Noosa Food and Wine Festival
Last year's festival was recognised as one of the best food experiences in the country in The Australian's Travel and Tourism Awards and this year promises to be bigger and better than ever.
Kicking off on Friday, May 1, 2009; the festival runs until Sunday, May 3 and promises to provide "over 150 contributors made up of Australia's leading chefs, winemakers, food producers, restaurateurs, restaurant critics and media".
A special feature of this year's event is an Italian/Australian degustation to celebrate the tradition of Italian food in Australia.
The less-than-serious wine lovers will be able to partake in wine activities as simple as matching a glass of wine to something delicious from one of Noosa's restaurants during the Saturday, May 2, culinary exhibition and tastings under the Grand Marquee.
Wines represented on the Saturday include Yering Station, Wirra Wirra, Peter Lehmann, Cape Mentelle, Padthaway Estate, Bridgewater Mill, St Hallett and many more.
Restaurants cooking signature dishes to match with the wines include all the favourites from Humid, Lindoni's, Ma'Mensa, Season, Sails, Wasabi, and Ricky's.
Then, the more serious wine folks among you might like to sit down and chat with the likes of Michael Hill Smith, the first Australian Master of Wine.
Michael is a wine producer, international wine judge, wine consultant, wine writer, ex-restaurateur and co-proprietor of Shaw + Smith wines in the Adelaide Hills. In 2008, he was awarded an Order of Australia for his contribution to Australia's wine industry..
He tops the list of wine heavies appearing at the festival, including Huon Hooke, Ralph Kyte-Powell, Jeremy Oliver, Bruce Tyrell and so many more, we don't have room to name them. For the more comprehensive list of visiting chefs, winemakers and critics, you can visit the Noosa Food and Wine Festival visiting celebrities webpage.
Another interactive feature of the festival is the Sunday sale of kitchen items used over the three days of the festival. A number of these items are signed by various chefs, which always attracts the interest of dedicated foodies.
Besides the food and wine side of things, you can also look forward to a full and exciting weekend of entertainment. Performers on the list include Kate Cebrano, Marcia Hines, Carl Lynch, Bjorn Again and a host of local acts and roving performers.
How much will it cost?
For a serious food and wine experience, why not get the Weekend Gold Pass. For $275 you get:
Friday - Gold Pass Adult General Admission, VIP entry to the Settler’s Cove and Audi hospitality pavilions, complimentary cocktail food and beverages, preferential seating for concert.
Saturday - Gold Pass Adult General Admission, six tickets for food or wine, VIP entry to the Settler’s Cove and Audi hospitality pavilions, light refreshments, preferential seating for concert.
Sunday - Gold Pass Adult General Admission, six tickets for food or wine, VIP entry to the Settler’s Cove and Audi hospitality pavilions, light refreshments, preferential seating for concert.
For those who just want to spend a day at the festival, general admission passes, which include two tickets for food and wine, can be purchased for $40 for the Friday, or $45 for Saturday and Sunday. General admission for a child is $10.
If you want to attend one of the special events like a cooking class, prices start from around $90. Visit the Noosa Food and Wine Festival tickets and sessions webpage for more information on available sessions and prices.
You can purchase your Noosa Food and Wine Festival tickets online through The J. Alternatively you can call them on (07) 5455 4455.
How do we get there?
Beautiful Noosa is located about 150 km north of Brisbane on the northern tip of the Sunshine Coast. If you are driving from the south, simply take the Sunshine Motorway off the Bruce Highway and follow the signs to Noosa. If you are driving from the north, take the Noosa turnoff from the Bruce Highway.
Other options are to fly or catch a train or a bus.
Jet Star, Virgin Blue and Tiger all fly to the Sunshine Coast, but keep in mind that the airport is at Maroochydore and you will need transport to Noosa. For transport options to and from the airport, visit the Sunshine Coast Airport website.
Greyhound Buses will also take you to the Sunshine Coast Airport, but you will need to make a special request as it is not a regular stop. Visit their website or call 1300 GREYHOUND for more information.
Queensland Rail runs City Trains from Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast, with a bus connection to Noosa from Nambour Station. Visit the QR website for more information or call them on 13 16 17.
If you are coming from further afield, QR's Tilt Train also stops at Nambour Station. Visit the Travel Train website or call 1300 131 722 for more information.
As the Food and Wine Festival events will be held a several different sites around Noosa, it is a good idea to familiarise yourself with Noosa and the locations before heading out to explore.
Where can we stay?
For great accommodation deals in the Noosa area, take a look at roamfree.com.