Gourmet Stays in NSW/Queensland Border

Stays to leave you satisfied

Long known for its boho vibe, healthy living and yoga retreats, it’s no surprise that some of the best paddock-to-plate dining is coming out of northern New South Wales.

The team behind Sydney café Three Blue Ducks relocated to Byron Bay last year to open Three Blue Ducks on The Farm, a restaurant, café and produce store on a working farm that only uses ingredients from within a 500-kilometre radius. Over the border, the Gold Coast has seen an onslaught of high-profile chefs arrive to put their own spin on Queensland cuisine – visit Luke Mangan’s Salt Grill in Surfers Paradise; ex Nobu chef Chase Kojima’s Japanese restaurant Kiyomi at Jupiters Hotel and Casino; or the playful Room81, whose chef Sam Moore cut his teeth at some of the best restaurants in Sydney and Melbourne.

The Old Church Byron Bay, Byron Bay

The renovation of this stunning converted church in the Byron Bay hinterland took a huge eight years to complete, and as soon as you step inside you’ll see just how much all that work has paid off. The astounding living space has a refectory dining table that can seat 12, and preparing dinner for this many is an easy feat in the gigantic chef's kitchen with a huge Beaumatic oven and miles of bench space. Prefer to dine al fresco? There’s also a barbecue deck overlooking the garden. The local Newrybar neighbourhood is definitely worth exploring too – around the corner is the acclaimed Harvest Cafe, where head chef Joseph Griffin does wonders with local produce.

Blue Ocean Apartment, Palm Beach

From the jaw-dropping ocean views that inspired its name to the resort facilities it overlooks, Blue Ocean Apartment is an unbeatable choice on the Gold Coast’s peaceful Palm Beach. There are two ocean view bedrooms, two balconies, a spacious open plan lounge, dining area and a sparkling kitchen decked out with every conceivable requirement for the most discerning home chef. Stay here and you’ll also have access to suburb resort facilities including a lagoon pool with spa, barbecues, giant chess set, tennis court, mini putt-putt course and direct access to the patrolled beach. From your perch at Palm Beach, you’re less than 30 minutes’ drive from the top restaurants and cafes of Surfers Paradise.

Wallaby Ridge Retreat, Wonglepong

Wallaby Ridge Retreat is set in the secluded foothills of Tamborine Mountain behind the bright lights and skyscrapers of the Gold Coast. Here you can bask in the gorgeous valley views or toddle off to the region's popular vineyards. The three comfortable in-house self-contained retreats and the two new cottages embrace the stunning panorama. Each is fully self-contained, but you can also order up a romantic candlelit dinner or enjoy a fun night of making wood-fired pizzas in the brilliant alfresco dining area. The hosts believe in using fresh local produce and keeping food miles low. The result? Breakfast baskets and meals brimming with home-grown vegetables, hand-gathered eggs and regional products.