For a full and rewarding food and wine adventure you cannot go past Uralla, the foodie capital of New England.
Just an hour drive from Tamworth, Uralla boasts diverse and bountiful food experiences that range from local markets, farm gate sales, cafes and restaurants to boutique wineries, artisan breweries and even a cidery and distillery.
Making the ascent to Uralla through the majestic Moonbi Ranges, you will feel the temperature begin to drop as you reach the small community of Bendemeer, home to the famous Banalasta, Blickling Estate and World Forest Visitors Centre.
Set amongst 1800 hectares of vineyards, lavender and organic eucalyptus plantations, this award winning centre is open every day and provides you with an opportunity to tour the distillery and sample some of the regions premium cool-climate wines.
While you’re there you can also peruse the gift shop stocked full of the ‘Banalasta’ branded health and body care range delicately fragranced with eucalyptus and lavender oil, or simply enjoy a coffee as you take in the stunning surrounding scenery
From Banalasta, Uralla is just another 30 minutes down the road. The township is beautifully dotted with established trees, parks and gardens and the main street is lined with interesting retailers, displaying all sorts of appealing knick-knacks and curiosities. Uralla’s beautiful book store, antique shop, galleries, and museums make for a pleasant meander through the town centre.
First up on your Uralla food adventure should be a visit to Sunhill Dairy Goats. Located just 8km from the town centre, you will have the opportunity to meet the goats, taste the delectable goats cheeses made on-site, take a tour of the farm and milking operations and purchase some of the goat milk skin care products available.
Open to the public most days, Sunhill Dairy Goats offers a truly unique farm-gate experience.
Greenhill Orchards is also well worth a gander. Owned and operated by the same family for 150 years, the rich soils and distinct seasons of the area are ideal for cool climate fruits which you can purchase direct from the orchard. In the summer months, you can enjoy luscious, apricots, peaches, plums and nectarines, while autumn brings with it the crisp fabulous flavours of Greenhill’s apples and pears. The Yeoman family open their farm-gate to the public Monday to Saturday until 5pm.
As you head back into Uralla, stop in at the New England Brewing Company. All beers are handmade here in the Old Woolstore, and the tasting bar is open Thursday through to Sunday from 11am. Tours of the brewery can be arranged by appointment.
As lunchtime rolls around, there are plenty of options to choose from, including the Naturally Healthy Wholefood Store and Cafe. Located in the old chapel on top of the hill, this cafe specialises in providing healthy options and caters for most food intolerances and/or preferences. If a more hearty meal is what you’re after, then the Top Pub, next door to the New England Brewery, is for you.
Of a weekend, you also have the option of visiting one of the local wineries for a delicious meal and wine tasting experience.
Whyworry Wines, located just 4km off the New England Highway at Uralla, offers a relaxed BBQ option for lunch every Saturday and Sunday, with locally sourced lamb steaks, scotch fillet and gourmet sausages are available for you to cook yourself. You can also enjoy award winning red and white wines while observing the breathtaking high country views.
If you would rather enjoy the culinary expertise of a first-rate chef, then you can go no further than the cellar door at Merilba Estate Wines and New England Cider Co. Located just 30km from Uralla, it makes for a pleasant drive through the slopes, hills and pastures that make the area ideal for cool-climate viticulture.
At Merilba Estate, you will be able to enjoy the distinctive style of the cool climate wines and delicious dishes on offer while also enjoying the amazing view of the valley and the Honeysuckle ranges. Open Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 4pm for wine tastings and lunch (bookings essential for lunch), Merilba Estate provides a unique winery experience in a quintessentially country setting.
For a stylish, sophisticated and relaxed dining experience showcasing the very best local produce in the most innovative ways, then Eastview Estate is your answer. Located 15km south of Uralla, Eastview Estate incorporates Eastview Wines, Dobsons Distillery, Dobson Brewery and PINOT restaurant.
With exceptional reds their specialty, in particular Shiraz and Tempranillo, winemaker Stephen Dobson is on hand to provide a consultation and tasting of the wines which will enhance and complement your chosen dish at your table.
This is but a slice of what Uralla has to offer, so what are you waiting for? Start exploring today!