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Noosa International Food & Wine 2012 – Part 1 of 3

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I love a good food festival so when I saw that the Noosa International Food & Wine Festival was being held over the weekend of my birthday it was a great excuse for RJ and I to get away for a few days.

Before I get into the pics however, a bit about NIFW12… with events spanning from Thursday evening to Sunday night, there are a few parts to this festival.

  1. Food & Wine Kiosks: local restaurants, chefs and celebrities serving up one or two dishes and wineries pouring glasses of wine [$7 ticket per plate/glass]
  2. The Grand Marquee: producers, many finalists for the delicious magazine Produce Awards, doling out samples like there’s no tomorrow
  3. Cooking Demos and Panel Discussions: 3 separate stages with top Australian and International chefs doing their chef-ing best and an annexe tent for big name panel discussions
  4. Lunches & Dinners: extra events with celebrity chefs serving up multiple courses [additional to entry tickets]
  5. Food Trail tours: half day outings providing the chance to explore regional produce with local experts and chefs [additional to entry tickets]
  6. Swear off food, vow to exercise

Now that you know a bit of what is in store, on to the adventure! As per usual, plans were made at the last moment and flights into Maroochydore Airport on the Sunshine Coast – a mere 30 minutes from Noosa – were all but non-existent by the time we got around to looking.

Never ones to back down from a bit of a road-trip we decided to fly in and out of Brisbane instead and hire a car to head the rest of the way up… so on Thursday we hopped on an early evening flight [sat on the tarmac for at least a half an hour] and we were on our way.

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A word of warning… anyone who tells you the drive from Brisbane to Noosa takes anything less than 90 minutes has never made the trip… also, if you are not used to highways where the absence of street lights is made up for with an abnormal number of enormous round-abouts and a severe lack of directional indication, you will have brilliant surprises awaiting you.

We rolled into town around 11pm having not eaten since lunch and lucked upon a late night bar just before they stopped serving food. Thank goodness for pizza. Not pizza worth sharing by any means but at that time of night and with our level of hunger, it was fantastic.

Where as the downside of late booking was a lack of transportation options, the upside of the limited accommodation availability meant we had to stay at a 5-star resort, shame. Friday morning we awoke to discover a rainforest view inside our hotel as well as outside and headed down the hill into town for brunch at Gaston – more on that another time.

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Not partaking in any of the Friday Food Trail tours we briefly looked around the festival venue as it was being set-up before the rest of the afternoon saw us wandering the main street of Noosa…

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… spotting crafty gems…

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… lazing about, watching the ocean…

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… and partaking in a little treat secured earlier in the day.

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That evening we headed into another part of Noosa for Italian at Ipazzi – but once again, more on that another time.

Part 2 and Part 3 will showcase some Cooking Demos and Food Kiosks as well as the Producers in the Grand Marquee. It was a busy weekend to say the least but don’t worry, we weren’t on the go the whole time!

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JJ and RJ attended the festival compliments of the Noosa International Food & Wine Festival. Thanks again for the passes, we had a delicious weekend!

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