Before we started our first trip to the land down under we’ve checked what are the Australian must try things to eat. I’ve found a blog post with top ten foods to eat while in Australia and forwarded it to my cousin down there. I asked her to prepare as much as she can from the list, and list consists of:

– Vegemite
– Lamingtons
– Crocodile
– Quandong
– Damper
– ANZAC Biscuits
– Seafood
– Kangaroo
– Meat Pie
– Pavlova

I’ve heard and read stories about this famous Australian spread before I even planned to visit Australia. As it’s “number one” item on all “things to try in Australia” lists I imagined it to be the first thing to eat when I get to Australia as a final proof that I’ve made it, and that I’m really in the land down under. Well, third thing I tried in Australia was vegemite toast. (I had espresso at the Brisbane airport and Crown beer at the Melbourne airport, so don’t judge me! 🙂 )

As soon as we got from the airport to my family’s house I asked about it. “Do we have vegemite ready?” Even though dinner was served priorities had to be followed. 🙂

Vegemite is truly a different kind of thing. 🙂 Even though it looks like chocolate spread it tastes like vegetables concentrate mixed with ton of soy sauce or with a lot of salt. Combination of salty, bitter and vegetable taste mixed all together. I’ve read somewhere that only Australian born and raised kids like it later as grown ups due to it’s specific taste. Later we learned that it is best in small amounts otherwise it can be too much.


Well I had it almost every day, I’ve mixed it with cheese and salami and it really enhances your sandwich as long as you don’t put too much of it. It goes great on the meat before it’s grilled or baked so we packed a few jars. 🙂 We also heard that it is so Australian that when new Australians who get citizenship also get a small vegemite in the “welcome package”. 🙂 Well since I liked it I said I will apply for Australian citizenship saying that I’m already ready for the package. 🙂 Not sure if that will work. 🙂


Pavlova cake was made in 1920s in honor of Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova. It is a meringue dessert with a crisp crust, soft and light inside, usually served with fruits on top. We had it the very first evening as a desert.

It reminded me of “Japanese wind” cake as they are both light and fruity, similar in a way. Definitely a must try! Now I remembered that I forgot to ask my aunt for the recipe. It looks like I’ll have to visit Australia again. 🙂


From the blog post mentioned above Lamington looked to me as our classic “čupavci” cake and to be honest with you, those are similar cakes. The only visible difference is that Lamingtons are made in three different flavors. Plain – totally the same as our cookies, and with strawberry jam or cream filing.

When I googled “čupavci” now to provide a link with a recipe to our cake I’ve noticed that even Google finds these two cakes the same.


If you like coconut it’s a must try thing while in Australia.

Crocodile, Kangoroo and Emu

During our stay in Sydney we found an Australian Heritage pub that serves gourmet pizzas, with crocodile, emu and kangaroo meat. Since I really wanted to try it, it was a great opportunity to try all of them at once.


Emu tastes like a big bird, and since I tried ostrich before I think they are similar in a way. If you tried both chicken and turkey and you can tell the difference, it is almost the same difference between turkey and emu. It’s bit more chewy but nice meat.

This was my first chance to try kangaroo meat and I really liked it. It’s pure muscle, it’s a bit more chewy but if you like steak, specially done rare or blue than you’ll like kangaroo meat.


I think crocodile tastes in a way similar to eel without bones. It’s closer to fish but it’s not fish, and it is not chicken. It is a bit chewy but in general nice meat to eat.


Damper is a traditional Australian bread that was made by travelers, native aborigine, stockmen and other hard labor workers. It was made only of flour and water and then baked in the ashes of camp fire. It could be enhanced with milk, butter, grains or anything that would give some taste to it.

One that my aunt made was enhanced just a bit with some milk and was baked in regular oven so we did not have to chew coal. 🙂


Since the majority of Australian population lives on the coast and the ocean is (was) rich in fish it is not a surprise that seafood is recommended to try in Australia. We tried barramundi fish, flake (shark) with chips, mussels and king prawns. As a fish lover and person from the Croatian coast I must admit that Australian fish is really tasty.


Swansea on Tasmania is located in the “Oysters bay” so it’s somehow normal that I had to try fresh oysters too. 🙂 Nice big and tasty oysters similar to our from Adriatic sea. Was absolutely delighted so if life takes you to Tasmania stop in Swansea! 🙂


Yeah, one of the things on the list was the meat pie and on the same place in Swansea there was pie in the menu so I ordered it. However I’ve read only “pie” part not the actual content, so I got the scallops pie. 🙂 It was awesome so no objections.


After trying small chunks of kangaroo meat on mentioned gourmet pizza, I wanted to try a proper kangaroo steak. We’ve found it in a supermarket together with roo (Australian way of calling kangaroo shorter) sausages and we had a nice kangaroo barbie (another shorter word for barbecue) on our last day.

If you like beef steaks done rare or blue you will definitely like kangaroo meat. It is a bit more chewy (yeah, all three weird meats are bit more chewy I know) so you have to cut it on thinner chunks, but it is recommended to cook it rare otherwise it might get really dry and hard.

We did it properly and it was awesome, as well as sausages.

Meat pie

Australian cuisine became famous with various pies even though they are a well know English thing. One that is not English for sure is the kangaroo pie. Unfortunately we missed that one this time. This one was lamb pie and was awesome. There are many kind of pies to try in Australia, with different type of meat or vegetarian fillings.

ANZAC Biscuits
Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo of ANZAC, but I had it the very same day after the meat pie. Similar to damper, ANZAC cookies are made purely of flour, sugar, oats and butter. They were very popular since World War I and were made at home and sent to Australian soldiers around the world. Since to prepare them you don’t need eggs or milk they last much longer. They taste nice as any tea cookies. Highly recommended.

Unfortunately, when I was counting “top ten” list I’ve counted emu as tenth and totally missed quandongs. It is native Australian fruit that grows on trees and is regular food in aboriginal diet. Apparently it is sweat and nice, and can be eaten raw but it’s left for our next visit.

Top ten list stops here, and as you can see we did 9/10. However during our stay we had opportunity to try some other things and my list is a bit bigger.


During our stay on Tasmania we’ve noticed a huge number of sheep around the island. Since climate is similar to Irish and sea is all around it is a perfect place for good and tasty lamb. We had it in a few different meals, and it is one of the best I’ve tried so far.

Taste of Melbourne

Again, lucky as we are, while we were in Melbourne there was a food tasting festival called – Taste of Melbourne. It is organized by several fancy restaurants whose owners decided to offer their specialties to the people of Melbourne all on one place.


We tried many interesting things but the most interesting was wallaby. Wallaby is, let’s say, a smaller kind of kangaroo. However, this was dried and then marinated wallaby in the pickled dill sauce. I don’t know which restaurant was that but in case that you are visiting Melbourne, it might be a thing to find.


Besides all these great foods we tasted many different sweets but one was really special. It was smoked frozen yogurt. I would never come to the idea to smoke a yogurt and serve it as an ice cream, but it is available in Australia. Personally, I can’t share the enthusiasm. 🙂 It was “just OK” and most likely I would not order it again, but hey – don’t trust me, go and try it yourself then let me know! 🙂


Smoked one is the one I hold in my hand and as you can see we tried some other deserts too. 🙂


Even though banana bread is considered as American food, you can find it anywhere in Australia. I’ve seen it on dozen places and on the way back from Sydney I decided to taste one. It’s also “OK”. Sweet bread. If you are traveling from Europe as I am, try it in Australia. 🙂

Smelly things

In Daylesford near Melbourne we had a chance to try sulphur water. I am well aware that people swim in sulphur water as we have these healing spa baths in Croatia, and it usually smells terrible around them. However, I’ve never paid attention to detail and I’m not aware if we also drink that water.


Well, in Australia they do, and so did we. It’s a weird feeling as we bottled a bit of sulphur water, so when you bring the bottle close to your nose it smells quite bad, but then when you take a sip tastes totally different. Tastes like liquid iron with bubbles. Not something that you’d wish to have as refreshment but again, if you are visiting Australia, take a sip. Apparently it is good for your liver. 🙂

Special sweets – Tim Tams

And of course, last on my and everybody’s Australian list – Tim Tam. It’s a delicious chocolate biscuit made of three layers forming a chocolate sandwich. They are best consumed in Australia but are not that bad at all when you bring them back home. There are variety of flavors but originals and dark chocolate are my favorites.

Before you pack and prepare list of things to eat while on vacations in Australia make sure that you check youtube for “Tim Tam Slam”. That’s the best way to consume this delicious cookies. 🙂


By adminko

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