The Queanbeyan-Palerang region is a flourishing area. As the fastest growing region outside of the Greater Sydney area, the food scene of the region is growing also.
The region is home to two Cellar Doors and ten wineries, a pub in each town/village, umpteen restaurants, cafes and food stores – all celebrating local produce and regionally sourced ingredients. To best explore everything the region’s got to offer in food & wine, we recommend taking this 48-hour drive around Queanbeyan, Bungendore and Braidwood.
Queanbeyan – Bungendore
- Drop into one of the Queanbeyan riverside cafes – Mill House Café or the Riverbank of Queanbeyan Café for a hearty start to the weekend overlooking the Queanbeyan River.
- Depart Queanbeyan as you hop onto Sutton Road, heading towards Norton Road, Wamboin on route to lunch at the Contentious Character Winery – a contemporary vineyard estate with a winery, cellar door, kitchen, and event facilities, nestled amongst the rolling hills of Wamboin. Alternatively, pay a visit to Lark Hill Winery near Bungendore, which is known for its biodynamic farming methods and boasts an impressive selection of wines from the region.
- Get a taste of the local wine industry with a wine tasting session at either Lark Hill Winery or Contentious Character – if you like some adventure, try splitting lunch into two meals and visit them both.
- Enjoy wining and dining at Contentious Character – a destination for those interested in an all in one experience of wine tasting, a kitchen menu capable of fulfilling many a culinary fantasy, indoor and outdoor spaces to dine, chat, sip and take in the stunning view. The winery is a relaxed atmosphere with a view of the vines and surrounding Wamboin. The menu has been designed to be shared and paired with their wines and don’t worry – they offer some delicious meals to appease every junior appetite.
- Lark Hill Winery is one of Australia’s most prominent biodynamic wineries – specialising in achieving true sustainability and a self-sufficient winery. This means that the vines produce unique wines and will last for generations to come. Their Cellar Door offers a wine tasting experience in a stone-walled building that housed the original winery 40 years ago. If you’ve made it to the winery before 3 pm, Lark Hill’s wine bar offers their entire range of wines. A menu of ‘Vintage Vertical’ food and wine pairings where current release wines can be compared to older vintages with a tailored food match is offered to show how these wines evolve in the cellar. For a delicious afternoon tea, try some of the delicious grazing platters or house-made desserts with a glass of complimenting wine for the full experience.
- Arriving at the village of Bungendore, you will have a chance to browse the town’s amazing galleries, boutiques and shops along Molonglo and Gibraltar Streets. Grab an afternoon cuppa and a bite to eat at one of the villages’ cafés or restaurants.
- Take a short drive from Bungendore along Lake Road – Lake George – for a magical vista unlike anywhere else in Australia or go for a walk up Gibraltar Hill to catch the sunset over the town, Lake George and Capital Wind Farm.
- Enjoy a degustation dinner at one of the town’s restaurants. The George Bar and Dining offers fantastic combinations of fine local wines paired with sensational local produce or experience a journey into terroir (French, for a sense of place, taste, slow food and heritage) at Le Très Bon – this includes a range of local and French wines and beers that have been chosen to complete the flavours of their dishes.
- Check in at one of Bungendore’s accommodation providers ranging from historic B&B’s and idyllic retreat hideaways to centrally located motels.
Bungendore – Braidwood
- Rise and shine, it’s breakfast time, but first, grab a quick coffee at one of Bungendore’s cafés before you hit the road to Braidwood – and to the delicious breakfast waiting for you a short 30-minute drive away.
- Once you’re in Braidwood, grab breakfast at one of Braidwood’s delicious cafés and restaurants. Check out The Albion, Casanovas, Deadwood and Dojo Bread for some of the freshest dining experiences in town.
- Take time to explore the living heritage of Braidwood (pay the Braidwood Museum a visit for a walk back in time – into the history of the iconic heritage-listed town) and wander its streets. There are plenty of shops, boutiques and galleries that display the town’s culture and local artisans’ work, meaning there is something for everyone in Braidwood.
- Grab something to go from one of the many cafés or visit Provision’s Deli, The Braidwood Bakery or Dojo Bread to gather delicious local ingredients to make your own sandwiches and hop back in the car. It is time for a short road trip to Sully’s Cider Factory where visitors can absorb the region’s food heritage and sample a unique range of quality goods that reflect the region’s rural industries and cultural heritage.
- Head back to Braidwood for afternoon tea at another one of Braidwood’s cafes that you may have missed. While you’re at it, check out some of the town’s beautiful shops and boutiques that call Braidwood home. For a unique Braidwood sense of fashion and accessories, check out the handmade fashions of Saloon Design House and the Jewellery Concept store – Mr. Mr. Store.
- Check in to one of the town’s B&B’s, hotels, motels or historic farmhouses.
- Or check out sustainable huts in the Deua National Park.
- Enjoy a delicious experience at Stormy Horse, or check out one of the pubs for dinner. The Royal Mail Hotel offers a lovely beer garden and a menu of local produce. Casanova’s offers a great selection of Mediterranean style produce – it is a stylish, family run cafe and restaurant located in the historic town of Braidwood. They serve seasonal food made from local produce, complete with house-made bread, pasta, and Sourdough pizzas.