10 Vacation eating experiences on the Pacific Coast

There's so much to see and do along the legendary Pacific coast from Brisbane to Sydney and memorable days out usually include a great meal. But where to dine when traveling somewhere for the first time. After talking to locals here's a selection of the top 10 places to grab a bite – and they won't break the bank!

Catch a Crab:

For fun, food and adventure for all ages why not join a Catch a Crab amazing river adventure tour to do just that. Catch mud crabs, pump for yabbies, do a spot of fishing, feed Pelicans and visit an Oyster Farm for an oyster show and the opportunity to indulge in deliciously prepared and oh so fresh, crabs, oysters and fish. Contact: (07) 5599 9972 or visit: www.catchacrab.com.au

Mavis’s Kitchen:

Set within 25 acres of farmland Mavis’s Kitchen and Cabins is located at the foot of Mount Warning in the lush Tweed Valley. They grow much of their produce on site and gather other specialties from local organic farmers. Fresh is best at this restaurant on the top floor of an elegant rambling “Queenslander”. Dine in or picnic on the expansive lawns. Want to stay? There’s Cabin and farmhouse B & B accommodation but do book in advance. This place is popular with a capital P! Contact: 02 6679 5664 or visit: www.mavisescabins.com.au

Byron Bay Beach Café:

With a drop dead location just a step from the beach this multi award winning café wins high praise for its location and a creative contemporary menu. First in best dressed for the balcony seats with forever ocean views. A great base for dolphin and people watching over a cools drink or creamy coffee. Contact: (02) 6685 8400 or visit www.bryonebachcafe.com.au

Lismore Pie Cart:

If you love a good Aussie pie, you’ll be spoilt for choices at the Lismore Pie Cart right in the heart of ol’ Lismore town. Don’t know how long it has been there but I sense the local population would be lost without it. It’s an icon a bit like Sydney’s Harry’s Cafe De Wheels. There is a such a huge variety of pies served on their own or taken to ‘slammer’ status with the addition of potatoes, mush peas and gravy. Dine at sidewalk tables or takeaway. Contact: (023) 6622 2946 Open Mon to Fri 6.20am to 5pm and 7.00am to 2pm on Saturdays.

The Macadamia Castle:

We can’t go past this place for breakfast. Love the incredibly generous Vegetarian breakfast with organic eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes and more…Its so big we often share. And what we love is the menu telling us how far each of the ingredients travelled to reach our plate! This iconic tourist attraction also serves up a wickedly delicious variety of pancakes with cream and ice cream (forget the calorie counting) and their nuts… big, fresh, white or dark chocolate, salt and honey coated. And then there’s the wildlife, the accommodation, entertainment and more. A must eat, see and do! Contact: (02) 6687 8432 or visit: www.macadamiacastle.com.au


The décor at this Yamba central café is simply retro. Clean lines, bright colours smatterings of family history on the walls, space and cool breezes and a gorgeous garden setting at the rear under an ancient tree. The coffee is GREAT! The regularly changing market driven menu is so tasty and creative. Only thing though, it closes to early. Once in and enjoying the great atmosphere and food we don’t want to leave. Contact: (02) 6646 1258

Flooded Gums Restaurant at Bonville Golf Resort:

If you love good wine and a great selection to accompany a special meal, then Flooded Gums Restaurant is one of the best regional alternatives on the coast. This restaurant, literally set among the hauntingly beautiful flooded gums in the manicured gardens of this golf resort, has won multiple awards for its Wine List including being the only regional restaurant to take home and “Award for Excellence” in the Wine Spectator Magazine Wine List of the Year Awards. Bravo. Hey and the food. Think contemporary, creative and embracing the best of fresh local produce. Presentation is everything and Flooded Gums has it all. Contact: 1300 722 444 or visit http://www.bonvillegolf.com.au/

Raleigh Winery:

Did you know there is a well established winery in Coffs Harbour? Find a designated driver and spend an afternoon at this welcoming venue overlooking the beautiful Bellinger River. Raleigh has been producing a unique blend of boutique wines, ports and their famous Brandy Crème Liqueurs for almost two decades and they go down a treat with some good local cheeses, the sun shimmering on the water and an atmosphere that induces relaxation and conversation. Open 10.00am to 5.00pm daily. Contact: 02 6655 4388 or visit http://raleighwines.com/

Nambucca Boatshed and Café:

We first discovered this café on a family day out and decided it looked like a nice place for lunch. It was. We enjoyed our meal on an outdoor balcony with the Nambucca river lapping beneath our feet and a slight breeze through the trees protecting us from the sun. This is good, family friendly café food accompanied with excellent coffee, milkshakes and smoothies. And afterward we were able to hire a boat and take to the river for some quiet time in the sun drifting on the azure blue waters of this popular family destination. Contact: Phone 02 65686432 or visit www.nambuccaboatshed.com.au

Sundays at Near River Produce:

This working farm in the Greater Port Macquarie Hinterland connects people with the land. A typical Sunday at Near River sees dozens of people help to feed and move the chickens, water and feed the sows and their piglets, collect some eggs, and then spend time in the market garden sowing seeds or mulching some beds. After all that activity they harvest fresh produce for lunch and sit down to enjoy a meal garnered from the fields. The menu is likely to include soup, salad and pork or chicken with a beverage. This is a wonderful opportunity for children both young and old to connect with the land and discover where their food comes from and experience the delight of tasting truly fresh food. Contact: visit http://nearriverproduce.com/

For further information on these and other Legendary Food, farming, Wine and Beer activities along The Legendary Pacific Coast click here

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