishermen’s Co-operative for your fix of the local crustacean.

World-class dining experiences

With so many great places to eat in the Northern Rivers, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Harvest in Newrybar sports a veranda with views of the undulating green hills – along with a bakery, deli, kitchen garden and cooking school. Their wine list recently won Best Small Wine List at the Gourmet Traveller Wine List of the Year Awards 2017.  Others, such as Town Restaurant & Cafe in the bustle of Bangalow, and Fleet in sleepy riverside Brunswick Heads, guarantee memorable dining experiences showcasing the best local produce. For a great start to your day you can’t go past a bowl of chicken and ginger congee at 100 Mile Table in the Byron Bay Industrial Estate or Greek-inspired food by the seaside at Taverna in Kingscliff.

Taste the Tweed

Offering a range of gourmet full day tours throughout the Tweed, Currumbin and Byron Bay, Tasting Plate Tours reveal the very best produce from the region. Visiting farms, providores, eateries and award winning distilleries and breweries, small group tours will leave visitors’ taste buds delighted.

The prawn capital of Australia

It would be remiss to stop in Yamba without sampling the local prawns for which the town is famous.  Located in the Clarence Valley, Yamba has an established fishing fleet that supplies the local cafes, restaurants, markets and much of the State. While in town stop by the popular Clarence River Fishermen’s Co-operative for your fix of the local crustacean.

Paddock to plate at its best

Start off your day with a visit to The Farm Byron Bay at Ewingsdale. Operating under the motto of ‘Grow, feed, educate and give back’, The Farm is a working farm, restaurant and home to a number of micro-businesses including a florist, bakery and produce store. Sit down for breakfast at Three Blue Ducks, a farm-to-table dining experience, or pick up some sensational pastries and a steaming hot coffee from The Bread Social and find somewhere nice in the surrounding fields to sit and enjoy. There’s a daily farm tour, workshops and kids activities aplenty.

Uki’s hidden gem

Mavis’ Kitchen at Uki to the south of Murwillumbah has an abundant garden that supplies some of the fresh ingredients found on the menu.  Located at the base of Mount Warning, an overnight stay in one of their cabins is the perfect way to extend your stay in the region and sleep off that long lunch.

Seafood + sustainability

Fins at Salt Village in Kingscliff is a long-term resident of the Northern Rivers fine dining club. Chef Steven Snow put sustainable seafood on the menu more than two decades ago. He likes to mix things up and the restaurant has a fun pop-up bar that changes with the season. At Paper Daisy, the pool-side restaurant at Halcyon House at Cabarita Beach, Chef Ben Devlin is also expressing the terroir of the region on his menu, which means working directly with local suppliers and, like Steven Snow, fishermen.

Jackfruits to jaboticabas

Put tropical fruit to the taste test and learn to tell a jackfruit from a jaboticaba at Tropical Fruit World or take in the tranquillity of a native bush food orchard at Buck’s Farm at Chillingham. Wander the orchard with Buck to taste his famous finger limes which are commercially produced for some of Australia’s top restaurants.  If you prefer a more hands-on experience go overboard with Tweed Endeavour Cruises to hunt the famed Tweed River Mud Crab!

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