By Karen Snider Leiva
A world away from North America, Australia is one of those places most of us dream to visit. It has everything imaginable for a savvy traveler: rain-forests; surfing on famed beaches; the red sand Outback; and a rugged coast on the west. Not to mention the incredible experiences to be had – diving on the Great Barrier Reef, seeing koalas and kangaroos up close or learning to surf.
While the sites are extraordinary, Australia’s culinary experiences are also not to be underestimated. It could be said that chef Curtis Stone first helped put Australia’s culinary expertise on the world wide map – the Australian native was picked up by American networks following the success of his domestic program, Surfing the Menu. But, these days, Tourism Australia is leading the charge to let culinary explorers know just how good Australia’s ‘tucker’ is.
One of the obvious and most enjoyable gastro experiences in Australia is the seafood. There are many options in seafood, everything from fresh lobster, crayfish, oysters and cockles (a saltwater clam).
Although ‘shrimp on the barbi’ has become somewhat of a cliché to Australia, consider this could mean picnics on the beach or a look-out point, or dining on a sail boat.
When I visited Australia, one of my favourite experiences a fishing trip with a tour guide for the day. We took home our catch, and the guide helped us prepare it so it was BBQ ready. It truly does not get any fresher than that!
Often the biggest roadblock for North Americans visiting Australia is just how far it is. My advice is to not let the distance dissuade you from going – it is well worth the journey. Your travel agent can help you narrow down your itinerary so that you get the most out of your time.