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The benefits of live yoghurt
23.03.2017

Step away from the “dessert yoghurt", writes Will Studd. The real unadulterated thing is much more rewarding.

All-Star Yum Cha
22.03.2017

What happens the morning after the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards? We treat the chefs to a world-beating yum cha session, as Dani Valent discovers.

Honey Fingers, Melbourne's inner-city beekeepers
22.03.2017

Single-source honey putting community and sustainability next to sweetness.

Vermouth is having a moment
21.03.2017

More and more adventurous local winemakers are embracing Vermouth's botanicals, writes Max Allen.

Exploring Indonesia's Komodo National Park
21.03.2017

Indonesia's Komodo National Park is home to staggering scenery and biodiversity. Michael Harden sets sail in a handcrafted yacht to explore its remote islands in pared-back luxury.

The new cruises on the horizon in 2017
21.03.2017

Cue the Champagne.

Seven recipes that shaped 1980s fine dining
21.03.2017

Australia saw some bold moves in the ’80s, and we’re not just talking hairstyles. Greater cultural references started peppering the menus of our restaurants, and home-grown ingredients won a new appreciation. The dining scene was coming of age and a new band of pioneers led the charge.

Where Melbourne's finest will take the World's Best Chefs
20.03.2017

Leading chefs descend on Melbourne in April for The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. We asked local hospitality folk who they’d abduct for the day and where they’d take them to show off their city. There may be coffee, there may be culture, but in the end it’s cocktails.

Weekends away

Take a tour of some of the nation's most picturesque regional areas, or stay closer to home and sample the hidden delights on your doorstep. 

Mornington Peninsula
The Australian bush has never seemed more bountiful than at Victoria's Mornington Peninsula, the coastal playground about an hour's drive due south from Melbourne. Premium wineries are its strong suit, as is a refined sense of taste that makes this one of the country's most cultivated regional dining scenes. Try Polperro, Montalto Estate and Ten Minutes by Tractor, for starters, but leave ample time to explore the dramatic peninsula coastline. 

Beechworth/Rutherglen
The bushrangers and gold diggers are long gone but Beechworth retains its quaint 19th century character, complemented these days by an elite wine-making culture, great food and an autumnal blush, worth visiting on its own. Just 40 minutes further north, Rutherglen is famous for fortified wines but visitors can sample drops of any ilk here - pop into the new wine bar and store Thousand Pound on Main Street, which has a drinks list worth driving for. 

Gold Coast
Queensland's glitziest beach strip has much to recommend it beyond meter maids and surf lifesavers. The bling strip has a burgeoning dining scene, some snappy accommodation options (hello QT and Soul Surfers Paradise) and the eternal promise of sun and sand. But there's also Lamington National Park, theme parks, watersports and wildlife - something for everyone, in other words. 

Canberra
If it wasn't for the politicians, Canberra would be a pretty hip place by now. On the one hand it has impressive cultural attractions and monuments (the National Gallery, the War Memorial, the National Portrait Gallery), as befits a national capital. On the other it has found its hipster groove in accommodation like Hotel Hotel and QT Canberra, and its dining mojo in Temporada, Monster and Eightysix. 

Mudgee/Orange
The central tablelands of NSW have a deserved reputation as a food and wine trail, with dozens of cellar doors in the Mudgee region and winning cool-climate wines from nearby Orange. There's a charming country cottage and B&B accommodation, a quality food culture and winning breakfasts at the likes of Market Street Café and Butcher Shop Café in Mudgee. 

Adelaide
The SA capital has shrugged off its 'city of churches' tag and is busy reinventing itself as a dynamic destination that's perfect for a city break. Check into the brand-new Mayfair Hotel, explore the vibrant laneways around Leigh and Peel streets for hidden bars and happening restaurants, and follow the crowds to the revitalised Adelaide Oval and riverside precinct. 

Margaret River
Known for its big-flavoured wines, there's much more to Margaret River than cabernet merlot. Surfers flock here for the 40 or so reliable reef and beach breaks; coastal townships like Yallingup and Gnarabup offer laidback living and seaside cafes, and the scenery at beauty spots like Cape Leeuwin and Cape Naturaliste will soothe the most stressed big-city dwellers. 

Hobart
The opening of MONA, the groundbreaking art museum by the Derwent River, has placed Australia's second oldest city firmly on the weekend escapes radar. Besides avant-garde art there's exciting dining options (including Franklin, Betsey, Pigeon Hole cafe), gorgeous Georgian architecture, unique accommodation (check out the Islington Hotel, Henry Jones and the Mona Pavilions) and, just 15 minutes from the CBD, the cool-climate wines of the Coal River Valley. 

Barossa Valley
Best known for its big-name winemakers such as Penfolds and Henschke, there's a renaissance afoot in the Barossa Valley with new-age vignerons challenging the old order and a seriously impressive dining scene to match. Fino at Seppeltsfield is the latest fine diner to join a line-up that includes Hentley Farm, Appellation at The Louise and FermentAsian, among other delicious diversions. 

Uluru
With direct flights to Ayers Rock Airport from Melbourne and Sydney it's easy for east-coasters to grab some instant zen in the Red Centre. A visit to Uluru is a transformative experience - it has a spiritual presence that's impossible to ignore. And the reinvigorated Ayers Rock Resort now brims with indigenous cultural activities, from dot-painting classes and traditional dance to interpretative tours of Australia's sacred heart. 

This article is brought to you by Penfolds

This article is brought to you by Penfolds

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