Great food and wine is part of Australia’s identity. From the fresh produce sources in tropical north Queensland to the locally fresh seafood in caught in Tasmania, you’ll never be far from an exceptional meal.

To experience the very best, make this your year to pick up a rental car from your nearest Thrifty office, and visit some of the best food and drink festivals in the country.

Even if you missed out on the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival earlier in the year, you still have these incredible food and drink festivals in 2019 to look forward to.

The Hunter Valley Food and Wine Festival

Where: 3.5 hours from Sydney

When: throughout May and June

Bringing light and joy as the winter season kicks in, The Hunter Valley Food and Wine Festival is a celebration of the phenomenal wine and amazing meals that are produced in the Hunter Valley. You can join in on wine tours, masterclasses, meet-the-farmer dinners, and much more.

Pick up a car rental in Sydney and head north, and don’t forget to make a real trip of it by stopping at the beaches of the Central Coast along the way – you’ll need to work up an appetite after all.

Spirit of Bundaberg Festival

Where: 4.5 hours from Brisbane

When: October 19

Bundaberg rum is an Australian icon, and this rum-inspired festival celebrates this locally made drop in every way possible. Listen to music, try rum cocktails, nibble on rum-inspired food, and taste the latest release from the distillery.

It’s held on a Saturday, so make a long weekend of this event by renting a car in Brisbane and driving up the coastline to visit Hervey Bay and its gorgeous white sand beach.

Margaret River Gourmet Escape

Where: 3 hours from Perth

When: November 8-17

The Margaret River region is famed for its wines and produce, and what better way to get a taste for it all than at the annual food festival. There will be gourmet superstars, barbecues on the beach, tastings, stalls, and everything in between.

Note that this event is part of the larger Western Australia Gourmet Escape, so if you book your Perth rental car you can enjoy events throughout the Margaret River, Perth, and in the Swan Valley.

Park Feast

Where: 1.5 hours from Sydney

When: June 14-15

Park Feast is not just another food festival in Sydney, Park Feast is a food truck festival where every meal and drink comes from the back of a truck – and is every bit as delicious as anything that comes from a traditional kitchen. Not only will you find trucks serving countless styles of meals and desserts, but there will also be live music and amusement rides.

Park Feast will be held in Gosford, which is right next door to Sydney.

Truffle Melbourne

Where: Melbourne

When: throughout May and June

Acquire a taste for the luxurious at Truffle Melbourne, a decadent event that will demystify the exquisite truffle and introduce it to your kitchen at home. Take a truffle masterclass, enjoy a six-course truffle-inspired meal, and try the truffle hunt program that runs through winter to find truffles of your own!

A Melbourne car rental will help you reach all these events, and will get you out of the city to find those truffles!