Due to its Anglo-Celtic origins, many traditional favorites have survived in Australian cuisine. Locals and visitors alike feast on tasty Australian dishes such as meat pies, prawns on the barbie, sausage rolls and fish & chips. Reflecting its strong multiculturalism, many classics have been revamped over the years to feature spices and flavors introduced by Mediterranean, Asian and Middle Eastern immigrants.
While enough cannot be said to properly describe the deliciousness of Australian barbecue fare such as Balmain Bugs (lobster tails), bangers (sausages), and game meats, exotic delicacies also await those looking to try something a bit farther from home. Cities with tropical climates like Darwin and Cairns offer an unimaginable variety of fruits and vegetables including lychees, star apples, bamboo shoots, mangos, bananas and jackfruits. While visiting these tropical regions, visitors also have the opportunity to taste some of the rich variety of seafood such as barramundi fish, banana prawns, saltwater crocodile and coral trout.
Three Australian traditional treats that should not be missed while on vacation in Australia include a "Lamington," a sponge cake dipped in chocolate and then rolled in coconut (July 21st is "National Lamington Day" in Australia) as well as the traditional meringue dessert "pavlova" and the crunchy oat & coconut cookies known as "ANZAC Biscuits." (The named originates from WWI when approximately 80,000 Australian and New Zealander soldiers lost their lives in the Gallipoli campaign).
Australia's wines are internationally reputed to be some of the finest wines in the world, and a vacation to Australia wouldn't be complete without touring some of its wineries.
Those based in Sydney have access to The Hunter Valley, one of the oldest wine regions in Australia, dating back to the early 1800s. Best known for its Semillon production, wineries in this region also produce Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Verdelho. Also within driving distance from Sydney, with a scenic drive across the Blue Mountains, is the smaller but well established wine region of Mudgee. Visitors traveling here can appreciate the region's spectacular scenery while sampling its distinctive Chardonnay and Semillon wines.
Australia's best known wine region is Barossa. Located northeast of Adelaide, a wine tasting here should feature a Barossa Shiraz or an Eden Valley Riesling. Wine lovers based in Melbourne can relaxingly do a day trip to The Yarry Valley region, which produces excellent Chardonnay and Pinot Noir as well as sparkling wines. Many fine wines are also produced in Western Australia; notable wine regions there include Swan Valley and Margaret River.
It should be noted that while famed for its wine production, Australia makes a good beer or two. When there be sure to tell the bartender if you want a "pony" (5 fluid oz.), a "bobbie" (6 fluid oz.), a "glass" (7 fluid oz.), a "handle' (10 fluid oz.), a "schooner" (15 fluid oz.) or a "pint" (20 fluid oz.)