From farm gates to distilleries, Indigenous food tours, fine-dining restaurants, and everything in between, you can plan your own self-drive itinerary to go behind-the-scenes and enjoy what is on offer over the weekend 30 and 31 July.
The Harvest Food Trail is a fantastic opportunity to appreciate and enjoy the distinctive provenance of our region. After the experiences of the past two years the event is a time to come together, reflect and celebrate our wonderful local producers and food providers. Lorissa Barrett, Harvest Food Trail Coordinator at Northern Rivers Food offers some suggestions for making the most out of the Trail: ‘Part of enjoying the food is knowing the story, and farm tours are the perfect way to learn more about where your food comes from’, said Ms Barrett.
‘If you’re interested in visiting farms you could start in the Tweed region and visit Tropical Fruit World in Duranbah, Bellingdale Farm in Nunderi, and Cheeses Loves You; a NORCO farm in Burringbar with Deb Allard’s famous cheeses. Travelling south from Burringbar, drop into Australia’s Manuka at Tyagarah Apiaries in the Byron region and learn about their pure bioactive Jellybush honey with tastings and visit their farm store. You can then travel a little further down the road and visit The Farm, Three Blue Ducks and Brookfarm – all will be demonstrating their regenerative farming practices with farm tours on offer. Travel onward to the village of Newrybar and visit Zentveld’s Coffee Farm – another regenerative farm offering tours of their plantation. While you’re in the neighbourhood, just five minutes down the road pop into Ducks Creek Macadamias in Brooklet – who have special tastings of their delicious chocolate macadamia range. Travel from there to Rosebank in the hinterland and visit Table Under a Tree who are opening their farm gates just for the Trail to showcase their small-scale working farm, Three Paddocks, producing local, ethical goat meat. They also have a small farm store.
‘For those more interested in the beverage side of things there are opportunities to learn about the craft from some of the most awarded breweries and distilleries in the country. Enjoy distillery tours, tastings and pairings, or shake up some drinks in the masterclasses on offer at Husk Distillers (in the Tweed), Common People Brewing (in Bangalow), Cape Byron Distillery and Lord Byron Distillery (in Byron) and Two Mates Brewing (in Lismore). If non-alcoholic beverages are preferred, drop into Wild Yeast Brewing in Lennox and try their special organically grown spiced ginger beer.
‘You can hear from celebrated chefs and producers while enjoying fine dining with a local focus in the Tweed at Bellingdale Farm, The Oyster Shed and Pipit. In Byron book into Crystalbrook Byron’s special “Pork and Pinot” dining experience. In Ballina book into Harvest Newrybar for a Sunday lunch celebrating produce that is native to the region, or drop into Ballina RSL for a special Sunday Boardwalk winter roast lunch featuring Bangalow sweet pork with all the trimmings. Karkalla Byron Bay will have an Indigenous dining experience, and Delta Kay and Playing with Fire Native Foods offer Indigenous food tours over the weekend in both Mullum and Bangalow. If you feel like getting out of the car, book into a special celebratory Tweed Escapes & Blue Ginger Dining Top Deck Picnic Cruise onboard the Spirit of Wollumbin departing from Tumbulgum in the Tweed.
‘Also, on the Trail there will be farmers’ markets at Duranbah, authentic Mexican at Mercado Juarez in Burringbar, a barbeque at Barrio in Habitat in Byron, and Santos Organics will be celebrating local producers and local musicians on Sunday at their Mullum and Byron town stores.
‘The weekend is a very Northern Rivers NSW experience and a chance to indulge and appreciate everything our wonderful region has to offer.’
The self-drive Trail includes 32 producers across 25 locations. See https://www.northernriversfood.org/harvest-food-trail/ for more information.