Five Road Trips Every Australian Cheese-Lover Needs to Embark on
“As children, we spent a lot of holidays in Europe, so whether we liked it or not, cheese was always around,” says Sam.
The Studd Siblings have brie in their veins, not blood. Born into the cheese business, Ellie and Sam, live, eat and breathe cheese, so they’ve put together the best curd nerd road trip destinations in Australia.
Before you hit the road, Ellie suggests wrapping a ‘smelly’ cheese in newspaper to reduce the spread of the smell. As with a cheesy road trip, you’re also going to need a good esky, particularly if the weather is hot.
“On our cheese road trips, we love to keep it rustic. We pick up the cheese and make sure we have some good crackers, and other basic ingredients, such as apples. You don’t want to make it overcomplicated,” says Sam.
No-one wants their road trip to be overcomplicated, and good planning can prevent that — especially when it comes to car batteries. The last thing you want is your battery going flat half-way through your nationwide cheesefest, and that can be avoided by getting a simple car battery health check. Head into your local Battery World to get your battery tested, or to have a new battery fitted if you need it. Should anything go wrong on the road, Battery World is also available for battery roadside assistance.
What are you waiting for? Here are our favourite cheese destinations.
To the locals, Castlemaine is known as ‘North Northcote’, a humorous reference to the creative, hipster energy that pulses through this charming town filled with artists, artisan food, antiques, and live music similar to Melbourne’s inner North.
‘The Mill’ – 1-9 Walker St, Castlemaine
Easily spotted from afar, this red-bricked tower was historically the town’s woollen mill. Today, it is a hub of antiques, small brewers, cheese, ice cream, coffee and chocolate, making it a must-visit to pick up some local cheese by Long Paddock.
Farmers Market – Maxi IGA Carpark
Held on the first Sunday of every month, this is a great place to buy some of the best seasonal local produce. Make sure to visit the stall of local cheesemakers from Holy Goat. Our favourite is the La Luna Ring and their mixed milk Nectar cheese. Farmstead cheese at its best.
Art – If a creative fix is on the cards, Castlemaine Art Museum is one of Victoria’s most prestigious regional galleries and well worth a visit. Honourable mentions also to the Falkner Gallery, and the Cascade Gallery in Maldon.
The drive to Castlemaine from Melbourne is under 90 minutes so it can be done in a day, but most want to stay a night or two once there.
Take the car onto the 20-minute ferry ride from Hobart to beautiful Bruny Island for a fabulous day trip. Located just off the south-eastern coast of Tasmania, ‘Bruny’ is a utopia of white sand beaches, coves, farms, rivers, and pristine wilderness areas. To really ‘taste Tasmania’, Bruny offers an abundance of it with some of Australia’s best cheese, local fresh fruit, berries and even a drive-thru oyster bar.
Bruny Island Cheese Co.
Founded by cheese legend Nick Haddow, this place offers a sensational yet relaxed culinary experience. We suggest getting in here early to watch the cheese being made, then stay for lunch. Make sure to chat with the cheesemakers. Grab a loaf of organic wood-fired sourdough on the way out and a hunk of our favourite raw milk Alpine-style cheese called C2 to snack on later at a riverside or beach picnic.
Eat The Wild
Eat The Wild is an amazing new company run by a very passionate chef who moved down to Tassie from the mainland. He cooks from the back of his van. Enjoy a beautiful view of the whole island while eating a delicious meal in the wilderness.
Home to the ‘world’s first oyster drive-through’, your fast food drive-through expectations will never be the same after a visit here. The oysters are freshly shucked and delicious, with the owners describing the experience as a ‘kiss from the ocean’. Whether you’re in a rush to get back to the ferry or want to sit down and enjoy the full menu, this place will put a smile on your dial.
A 90-minute drive south of Sydney is a scenic hideaway with some solid artisan food and, of course, a great cheese game. The landscape is an alchemy of rolling hills, dense old-growth bushland, lush pastures, and small quirky villages such as Berrima and Bowral.
This is a ‘we must stop’ for anyone who wants to try some beautiful cheese from the area, as well as local artisan goods. Choose from a selection of Pecora Dairy cheeses that are made by locals Michael and Cressida Cains. Keep an eye out for a cheese called ‘Bloomy’. Made from a single herd of happy East Friesian sheep, this cheese has a pillowy texture, striking ash appearance and is a butter bomb in your mouth. Pecora also sells their cheese at the Kiama Farmers Market on Wednesdays.
Sometimes saying less is more and that is too true for this adventure involving ‘truffles’. Roberston Truffles offers truffle hunting tours from July for a limited truffle season.
A farm-to-table project that does not disappoint, growing and serving some of Australia’s very best seasonal produce. A tour of Moonacre’s organic farm is available to the public, or you can enjoy lunch at their café in Robertson. The daily pie is a standout.
Byron Bay heaves with hinterland produce collected from the weekly farmers market, reminding you exactly when the ice cream banana or Cooper shoot heirloom tomatoes are at their seasonal peak. Served alongside some local fish for protein from Freckle, who text us when a new batch of prawns has just been hauled. Life is indeed simple, wholesome and community-focused here.
Held every Thursday and Friday respectively, these markets are a great way to see the kaleidoscope of locally grown and made produce. Keep eyes peeled for Nimbin Valley Dairy, which produces sensational cow and goat milk cheeses. Driven by regenerative farming practices and traditional cheesemaking, Karry and Paul produce some beautiful cheeses. Our favourite is Nashua Washed Rind, a small delicate cheese that, when ripe, packs a well-balanced punch. Debra from Cheese Loves you also makes delicious kefir from her Jersey cows. Say hi to Banana man (Craig) from us, and scoff the best Lady Finger banana you will ever eat.
Nimbin – Hinterland
The drive alone will leave anyone speechless with green rolling hills and pastures. Arriving in a well-known hippie haven, we encourage embracing the energy and enjoy the captivating surroundings and the World Heritage rainforest. Be sure to slow down, relax and ask around for the good spots to have a dip. There are a lot of hidden gems in this area.
One of Ellie’s favourite witch cafes in the world, Lilum café is a 40-minute drive out of Byron. Drive through the rainforest, up the winding off-the-beaten-track road to arrive at the magical, peaceful indoor and outdoor café. Serving elixirs, tonics, organic whole bowls, as well as an apothecary and a range of witchcraft goods for sale. They also open for dinner some nights on a rotational menu, including organic Mexican and outdoor pizza.
The waterfalls around the northern rivers are magnificent and a great spot to tuck into a cheeseboard. One of our favourites is Minyon Falls—at over 100m high, it’s the tallest in the area. Simply take a short walk and look over the top or stroll down the track and take a dip in the mind-blowing water hole. Bring your togs for a mystical dip at its base.
Adelaide Hills is a must to add to the bucket list. Under an hour’s drive from Adelaide’s bustling city centre, the Mount Lofty Ranges offer good cheese and some gobsmacking views.
Just 15 minutes from Adelaide, this is for those feeling like a fancy dining experience or luxury escape that lives up to the pictures. A historical country house, set amongst the vineyards with spectacular views across PiccadilyValley, be sure to ask if they have some Section 28 Cheese. It also offers tennis courts, croquet and swimming available to guests. We did say it was fancy.
Mount Lofty Summit
A 20minute windy-but-worthwhile drive, Mount Lofty Summit offers panoramic views across Adelaide’s skyline to York Peninsula and Kangaroo Island. Pack your hiking shoes, a picnic of local cheese, and head up for the sunset.
Woodside cheese is a must for cheese lovers. Kris Lloyd has won countless awards for her creative cheeses. Our fav is Anthill—a Chevre covered in Australian Native Green Ants and South Australian Lemon Myrtle.
Family owned and organic sough dough bakery that is a local favourite and best-kept secret. You will dream about the olive bread long after your visit.
With over 100 Battery World stores across Australia, there’s bound to be one near you. Check out your local Battery World store today.