The black truffle is prized by foodies for its intense, earthy taste, and in the winter months of June to August in Australia, the hunt is on to find them. These buried delicacies prefer to grow in rich soil in a cold climate, with frosts adding to the intensity of flavour. So rug up, pull on your gumboots and join the hunt while relishing a gourmet getaway in one of New South Wales’s prettiest locations.
Truffle hunting near the Blue Mountains
During truffle season at Lowes Mount Truffiere in Oberon, an hour’s drive west of the Blue Mountains, you can forage for truffles, taste them in the truffle room, and enjoy a tasting platter of truffle paired delights. This family-run farm is surrounded by pine forests and has accommodation on site for four guests. You can pick up fresh Périgord black truffles (June to August) along with a selection of truffled products such as truffle honey and truffle salt.
While you’re in the area, visit Jenolan Caves, or travel along the beautiful 4WD Oberon Colong historic stock route through the wild, southern part of Blue Mountains National Park to the historic mining ghost town, Yerranderie.
The open ranges around Oberon make it a perfect destination for horse riding; saddle up at High Country Trail Rides or Yarrabin. Stop in at the Oberon Community and Farmers Market, held on the first Saturday of each month, for locally grown produce, handmade arts and crafts, or enjoy a classic breakfast at the Long Arm Farm Café and Produce.
Borrodell Estate near Orange, a 3.5-hour drive west of Sydney, is a pioneer of the truffle industry on mainland Australia. What started as a few nuggets weighing 100 grams in the early years has blossomed into a bounty of around 15kg per year. Visit Borrodell during winter to buy wine, truffles and truffled goods or celebrate the truffle harvest at the Black Tie and Gumboot Truffle Hunt and Dinner, a five-course degustation feast with matched wines. Stay on site in one of the Cider Suites or cottages.
In Orange, stop into the Hawkes General Store for clothes, gifts and homewares, and enjoy a leisurely lunch at The Agrestic Grocer, known for its excellent food using local, seasonal produce. Orange boats a flourishing food scene with great restaurants, wineries and food festivals; nearby Mount Canobolas State Conservation Area offers great walks, views and picnic spots for nature lovers.
In the cool climes of Sutton, just 20 minutes’ drive north of Canberra, Blue Frog Truffles started in 2003 with the planting of two hectares of oak and hazel trees. Today, the owners run truffle hunts, lunches and tastings during the truffle season and play an active role in the annual Truffle Festival, which showcases truffle farmers and their produce in the surrounding region.
Drive 20 minutes to the nearby historic village of Bungendore, enjoy a pub lunch at the Carrington Inn and visit the beautiful Bungendore Wood Works Gallery. Spend the night at The Old Stone House, a lovingly restored 1860s property now operating as a boutique hotel. On the outskirts of town, Turalla Truffles offers hunt and cook adventures with lunch and wine, as well as truffles for sale. Also in the area you’ll find Tarago Truffles, a small mixed farm with hands-on truffle hunts in winter.
In the Southern Highlands
With its cold climate and regular rainfall, the Southern Highlands town of Robertson, a two-hour drive southwest of Sydney, is another perfect truffle growing area. Robertson Truffles Farm was one of the first operating and producing truffle farms in Australia. Truffle hunt tours are available to book during the harvest season between June and August and include a live harvest, washing and grading demonstration and delicious meal overlooking the truffière.
While you’re in town, pop into the Robertson Cheese Factory, a lovely café and dairy store, stocked with cheese, chutneys, oils and more. Spend the night in the lovely Redleaf Carriages, restored railway carriages converted into accommodation at Redleaf Farm, near Fitzroy Falls.
You can also take a tour to a truffle farm in Greenwich Park, a 40-minute drive from Bowral, with Wild Food Adventures. You’ll be given a detailed map to the location two days before your tour, which includes foraging for truffles, a three-course lunch with truffles and a tasting of four cool-climate wines.
Near the Snowy Mountains
At higher altitudes closer to the Snowy Mountains in Bredbo, Macenmist Black Truffles and Wine offers truffle hunts, truffle-infused brunches and three-course lunches. It also sells truffles as well as shiraz, cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay from the vineyard.
From here, head south to the wilderness of Wadbilliga National Park; hike along the Cascades or Tuross Falls walking tracks that lead to waterfalls and spectacular views. Continue on 90 minutes to the coast and spend a relaxing night at pretty Mystery Bay Cottages perched on a headland overlooking the ocean at Mystery Bay, between Narooma and Bermagui on the South Coast.
Source: Destinations NSW