The Christmas issue

Our December issue is out now, featuring Paul Carmichael's recipes for a Caribbean Christmas, silly season cocktails and more.

Subscribe to Gourmet

Subscribe to Australian Gourmet Traveller before 28th December, 2016 for your chance to win a share of $50,000!

Gourmet digital

Subscribe to Gourmet Traveller for your iPad or Android tablet.

Mango recipes

Nothing says summer like mangoes. Go beyond the criss-cross cuts - bake a mango-filled meringue loaf with lime mascarpone, start off the day with a sweet coconut quinoa pudding with sticky mango, or toss it through a spicy warm weather Thai salad.

Chilled recipes for summer

When the mercury is rising, step away from the oven. These recipes are either raw, chilled or frozen and will cool you down in a snap.

Shark Bay Wild Scampi Caviar

Bright blue scampi roe is popping up on menus across Australia. Here's why it's so special.

Dark chocolate delice, salted-caramel ganache and chocolate sorbet

"The delice from Source Dining is a winner. May I have the recipe?" Rebecca Ward, Fitzroy, Vic REQUEST A RECIPE To request a recipe, email or send us a message via Facebook. Please include the restaurant's name and address, as well as your name and address. Please note that because of the volume of requests we receive, we can only publish a selection in the magazine.

Koh Loy Sriracha Sauce, David Thompson's favourite hot sauce

When the master of Thai food pinpoints anything as his favourite, we sit up and listen.

Taming the Wilderness

Heading to Canada’s far-flung places means a whole lot of adventure with life’s luxuries on the side.

Cooking breakfast like a chef

Direct from our Fare Exchange column and recipe vault, we've picked the best breakfast recipes from chefs cooking around Australia. From croque-monsieur to Paris Brest, you won't find poached eggs on toast here. All of the dishes are the perfect accompaniment to your morning coffee.

Garlic recipes

This pungent yet essential little bulb sets the foundation for countless dishes across the globe. Slowly roast it alongside spatchcock or whole snapper, or grind it down to thick paste for a rich alioli. When it comes to garlic, the possibilities truly are endless.

Where the wild things are

Do zoo animals pour a drink, stand up on two legs and play poker when the day-trippers depart? Mark Dapin camps overnight at Dubbo’s Taronga Western Plains to find out.

There are many reasons I haven't previously slept in a zoo - including, most importantly, the fact I'm not a wild animal. But Taronga Western Plains Zoo in the New South Wales town of Dubbo offers zoofaris, where guests can stay in luxury lodges in the heart of a wildlife park and wake up to both the roar of a tiger and the hiss of a coffee machine. It sounds like a suitable retreat for a city-soft mammalian biped like me.

The lodges are canvas-walled chalets with bar fridges, bathrooms and air-conditioning. Each is named after an animal. Mine is "African wild dog". My neighbours are "Zebra" and "Eland". In Africa, apparently, the wild dog preys on the eland.

"We'd appreciate it if you didn't eat any of the other guests," says Emma the cheery zoo guide. My companions don't look like the gourmet food I've been promised - although two small children might be slightly less chewy than the others. "We love little kids here," says Emma, "and so do the lions, the tigers, the cheetahs…"

Emma warns us to keep our doors closed and food wrapped. I laugh at the idea that I might be burgled in a zoo - which is a little short-sighted, as it turns out. In the eight years Emma has been at the zoo, the giraffes have twice tried to break out, a lion has escaped its enclosure, an elk has jumped its fence, several baby elands have wandered off and an echidna spent three months on the run before it was found in the black rhino enclosure.

A zoofari private minibus tour leaves late afternoon, just before the zoo closes its gates to regular customers and the animals go "off exhibit". I imagine life in a zoo is a bit like a Gary Larson cartoon, and as soon as the people go home, the animals all stand up on two legs, light cigarettes and play cards.

In fact, they eat. We visit my dog-sakes, the African wild dogs, fierce and beautiful hunters that tear open a kangaroo carcass as if it were a paper parcel. Then we watch the meerkats as they are fed mealworms. The meerkats watch us. We watch the meerkats. Eventually, the meerkats stare us down, and we move on.

Our lodges are built next to the zoo's "African savannah", where eland mingle with zebras, hippos, giraffes and a mob of western grey kangaroos, who come out for a free feed. Our minibus is painted with black and white stripes, and the zebras often assume it's another zebra, and try to herd it to make it stand with them.

Dinner is served in the Main House, in a dining room adjoining an African-themed bar. I eat a spicy beef salad and thick salmon steak, which is much more tempting than the other guests, who, apparently, taste like chicken.

At 8.15 we're taken on a night tour that includes a visit to the black rhino. The black rhino, like 42 per cent of species at the zoo, is endangered. It's poached for its horn, which can be ground into a medicine or used as an aphrodisiac. But rhino horn is made of the same substance as human hair and nails, so followers of traditional medicine could drink a cup of their own toenails and obtain exactly the same effect.

When I return to my lodge, I crack open a beer, kick the towels off my bed, throw myself onto the mattress and telephone my partner. While I'm talking to her I look around the room for my iPhone battery charger, but it's disappeared, along with my daypack, my laptop and my dirty washing. "Oh s***," I say to her, "I've been burgled."

I don't know if it's monkeys, elephants, African wild dogs or a rogue tourist, but they've stripped the room of everything that wasn't nailed down and then… made the bed. Something doesn't add up. That's when I realise I've walked into "Zebra", the lodge next door.


Zoofari Lodge costs from $309 per person, twin-share.

The inaugural Dubbo Festival, a celebration of the arts, culture, film and music of the Dubbo region, runs from 7 to 30 September. A highlight of the festival is Carnival of the Animals (15 September), which includes a street parade and mobile zoo.


Zoofari Lodge costs from $309 per person, twin-share.

The inaugural Dubbo Festival, a celebration of the arts, culture, film and music of the Dubbo region, runs from 7 to 30 September. A highlight of the festival is Carnival of the Animals (15 September), which includes a street parade and mobile zoo.

Signature Collection

Find out more about the Gourmet Traveller Signature Collection by Robert Gordon Australia, including where to buy it in store and online.

Read More
Christmas Boutique is now open

The smallgoods, homewares, art and more from the pages of GT are now all under one roof, ready to take their place under the tree.

Read More
Gourmet TV

Check out our YouTube channel for our latest cover recipes, chef cooking demos, interviews and more.

Watch Now

You might also like...

Best of Italy

Rome, Florence, Naples, the Amalfi... the list of our favour...

Best New Hotels 2009 slideshow

We’ve got the keys to the most fabulous new hotels in the wo...

Burgundy, France: Top soil

“Water can rust iron. Imagine what it does to your insides. ...

Bali's new high

It’s no secret that recent times have been tough for Austral...

New South Wales South Coast

Unsung hero Flashier holiday spots may steal the limelight, ...

Gourmet Barcelona

From the city's best sandwich bar to its favourite charcuter...

Greece's Mani peninsula

Greece’s rugged and bloody Mani peninsula was once a no-go z...

Venice in pictures

Read our story on what to do if you only have 24 hours in Ve...

Great Brittany gallery

Take a walk on the wild side. Follow Brittany’s windswept co...

South African safari lodges gallery

Travelling from the Great Karoo to the Kruger, Emma Ventura ...

Iceland photo gallery

Erase the images of that volcano with the unpronounceable na...

Happy holidays

They’re following the sun and chasing the snow, staying clos...

Kyneton and Castlemaine

Kyneton and Castlemaine were born out of the gold-rush era, ...

Insider's guide to Manly

Breath of fresh air The classic Sydney beachside neighbourho...

The best of New Zealand

Choosing from the bounty of New Zealand's holiday destinati...

get the latest news

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.