Gourmet Traveller

SEA CHANGE

I’ve been making G&Ts wrong this whole time. This realisation comes while sitting on the deck at Stony Creek Farm, five-and-a-half-hours drive south of Sydney. It’s here that distiller Gavin Hughes and his partner Karen Touchie make their small-batch North of Eden gins from a farm shed turned distillery. “If you fill the glass with tonic, all you’re going to taste is tonic,” says Hughes. “We do just 60ml tonic, 30 of gin.” It’s a revelation. And something I never would’ve expected to discover in country New South Wales.

The pristine Sapphire Coast in NSW stretches roughly from Moruya to Eden, with a swag of heritage, hinterland and beachside towns in between including Central Tilba, Bermagui, Tathra, Bega and Pambula. It’s known as Australia’s premier oyster-growing region, but thanks to a host of savvy bakers, distillers, brewers, restaurateurs and small-scale farmers, there’s a lot more than oysters to savour.

I start my week-long food safari at the community-run Sage Farmers’ Markets in Moruya. Every Tuesday afternoon many of the Eurobodalla and Bega Valley Shire’s most dedicated growers congregate on the riverbank to sell their produce. Floppy-hat-wearing locals gather

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