In less than two weeks, the who’s who of Australia’s top cheffing talent will descend on Port Douglas to take part in its annual foodie frenzy: Taste Port Douglas.
With more than a dozen events, 20 stalls, celebrity chef-led live cooking demos, kids cooking activities, and wine and craft beer tastings, Taste Port Douglas has a truckload on offer as it shows off the flavours and laid-back lifestyle of Tropical North Queensland.
So where to start at this festival of feasting and how will you possibly fit everything in? The short answer is, you won’t. But to help you navigate the weekend we’ve pulled together five hot tips to make sure you see, hear, and consume as much as you possibly can at Taste Port Douglas.
Buy tickets beforehand
If you’re a fan of queuing then feel free to skip this tip! Our bet is you’re not though and you’d much rather spend your precious time doing what you’re meant to be doing – eating, drinking or learning more about both! Ticket packages can be purchased ranging from a $15 general admission for one day (when pre-purchased), right through to the Gold Weekend Pass, which gives you access to all three main festival ground sessions, the VIP lounge, and much more. Check out this link for details on all options and be sure to sort yourself out before Taste kicks off.
Convert your currency
The whole festival uses its own currency known as Food and Beverage vouchers (FABs). You can purchase these as part of the previously mentioned ticket packages or at two locations at the festival grounds with cash or credit/debit cards. As most packages come inclusive of FABs it’s another incentive to sort yourself out with one of the weekend pass ticket options prior to the event – so you’re armed on arrival, ready to spend.
The food won’t run out and neither will the wine or craft beer. There are three festival ground sessions planned for the weekend in addition to the Big Taste Collaborative Dinner Series held across Port Douglas on the Friday night. The Big Taste series consists of four dinners that will be hosted at different venues, serving meticulously planned menus by some of Australia’s top chefs, including Colin Fassnidge, Nick Holloway, and Alex Herbert. This means you can strategically plan your feasting across the weekend without needing an antacid. You may, for example, decide to attend the Big Taste: Queensland dinner on Friday night, followed by the Harry Hawker Street Food Party the next evening, topped off with the Sunday morning spent tasting morsels from the food trucks and stalls at the festival grounds. Check out what’s on here so you can plan ahead.
Dress the part
Yup, it’s hard to believe it’s winter in Tropical North Queensland with temperatures still above the mid-20s, but it can get a little chilly at night. With all that blood rushing to your tum to digest delicacies consumed throughout the day be sure to pack something warm. Alternatively, you could opt for a glass of red or a warming ale. Loose clothing may also be a good idea, especially around the waist.
Create a little balance
If you feel the need to start your day with a spot of activity to counteract the over-indulgence that lies ahead, there are plenty of options. Four Mile beach offers a flat, long stretch of sand perfect for a morning jog or bike ride – you may even see a pod of dolphins if it’s calm enough. And if you’d like to get a little closer to the sea life, kayaks and stand-up paddle-boards can easily be arranged with hire options at the northern end of the beach. Alternatively the QT hotel lap pool is open to all for a small fee. But if physical exertion simply isn’t your thing and you’d prefer a Bloody Mary to both kick-start your day and nurse your slightly fuzzy head, then head to Little Larder on Macrossan Street. A warning, the pulled pork tacos are hard to pass up!
Will you be attending Taste Port Douglas? Don’t forget to tag your pics with #exploreTNQ and #TastePD!