The Spice of life

Homage offers the sort of dining experience that food lovers dream about...
26 Dec 2020
Kerry Heaney, Freelance travel writer

Surrounded by weathered split rail fences, heritage buildings and established trees, Homage Restaurant at Spicers Hidden Vale delivers before you even step through the door.

There’s a cosy, welcoming ambience and relaxed country elegance plus the promise of exceptionally good farm gate to plate food from Chef Ash Martin.

Located deep in the heart of Ipswich City yet only one hour’s drive from Brisbane, Homage offers the sort of dining experience that food lovers dream about.  Chef Martin is dedicated to using produce plucked from Homage’s own vegetable gardens and orchards or sourced from farms just down the road.

Homage Restaurant at Spicers Hidden Vale

Martin calls the Homage Restaurant menu spontaneous, drawing as it does from the best local produce available on the day. But there’s nothing unplanned about the exquisite flavours arising from the Mibrasa grill and the dining experience that awaits restaurant guests.

Raised to the ground by fire, the Spicers Hidden Vale Homestead building was rebuilt to strongly echo its heritage past. It opened in February 2020 to house Homage and the luxury resort’s reception and lounge facilities. The accommodation here is an eclectic mix of restored Queenslander cottages which enjoy sweeping views over the surrounding countryside.

A koala in the trees spotted on a Koala Safari

Playing hide and seek with koalas

Just a short walk from the Homestead, The Hidden Vale Wildlife Centre is passion project for Spicers Retreats founder Jude Turner and her husband Graham “Skroo” Turner.

A partnership between the Turner Family Foundation and the University of Queensland, the Centre is home to a diverse range of native wildlife and is busy developing new wildlife management systems and conservation techniques.

Spicers Hidden Vale visitors can explore the centre on a 45-minute tour or join researchers working on the Hidden Vale Koala Project.  Bear hunting is a daily task for researchers but even with a pinging tracker and a sharp pair of eyes, finding a fluffy koala bottom high in a tree is not easy.  The 26 koalas on the property are masters of hide and seek.

Heli MTB Hidden Vale Adventure Park

A ride on the wild side

Next door to the resort, the Hidden Vale Adventure Park caters for outdoor enthusiasts who like to hike, run or ride like keen mountain biker, Skroo Turner.

There are over 110 kilometres of trail network on the 4856-hectare property designed to cater for all ages and abilities. It’s a great adventure day out for children and adults, beginners and seasoned professionals. 

You can hire both standard and electric bikes or bring your own. There’s also a Skills Park to hone your moves before you take on any trail challenges and an uplift transfer service for those who want to take the downs but not suffer the hills. 

Kerry Heaney Freelance travel writer
Brisbane born and bred, Kerry Heaney travels bite by bite and has explored Queensland extensively. She writes about the food that you want to eat and the places you want to go for newspapers and magazine and has been doing that for more than 20 years. Her website eatdrinkandbekerry.net is a guide to finding your next food and travel adventure.

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