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Southern Forests Food Tour Winter 2019

In this beautiful, unspoilt part of the world, something magical is happening.

GSF Southern Forests Western Australia_Red_2017

Batista Estate

Southern Forests Food Tour Western Australia Fontanini Orchards


Southern Forests Food Tour

Southern Forests food Tour Lyster Orchards Apple Shed Lunch


Wood Fired Pizza

New Leaf

Southern Forests food Tour Miley Truffle Dog

Various images above courtesy of Craig Kinder Food Photography, Violet Millieri, Astrid Volzke @ourphotostories and Tracey Cotterell

4 nights ~ Manjimup, Nannup and Pemberton
Wednesday 14th to Sunday 18th August 2019

Join Tracey and Anthony Cotterell with a local Southern Forests Food Council guide to explore our very own gem, 300km’s from our urban doorstep. This is a winter getaway that will be truly memorable. A genuine experience.

Maybe it’s the clear, crisp air. Or the extraordinary fertility of the soils. Maybe it’s the 365 growing days a year. Or the purity of the rainfall. Or maybe it’s a combination of all these things. Truth is no-one knows for sure. One thing I do know is farmers put their lives into agriculture, country folk seem to have something special in their souls. You will love getting to know them as you discover the treasures they grow, the jobs they provide and their commitment to bring us the end user an exquisite array of nutritious food.

Whenever you break an egg for breakfast, break open broccoli into florets or cut an avocado in half to reveal the milky smooth flesh you’ll be eating the best the state has to offer, in fact possibly the best on offer, period.

This bespoke tour is a collaboration with Southern Forests Food Council and has been specifically designed for our group. We are so excited to be working with this wonderful initiative funded by Royalties for Regions. this not-for-profit organisation does such an excellent job.  Some experiences are only accessible for our group due to the close relationship SFFC has with its’ members. This tour does require a moderate level of fitness, as walking around farms, pack houses and nature experiences are included.

As this tour is within Western Australia the package price includes travel by private bus to our destination as well as accommodation at the Kingsley Motel Manjimup which has undergone a smart new sparkly refit.


Whilst travelling through the Southern Forests on this tour, you will be taken past an incredible array of agricultural, horticultural and aquaculture properties producing potatoes, avocados, apples, stone fruit, dairy, sheep, cattle, marron, trout, vineyards and truffles, all with the stunning natural backdrop of the towering karri and jarrah forests.

Your hosts for the lunch will be the team from the Southern Forests Food Council Inc. (SFFC), a not-for-profit organisation established to represent the interests of local producers, culinary and agri-tourism operators and to foster the Southern Forests’ status as one of the nation’s key food bowls and culinary tourism regions.

The Southern Forests’ produces a huge amount of different fruits and vegetables, truffles and boutique produce, dairy and cattle farms, as well as award-winning wineries, and exceptional culinary experiences. The Food Council is playing a critical role in unifying the areas diverse producers through the creation of the Genuinely Southern Forests regional brand.

You will receive your welcome pack, and be provided with a full overview of the region and what to expect over the next few days.

The temperate Mediterranean climate of the Southern Forests is ideally suited to producing high quality, great tasting fruits and vegetables which are supplied both domestically and internationally. Today you will visit the family-owned and operated farm, by the ultimate couple duo and their children (3rd and 4th generation).

The farm includes a variety of tree fruits including apples, avocados, sweet persimmons (fuyu fruit), feijoas, chestnuts, walnuts, hazelnuts and macadamia nuts. Here you’ll cruise around the farm in a purpose-built tractor and trailer, tasting the farms offering as you go. The perfect experience to kick start your tour.

The Kingsley has long been a staple motel accommodation venue in Manjimup but was fairly recently purchased by brothers Charlie and Andrew, and Andrew’s wife Jayde. Rejuvenating its tired bones, they support a local farm-to-fork approach, sourcing local ingredients and wine from the Southern Forests region. Tonight’s dinner will incorporate some of the seasonal offerings you will experiene on this tour and an early introduction to the warm hospitality of the Southern Forests region.


Starting out as a temporary pop-up café in Pemberton, Ian & April Pianta have very recently established a more permanent footing in Manjimup, offering a popular modern café experience within a coffee roasterie.

With the greatest respect for the farmer, the terrain and community, Southern Roasting sources the highest quality green coffee beans in micro lots, roasting and blending with a craft-based hands-on approach twice weekly to produce an unparalleled local coffee experience. Our coffee roasting experience this morning will be the perfect fuel to set off for a morning of farm and apple orchard walks. We LOVE this cafe and its’ owners and wish they were in Perth!


Farming is a family affair in the Southern Forests, often with three or more generations working the land together. Matters of Taste Cooking School has already heard from one member of this family, during a lamb butchery class. Today you will meet the youngest member of the family who is taking the reins and working alongside his father on their mixed horticultural farm.

About 25 hectares is planted with cabbage, including red, Savoy, Chinese and megaton, plus broccoli, cauliflower, some beetroot and kale. The rest is under first-cross heifers, lamb and pasture-raised eggs, which are available through some outlets in Mandurah and Perth. Tour the property and hear about the various breeding programs.

The pristine and protected environment of the Southern Forests – original home of the world famous Pink Lady – allows apples to naturally develop a fantastic flavour profile and appearance. Experience a tour of the packhouse so you can understand the passion and process involved to get a crisp and tasty apple safely from the Southern Forests to your fruit bowl.

This will also be your opportunity to learn about the recently launched Bravo apple. Bred right here in Manjimup it’s dubbed the black apple, because of its dark burgandy skin and crispy white flesh. Enjoy a casual lunch cooked with locally grown produce.

Originally coming into the region as a forester, this beef cattle and avocado producer has been running Black Angus cows crossed with Black Simmental bulls for the past 20 years and more recently, producing Hass avocados from a 1500 tree plantation. Running 65 first calving heifers on the home farm, their herd is then rotated around on 5 other nearby properties. Today you’ll be visiting the home farm, which neighbours state forest and within view of the historic Diamond Tree and where you’ll also see hay making in full seasonal production.

This local restaurant prides itself on showcasing the quality and diversity of produce from this amazing region. Your evening will focus around introducing your tastebuds to some of the produce you will visit during your stay, as well as other tantalising tastes and genuine food and drink experiences.


After fueling up with a cup of coffee, you are off to a local farm, renown for producing apples, quinces, lemons and passionfruits. Stemming from their strong Macedonian heritage and years of farming knowledge, this hard working family produces some of the tasiest produce year after year. Depending on how the season is going, lemons may still be being harvested through August, providing you will an opportunity to enter the orchard and learn about this farms operations. When life gives you lemons, what do you make? Let us know in August!

Not so weather dependent and reliant on the season, is the farm fresh quince paste. Having recently starting producing quince paste, you will get to taste test the range!

Stellar Violets was founded by Lucinda Giblett, a descendant of two pioneering West Australian farming families. Named after her grandmothers, Stellar Violets is an arts and cultural centre modelling sustainable living that works to reconnect people to a more grounded way of life through events, workshops and demonstrations such as growing and preserving food, living soils and healthy land stewardship. Today you will hear Lucinda’s story and why local initiatives such as Stellar Violets keep the vital importance of diversity, cultural and agricultural history

After a busy morning, we will return to Southern Roasting for a quick bowl of warming soup and a small sweet treat by the fire to fuel an afternoon in the great outdoors enjoying the fresh country air.

Enjoy a fun afternoon learning the art of cheese making. One local producer will be sharing his knowledge of cheese making passed down through the generations of his family. His family originated from Italy and have continued to make cheeses in Australia since the 1950’s.

Following your cheese making session, enjoy a smorgasbord of home grown and made sundried tomatoes, cheeses and salamis paired with award winning wines, the Pinot-Noir is a special favourite of ours. As the afternoon progresses, the pizza oven will be cranked up and you’ll feast on homecooked pizzas. This producer always treats us so well with his generosity and beautiful fresh produce spread across the dining table set up in his wine shed. You won’t ever find another experience like this one!


You will have the opportunity to visit a local egg farm and learn about their pastured eggs and what makes them so special. They are more than just free range, these are pastured eggs. Which means the hens are continually moved around the pastures behind the cattle in a rotational style system regenerating the pastures as they go.

This is in an amazing model of modern day sustainable farming and is a must see. Husband and wife duo along with their two young sons produce some of the tastiest eggs in the region. Meet the hens and tour through the packing facility.

In 1913, Deanmill was one of the very first locations in the Southern Forests for the construction of a saw mill to provide timber railway sleepers for the Trans-Australian Railway. State Saw Mills, the State-operated company in charge of building the mill, also created a township named after a construction engineer named A. Dean. Deanmill Primary School was built in 1914 together with mill cottages and other settlement facilities. Built in 1952, the Deanmill Workers Club remains an active and vital part of this remaining small community with a 500 strong club membership. Today’s lunch will reflect this communities’ resilience and comradery that’s kept this settlement well and truly alive.

Ron Niven is one of only two West Australians to be inducted into the Australian Shearers’ Hall of Fame. Now a superfine wool grower in Manjimup, Ron has been in the shearing game for over 40 years. He and his wife, Jennifer, run 170 ewes as part of a superfine flock of up to 600-head on their 70-hectare ‘Four Seasons’ property, while they also operate The Grange Superfine Poll Merino Stud.Today Ron will provide a demonstration of blade shearing as he is one of very few shearers still using the traditional method. He will also explain the reasons Manjimup provides ideal conditions for his Superfine Poll Merino Stud.

One of the region’s great natural wonders is the Four Aces – four towering karri trees naturally occurring in an evenly-spaced straight line in the midst of a beautiful karri forest in the One Tree Bridge Conservation Park. It is a great place to experience the incredible beauty and serenity of the forest surrounds.

A little further down the road, One Tree Bridge provides an insight into the history of the Manjimup area and the forest giants of the early settlers. One Tree Bridge is, as its name suggests, one giant karri tree felled in the early twentieth century to form a bridge for crossing the Donnelly River.

With a relaxed, local-centric atmosphere and focus on local wines and seasonal Southern Forests produce, Pauline Williams and Mitchell Goddin opened Treehouse Tapas and Wine Bar in 2017. Tonight’s dinner will be a selection of delicious small-plate dishes designed by Pauline to capture the season and match with their local wine list offerings offered by Mitch.


Visit the largest producer of Tuber Melanosporum, more commonly known as black truffle or Périgord truffle, in the southern hemisphere. Today you will learn how truffles are produced and harvested with the help of highly trained truffle dogs, and gain some understanding of how this gastronomic delicacy journeys from the paddock to your plate.

You will be able to delight your senses with a truffle-infused morning tea. Plus, you will have the opportunity to see the range of truffle products available and also taste the award winning wines at the onsite cellar door. We encourage you to experience the earthly delights of the rare and aromatic black truffle alongside the award-winning wines and fabulous food.

The tour concludes following the truffle experience and you will depart the region and travel back to Perth as a group in our private bus.

Ready to Pack Your Suitcase?

Tour price includes:

  • All food and experiences featured on the itinerary (no-one goes hungry!)
  • Private Room Accommodation at the smart Kingsley Motel in Manjimup
  • Group travel to, from and during the tour.

Tour price does not include:

  • Breakfast – the motel offers a good breakfast if you think you need it! There will be opportunities for you to purchase fresh produce during our travels for breakfast if preferred. 
  • Hot and cold drinks and alcoholic beverages. We will be stopping to collect fabulous coffee/tea each morning perhaps with a freshly cooked pastry on our way out in the bus at your expense.

PLEASE NOTE: All tour experiences are subject to natures seasonal weather and any change in operation of local businesses/suppliers.  


2019 Western Australia Food Tour Registration and Terms Form

Click on text above, print and complete the form. Return to us by one of these methods:

  1. Scan and email to
  2. Take photo and text to 0409 969 920
  3. Mail to Matters of Taste Cooking School, G03/19 Ogilvie Road, Mt Pleasant, WA 6153

Please call us at the office on 9319 1097 if you have any questions, we’d be delighted to talk.

Many thanks for considering this tour, we hope you can join us.

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Meet the team

Tracey Cotterell

Tracey Cotterell
Tracey Cotterell


Tracey has been in the food industry since completing her Diploma in Hotel, Catering and Institutional Management in 1982 in the UK. She worked for an outside catering company in London, then joined her parents in rural West Sussex running

View Tracey’s full profile.

Tracey Cotterell

Tracey Cotterell


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