9 dining spots worth the drive (or boat) around Brisbane

30 October 2017

There’s something extra special about driving through fields and past forests to the middle of seemingly nowhere only to enjoy a bounty of local produce, picked from the paddock and served to your plate the same day. 

Yes, the spots below are worth the drive (or the boat) to enjoy lunch with a spectacular view or the freshest paddock-to-plate experiences in the Brisbane region.

Kooroomba Winery & Lavender Farm, Scenic Rim

Kooroomba Vineyard and Lavender Farm

Lavender ice-cream, craft beer and local wine – there’s small pocket of the Scenic Rim that’s basically a theme park for adults. Drop into Bunjurgen Estate for a wine and verjuice tasting before heading to Kooromba Vineyard & Lavender Farm. Nab a booking at picturesque restaurant with panoramic window views, or settle for cheese and wine on the terrace. If you’ve eaten too much, walk it off through the vineyard, visit the chooks, wander the olive grove, check out the artist studio and (of course) snap an Instagram moment in the rows of lavender – there’s often wild wallabies to be found hiding here. By now, you’ll have room for the lavender ice-cream dessert, and possibly a craft beer paddle from Scenic Rim Brewery down the road. 

The Peak, Scenic Rim

Getting there is half the fun of eating at The Peak. Turn off the main road and down a gravel track that twists and turns through changing vegetation until you reach Peak Lodge 12km later. By the time you arrive, a drink will be in order – make yourself at home and sip it by the fire, or take your seat in the restaurant and begin the five-course food journey. After lunch take time to explore the property and find the fluffy Highland cows, or go one better and stay the night.

Copper Grill, Moreton Island

Picture this. You, on one of the world’s largest sand islands, a cold beer in hand and giant tomahawk steak on the way. Shared between four, bring some mates overs to Tangalooma Island Resort and experience beachfront dining at its best. Tee up a quad biking session over the sand dunes, or a snorkel around the wrecks before your long lunch – then stick around until dusk to hand feed wild dolphins at the jetty. Now that’s a good day.

Ocean View Estates, Moreton Bay Region

Ocean View Estates

The best way to arrive at Ocean View Estates is obviously by horse – after a two-hour ride to get there, tie your stead up under the brush box trees to cool off while you enjoy a wine tasting and cheese platter. From there it’s more food – a main and dessert at the family owned winery and brewery, before enjoying the scenic horse ride home. 

Wild Lime Cooking School, Scenic Rim

Wild Lime Cooking School

Step one. Book yourself in for one of the scheduled classes at Wild Lime. Step two. Turn up, pop on an apron and get your hands dirty. Here you’ll work as a team to create a three-course lunch, learning new techniques and recipes that incorporate local and indigenous produce as you go. Step three. Lay out the table on the panoramic deck and crack open the wine. It’s feast time!

Wild Canary, Brisbane

Wild Canary

Breakfast is arguably the best meal of the day, but let’s be honest – before coffee no one wants to travel far. Wild Canary is fortunately the closest destination dining spot on this list. The café is hidden at the back of a garden centre in Brookfield. Chef Glen Barratt is passionate about local produce and sources the best from around the nearby regions, topping it up with flowers, leaves and vegetables from the café’s own giant kitchen garden. Safe to say this is a pretty special breakfast or lunch out – book ahead, it gets busy.

Lurleen’s, Redlands

South of Brisbane, Lurleen’s sits on 216 hectares of lush green land at Sirromet Winery. Make the half-hour drive out here for lunch and definitely order seafood – head chef Andrew Mirosch is also a commercial fisherman, so the promise of fresh fish and produce is guaranteed. Afterwards stick around for a wine tasting and a round of Supa Golf.

Homage, Ipswich

Homage

An escape to the country can be just an afternoon, or an overnight stay at Spicers Hidden Vale. The onsite restaurant, Homage, makes the most of local produce where head chef Ash Martin has an 89-bed kitchen garden to use, an orchard with mango trees and bee hives, and pigs, cows and freshwater crayfish. The tasting menu might include yabby tails and fresh rosemary cooked over charcoal, then there’s a la carte, a simpler homestead menu and the option to organise a picnic hamper to enjoy somewhere on the 12,000 acre property. On weekends the kitchen team sometimes get the outdoor rotisserie cranking too.

Gutter Bar, Moreton Island

The Gutter Bar

We can’t confirm if this is Australia’s most remote bar, but it’s certainly Brisbane’s more remote – if you can make your way to the small township of Kooringal at the bottom of Moreton Island, here lies Gutter Bar. Now, the only other thing in Kooringal is an oyster farm. Put two together and that’s an afternoon with a dozen or two of the freshest Moreton Bay Rock Oysters with a few tins of XXXX. Shoes optional.

Hungry for adventure?