Gourmet Safaris Autumn Newsletter 2024

Dear friends

Happy International Women’s Day.

Hope your year is going wonderfully and your adventures are all delicious.

Late Summer

We hit the ground running with our New Zealand Safari in early February and basked in a week of sunshine and inspiring visits to many great food and wine businesses as well as gardens and galleries, private islands and places that closed to be able to welcome us especially.

We loved our visit to Two Paddocks Winery in Alexandria and a feast prepared by star chef James Stapley who every year creates a unique inspired menu that perfectly matches the superb wines from the estate.

Pictured below is James’ take on pavlova which is my new favourite dessert – a charcoal pavlova with chocolate creme, huge poached Otago cherries, yuzu whipped yoghurt. What a brilliant creation!

And we had a visit from “The Proprietor” Sam Neill who came and chatted with our guests. We loved him reprising his Northern Irish accent from Peaky Blinders.

We had a special introduction to the exquisite work of photographer Stephan Romer who explained how he was able to get “the money shot”. His latest work a combination of luck and timing.

He knew he wanted to photograph Milford Sound…not dazzling in sunlight but moody and interesting and he certainly got that. He has 5 different weather watching apps and knew a big storm was due and was working around visiting to coincide when he got a call from his accommodation in the wilderness to come immediately…this photograph taken minutes before an enormous once in 100 year deluge. Magnificent. Gives a different perspective to the breathtaking landscapes that surrounded us during our trip.

We basked in NZ art as Francie took us through the three galleries that make up beautiful ArtBay. They have welcomed us for many years and we always learn something new.

Natural skin product creator Brigit Blair joined us for a morning of bottling skin care oils and introducing a great no-fuss range of lovely things from Linden Leaves. Another long term treasured connection in NZ.

Many glorious food adventures and our hosts using the best in season imaginatively – Amisfield  and chef Vaughan Mabee full of wonder using native NZ produce including baby pawa grown especially for him; Aosta  in Arrowtown and chef Andrea with a series of delicious dishes; the Wakatipu Grill at the Hilton Queenstown with a first night dinner that was simply perfect.

We are returning next year with a few new inclusions – a visit to an extensive farm hosted by one of NZ’s favourite television chefs; a curated visit to the Remarkables Market, returning to Two Paddocks; enjoying two great meals with chef James Stapley.

Click here for a Sample Itinerary

Dates for 2025

We know you’d love dates well in advance for our trips but our problem is that we can’t finalise costings until closer to the times.

We always travel at the same time of year and Suzy is always happy to discuss your travel wishes via phone (89696555 ) or return email.

Note for our Portugal Spain trip in 2025, we will likely add another day to the itinerary.

Sardinia & Corsica

Our time exploring these two wonderful islands is drawing closer and we love that we are in touch with everyone from top restaurants to a shepherd in the mountains; market stall holders and sailors; wine makers and sculpture gardens.


Please follow our adventures on Instagram or Facebook

See what we’ll be doing and get a sense of what’s likely for 2025.  Click here for a 2024 Sample Itinerary

Tasmania 2024

Astoundingly, this is the one safari of the year that has space! Our 6 days in November are always spectacular on the clean green island as we know some cool people who welcome you in and cook and prepare for you. There are so many talented young chefs in Tassie now…and people growing the best produce on earth.

I tasted a berry that is not yet in commercial cultivation that is so high in vitamins it would blow your mind and tastes fabulous. Love the cutting edge that is Tassie food.

A cracking trip of markets and scenery, private estates and especially curated lunches. Cheese, chocolate, wine and art – love it all.

Join us…unpack once, stay on the beautiful dock area of Hobart, come exploring and eating every day.

Also – it’s peony season and we visit Belinda and Richard our favourite peony growers for afternoon tea.

So…Click here for a Sample Itinerary

Here’s something from one of our past travellers:

“Dear Maeve and Suzy

Here we are back in Sydney each 2 kilos heavier, perhaps a little worn out but greatly enriched by the experience. Maeve it was a really wondrous tour and we both felt so very privileged to meet many of the people behind the products, hear their stories and sample what they had to offer. It was also a privilege to be in your company Maeve. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts…

We both usually prefer to avoid organised travel tours unless just a day event but it was a great group, we felt comfortable in everyone’s company and happy to go with the flow….” David and Lorraine

Safari Breakfasts/Brunches & Lebanese Iftar Feast

Such a great way to get friends and family together and immerse in the Turkish, Lebanese or Indian world and enjoy a feast and afterwards a guided shop in the area. These also make brilliant gifts for hard to buy friends and family.

Each are hosted by passionate guides from each background and feature demonstrations. Brilliant starts to the weekend.

Lebanese Iftar Feast

During Ramadan we have the opportunity to join a Lebanese family for a traditional Iftar feast (breaking of the fast).

I first met the Afiouny family half a lifetime ago when I was invited to dinner by a family member. I still remember Hala’s chicken rice. And her charming children Jinan Mohammed, Sophie and Tarek and their dad Jimmy who started Nut Roasters in the 1970s  (continuing a family business begun in Lebanon in 1925)

The children are grown up now, have taken over the family business which we have visited often for Gourmet Safaris as well as filming for Food Safari.

Jinan has recently opened Café Levent in Greenacre, and texted me offering to host a special dinner of many traditional dishes for Gourmet Safaris during Ramadan. Yes!!!!

We are offering this at cost because we feel it’s in the spirit of this unique time of the year in the Muslim calendar.

Jinan, Sophie and mum Hala will host us, explaining tradition and dishes.

Spaces are limited

Sunday 7th of April – from 5.30pm in Greenacre. Click here to book.

Please note – We need to seated before dusk so we can break the fast together – please be there by 5.15pm

Reminder – no alcohol


Beach Safari Currarong

My partner Toufic (director of Food Safari) decided last year that after filming endless restaurants and cafes in the intensity of service, he would like to ‘have a crack” at hospitality and signed up to take over a general store, takeaway and cafe on the NSW South Coast in the village of Currarong which has for many years been my escape from the big world. The children have grown up there and the grandchildren love it too.


We’ve had a huge summer working hard to create the best food we can, sourcing locally and working with hardworking staff to create great memories for those who visit.

We’ve had a beachside deck open for dining and are yet to open the cafe section which now has a new wood fired oven. Bit by bit.

We may do some renovations during the winter months so please check the instagram: beach safari_currarong to check if we are open or website: beachsafari.com.au

I know many lovely supporters are thinking a weekend on the beautiful coast would be a great idea…and it will…but not quite yet.

In a heartbeat I’m on a plane for our next adventure in South Australia, this time coinciding with the Fringe Festival…8 days of adventure in autumn. Nothing better.


Best to you all,

Maeve and Suzy

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