Healthy Eating

After fresh ideas for meals that are healthy but still pack a flavour punch? We've got salads and vegetable-packed bowls to soups and light desserts.

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Pea and ham soup

Feta and greens gozleme

A lot of rolling and folding go into making this Turkish flatbread, but when you bite into them all the hard work will be forgotten. The traditional filling is silverbeet, but we've added kale and fresh herbs for fragrance and flavour. A good sprinkle of salt at the end and a squeeze of lemon are non-negotiable. Start this recipe a day ahead to rest the dough.

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Bread and butter pudding

Just what you need on a cold winter's night; a bowl of luscious pudding. Make sure to leave room for seconds.

Coffee culture: A history

Australia’s love affair with coffee is stronger than ever; it’s become a way of life. But exactly how did a beverage manage to shape our country’s culture?

Autumn's most popular recipes 2017

As the weather started to cool down, your stoves were heating up with spicy curries, hearty breakfast dishes and comforting bowls of pasta. You balanced things out nicely with some greens but dessert wasn't entirely forgotten. Counting down from 30, here are your 2017 autumn favourites.

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The restaurant and hotel scene on Australia's favourite holiday island has never been more exciting and Australian chefs, owners and restaurateurs are leading the charge, writes Samantha Coomber.

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Life moves fast in the world of food and restaurants. How do you keep up? By reading our Hot 100 round-up of the latest and greatest in store for your tastebuds in 2017. It's time to eat!

Murray River travel guide

The Murray is much more than just a dividing line between New South Wales and Victoria.

The Murray River, Australia's longest river and once a thriving commercial trade route, is now the lifeblood of a fertile agricultural region and a favourite playground of anglers and boaties. Vineyards, olive groves and acres of sunshine lend it a Mediterranean feel at times, but the pioneering spirit of the early settlers is always there, never more clearly than on a cruise downstream by century-old paddle steamer.

MILDURA

The Murray's best-known dining room is Stefano's at Quality Hotel Mildura Grand, where slow-food enthusiast Stefano de Pieri and chef Jim McDougall fashion sophisticated set menus from the finest seasonal and local produce. Stay overnight in one of the Mildura Grand's suites, and save room for a meal at the Spanish Bar and Grill. It's not Spanish at all, but it does serve rather good steaks cooked over red gum and mallee roots.

Mildura has a thriving festival scene for its size - listen out for the International Music Festival, Wentworth Arts Festival, the popular Mildura Writers' Festival, and the Jazz Food and Wine Festival.

DINE & WINE

There's good eating to be had along the river's route at farm-gate kiosks selling olive oil, fruits and vegetables, honey and cheeses. Get acquainted with the local producers at the Hume Murray Farmers' Market, held every second Saturday in the Victorian border city of Wodonga. In Echuca, book ahead at Oscar W's for a memorable meal overlooking the river and the world's largest paddlesteamer fleet. Taste delicacies such as Nanneella milk-fed veal and saltbush lamb from Womboota while enjoying one of the country's finer wine selections.

The riverland wine industry is growing more sophisticated with each vintage. Check its progress at Trentham Estate, a family-owned vineyard that produces consistently good value wines about 15 minutes from Mildura on the banks of the Murray. At the other end of the Victorian border, just outside Echuca, Cape Horn's boutique wines are backed by 150-years of Murray viticulture. Taste single grape varietals such as verdelho, shiraz and petit verdot  - not to mention their olive oil  - at Stevens Brook Estate in neighbouring Moama.

Detour off the Murray Valley Highway to visit Monichino Wines at Katunga, renowned for its Piedmontese-style barbera and other Italian varietals. East of here lies Rutherglen, famous for the quality of its fortified wines such as muscat and topaque, though local winemakers are also dab hands at chardonnay, shiraz, marsanne and sangiovese. 

ACTIVATE

Get an aerial view of Sunraysia's lakes and sunbaked plains with a dawn balloon flight over Mildura. There are myriad houseboat operators along the Murray, but few offer the chic finishes of Rich River Houseboats' eight-person Icon, or their Ultimate 1 and Ultimate 2 five-suite cruisers where even the bathrooms have floor-to-ceiling views.

For a closer, more relaxed look at river life, grab a canoe or kayak and paddle under your own steam.

There are no fewer than 41 listed golf courses along the Murray's length, from Victoria and New South Wales down to South Australia. The 18-hole championship course at the Murray Downs Golf and Country Club in Swan Hill is one of the best regarded; beware of water hazards.

This online feature was published on the Gourmet Traveller website in October 2012.


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