28 February 2012 by Luke McCormick
Queensland's fastest-growing wine region, the Gold Coast, has inaugurated the newly created Gold Coast Food and Wine Trail to showcase the area's growing status as a foodie destination.
There are 11 award-winning wineries located on the new trail, which covers around 100 km from Mount Cotton in the region's north to near Murwillumbah on New South Wales' far north coast.
On Australia's Gold Coast good food and wine are partnered with inspiring natural settings, from the 72km of stunning coastline and surf beaches to hinterland rainforests, World Heritage sites, nature reserves and wetlands.
The new trail showcases 12 local producers and covers wineries and breweries, tropical fruit and tea estates, seafood co-ops and pasta shops, crab catching cruises and oyster farm tours, and much more.
The Gold Coast's 500 restaurants and cafés use an abundance of fresh local produce to inspire dynamic menus and create gourmet products. With a selection of cuisines far surpassing any other Australian regional city, the Gold Coast offers the finest in modern Australian fare and the flavour of the Mediterranean, Asia and the Americas.
The Gold Coast's burgeoning wine industry is full of Australian history, with rich soils, over 300 days of sunshine a year and the unrelenting passion of some of Australia's finest chefs and wine makers, the Gold Coast delivers modern and iconic flavours with the thrill of discovery.
The Pacific Food and Wine Trail
The multi-award winning Sirromet Wines is Queensland's largest and most highly awarded winery; with over 420 national and international wine awards to date. Enjoy a fabulous wine tasting, take an extensive winery tour and enjoy the spectacular views and breathtaking scenery while being tempted by the mouth watering cuisine at Restaurant Lurleen's (voted ‘Best Restaurant' in the 2008 & 2009 Courier Mail Lifestyle Awards).
The quality of Verstreken family's pralines, novelty products and wrapped personalised chocolates has attracted international hotel chains, restaurants, department stores and speciality retail outlets.
Gold Coast Fishermen's Co-op
The Gold Coast Fisherman's Co-Op supplies locally caught seafood from the pristine waters off the Gold Coast. The Co-Op provides a unique experience to buy direct from the fishing boats and see how the product is caught and talk first hand to the fisherman.
Pastificio Fellini has raised pasta to an art form. The shop's wide glass design allows you to watch their pasta being made. Step inside and you'll feel you're in the Mediterranean with balsamic vinegars, olive oils and Italian sauces displayed for sale. They blend fine Italian traditions with fresh Queensland produce to create foods such as ravioli with deep sea ocean trout cooked in sauvignon sauce. Award-winning Ristorante Fellini is nearby.
Burleigh Brewing Company
The only premium beer production facility of its kind in Queensland, Burleigh Brewing Co brews and bottles its range of Duke Beers at its multi-million dollar facility on a hilltop behind Burleigh Heads. Burleigh Brewing Company adheres to traditional brewing methods, patiently allowing their beers to ferment and age naturally. At Burleigh Brewing Company there are no shortcuts, no sugar, no pasteurisers and no chemical additives or artificial processes to speed things up.
Visit the Brewery for an up-close look at a working, commercial brewhouse and enjoy real, fresh premium beers in the comfort of the Brewery Lounge and Bar - right in the shadow of the shiny, floor to 6-metre-ceiling, stainless-steel brewhouse.
Superbee Honey World
Offering live bee shows every hour, free honey tasting of the many floral varieties of pure Australian honey and outlet shopping of pure Australian honey varieties and beehive products.
Catch A Crab and Birds Bay Oyster Farm
The new "Catch A Crab" experience includes tours of the Birds Bay Oyster Farm, which is set up on shore adjacent to private oyster leases. The new facility includes The Oyster Bay, where visitors can purchase freshly opened oysters harvested straight from the oyster beds or prepared by the farm chef in a choice of styles. Pearl and oyster farming displays demonstrate how the saltwater Akoya pearls and Sydney rock oysters are grown and harvested, while visitors can buy pearls, souvenirs and local regional produce such as tea, coffee and gourmet goodies.
Tweed Endeavour Cruises
Tantalise your tastebuds aboard a crab catching cruise. Imagine pulling up a crab pot from the picturesque Tweed River and discovering it full of succulent mud crabs that will be cooked on board. Explore the diverse waterways of the Tweed, get up close with the local wildlife and try your luck at fishing, yabbie pumping and crab catching.
For those seeking relaxation, try the River and Rainforest Cruise to Tumbulgum. Indulge in fresh Seafood or a mouth watering ‘Surf and Turf' buffet while enjoying an historical commentary, bird of prey feeding and scenic cruise through rainforest and rural farmlands.
ILNAM Estate Winery
ILNAM Estate Winery and licensed Café was twice voted best tourist facility in the Tweed BEX awards. Tours of the winery are available as well as a ‘Bottle Your Own' wine tour.
Tropical Fruit World
Tropical Fruit World is a working fruit farm and research park conducting guided plantation tours, fruit tasting shows, rides and a fauna park.
Madura Tea Estates
Madura Tea Estates was founded in 1978 and is the only major tea estate that is still Australian owned. Enjoy tours of the plantation from Monday to Friday.
Mudgeeraba Spices and Curry Blends
Mudgeeraba Spices and Curry Blends is a family owned and operated business that produces over 200 handmade gourmet quality products. The range includes Indian, Sri Lankan and Malay curry blends, chutneys, pickles, curry pastes, frozen meals, sauces and dips.