How to find your favourite foods on the Fraser Coast

Hervey Bay scallops

It’s not hard to find favourite foods on the Fraser Coast, but don’t try to pick just one!

Whether you’re thinking premium scallops, lush lychees, or tangy ginger this region has plenty to tempt.

Chef Matt Golinski knows the difference that premium produce makes to a meal and he’s found plenty of favourites that he’s happy to share. You can find them all at Relish Food and Wine Festival in Maryborough on June 4 from 10 am to 5 pm.

Don’t miss the chance to take home a bottle of lychee liquor.
“Apart from the obvious wealth of seafood coming out of Hervey Bay, there are a lot of small producers in the region doing great work value adding what they grow into amazing products,” says Matt.


Matt's favourite Fraser Coast foods

Matt’s list starts with the 60 products Cecilia "CC" Diaz Paterson from CC's Kitchen at Woolooga makes a range of from the things her husband and his dad grow on their farm.

“CC has always got something new for me to try and always has a big smile on her face,” says Matt. She makes a huge range of rosella products while they're in season including sun-dried rosellas to make into tea.”

He’s also keen on lychees from John and Kerry Pool’s Lychee Divine.

“John and Kerry grow lychees from December through to February and stockpile 25 percent of their fruit to turn into liqueur, sauces, ice creams and vinegars. They have a shop on the highway just south of Maryborough where you can stop, grab an ice cream and during the season buy the best quality fresh fruit by the kilo.

“I use their lychee liqueur to make a sabayon to go with fresh strawberries and macadamia crumble. Don’t miss the chance to take a bottle home with you.”

Anthony Rehbein’s Bunda Ginga
Anthony Rehbein’s Bunda Ginga

Another essential ingredient in Matt’s cooking is Anthony Rehbein’s Bunda Ginga.

“Anthony decided to try drying and powdering his own ginger and has created the best ground ginger you'll ever taste. He's also now doing pickled ginger and I heard a rumour that there may also be ground turmeric on the horizon.

“I’m looking forward to seeing all these guys at Relish Food and Wine Festival this year on June 4. They've all become friends of mine and are all real characters.

“I love just heading up to Hervey Bay for the weekend when I get a chance. It's such a picturesque and peaceful seaside town with a really pretty and really long esplanade for me to run along. There are some great restaurants like Dan and Steph's "EAT" and Nick Street-Brown's "Coast". It's also a quick skip over to Fraser Island from there for an explore.

Dan and Steph at Eat at Dan and Steph's.
Dan and Steph at Eat at Dan and Steph's.

“One thing you mustn't miss is tucking into a sausage by the sausage king and queen Dan and Steph at Eat at Dan and Steph's. They are at every festival as well as running a busy restaurant in Hervey Bay and I always make sure I smash one every time I run into them.”

Enjoy the flavours of the Fraser Coast region in Matt’s demonstration dish for Regional Flavours this year which features CC’s Rosella Chutney.

Bendele Farm Duck Breast, Sautéed Cauliflower and Sprouts, Macadamia Tarator and Rosella Chutney

Serves 4


4 Bendele Farm duck breasts
1 clove garlic
50gm macadamias, roasted
30gm sourdough bread, crusts removed, soaked in water
30gm tahini
60ml extra virgin olive oil
30ml lemon juice
50ml cold water
salt and pepper
200 gm cauliflower florets
200gm Brussels sprouts, sliced 5mm thick
2tbs vegetable oil
75gm butter
½ cup sage leaves
30ml lemon juice
100gm CC’s Kitchen Tangy Rosella Chutney


  • Place the garlic, macadamias, squeezed bread, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, water and salt and pepper into a food processor and blend until smooth.
  • Dry and salt the duck breasts and cook skin side down in a heavy based pan over a medium heat until the skin is crisp and well coloured. Turn, cook for a further 4 – 5 minutes, turn off the heat and rest.
  • Sauté the cauliflower and Brussels sprouts in oil until lightly coloured.
  • Add the butter and cook until it starts to brown.
  • Add the sage leaves and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Spread 2 tablespoons of tarator on each of four plates and top with the cauliflower and Brussels sprouts.
  • Slice each duck breast in 3 and arrange on top.
  • Dot with teaspoon amounts of CC’s Kitchen Tangy Rosella Chutney.
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Tourism Queensland and Fraser Coast Opportunities.

Kerry Heaney is a food sherpa, travelling the world bite by bite. For her, it's all about where to go to eat and where to eat when you go, and she's been writing about that for the past 20 years. A writer and editor who contributes regular food and travel feature stories for RACQ's The Road Ahead and a range of other print publications, Kerry has been sharing food love through Eat, drink + be Kerry for eight years. Although dedicated to eating her way around the world, Kerry is an expert on Queensland food and has written the Queensland food component for several Hardie Grant titles. Kerry is immediate past president and a current committee member of the Australian Travel Writers Society (ASTW).


How to get high on the Gold Coast

How to get high on the Gold Coast

It's too early; it's too cold; I'm stuck on a bus and I don't know where it's heading, but there's plenty of excitement because we are going to get high on the Gold Coast in a balloon!

There's nothing pleasant about being ready for a pick up at 4.20am especially when the night before included plenty of cocktails, but that's all part of the package when you decide on a balloon flight.

"This is for people who like to
live life large."

So I'm standing in the foyer of QT Gold Coast with a group of bleary-eyed people who like to get the most out of life.  We are travel writers on the Gold Coast for the Australian Tourism Exchange, an event where networking crosses with speed 'dating' for maximum results on both sides.

The bus takes us into the Gold Coast Hinterland, about 30 minute's drive from the coastline. Here the scenery is dramatically different thanks to an ancient volcano which created the tall mountains now coated in green by Mother Nature.

Burner action fills the balloon
Burner action fills the balloon

The first task is to fill the balloons with hot air, and they start to inflate skywards.  As the balloon gains buoyancy, we climb into the wicker basket to add weight.  Climbing over the steep basket side is a little challenging, but there are plenty of helping hands close by.

When we lift off, it's a smooth ride upwards until everything below us is a long way away.  It's such a beautiful morning with patches of fog hiding some parts of the land and sky reflections in lakes as we float past.

Balloon floating over the Gold Coast Hinterland
Balloon floating over the Gold Coast Hinterland

The pilot points out landmarks such as Tamborine Mountain,  Lamington National Park and the tall towers of the Gold Coast's skyscrapers in the distance.

Hot Air Balloon Gold Coast Pilot

It's a photographer's paradise, and there's much clicking to capture the memorable images.

The landing was almost as smooth as the takeoff.  We glided over the top of long grass strands for a few minutes before coming to a stop with just a slight bump.  Too easy.

Then it was all about getting the remaining air out of the balloon and packing it up.

It was a gentle balloon landing
It was a gentle landing.

Opening a vent at the top of the balloon allowed the hot air to escape when we were on the ground.
Opening a vent at the top of the balloon allowed the hot air to escape when we were on the ground.

Time to pack up the balloon
Time to pack up the balloon

Another short drive and we were off the bus at O'Reilly's Homestead set among the vineyard at Canungra in the Gold Coast Hinterland.

O'Reilly's Homestead
O'Reilly's Homestead

Bottom line: Hot Air Balloon's Champagne Breakfast at O'Reillys Grand Homestead Vineyard costs $280 for an adult.

Best tip:  Dress warm with layers as the morning flights can be chilly.

Disclaimer:  Ed+bK was a guest of Gold Coast Tourism.