The Truffle Festival is a 12 week celebration of the harvest of the Black Winter Truffle grown in the Canberra region.
Each year from June to August more than 250 individual events are held across the region offering the opportunity to taste and experience the prized truffle. . Events range from gourmet degustation dinners, cooking classes and demonstrations, to wine tastings and matchings, farmers markets, truffle hunts and more.
Truffle hunts put the important role of truffle dogs in the spotlight as they sniff out prized Black Winter Truffle, otherwise known as Tuber melanosporum.
If you want to see the dogs in their element and learn more about truffles, the best way is to join a truffle hunt during the festival where you will experience how dogs are trained to sniff out the truffles, the kinds of growing conditions required, a chance to dig for a truffle, the distinctive scent and of course a sample of how the truffle tastes.
There are plenty of truffieres dotted around the Canberra Region offering an opportunity to meet the growers, pat the dogs and get your hands dirty. You could visit Anne and Denzil at Tarago Truffles, less than an hour drive from Canberra, or drop in on Damian and Lindsay at Turalla Truffles just outside Bungendore. At Blue Frog Truffles, just north of Canberra in Sutton you'll meet Wayne and Lanie. If you're heading to the snow, why not take a slight detour at Bredbo to see Barbara at Macenmist?
Once you have seen the paddock, you will want to enjoy truffles on a plate at many of the participating restaurants, cafes and other venues. Or you can buy your own to take home and impress family and friends with your culinary truffle adventures!
Australian Truffle season
The truffles mature over 12 weeks of Australia’s winter (June-August) but only remain fresh in the ground for 12 days. Finding the right truffle and digging it up is all about the timing – and a good truffle dogs’ nose.
Truffles in the Canberra Region
Did you know truffles are the fruiting body of an underground fungus? Much like an underground mushroom, truffles have spores and form a mutually beneficial or symbiotic relationship with a host tree. The truffles give the tree nutrients from the soil and in return receive sugars to help with growth. Truffle spores are spread when animals that can smell the aroma dig up and eat the fruiting body.
There are many species of Australian native truffles, but the one most prized in culinary circles is the Black Winter Truffle also known as Perigord Truffle. These grow best with host trees like oaks and hazelnuts.
The climate around the Canberra and capital region is ideal for Black Winter Truffles as it is similar to the climate in Europe where the truffle originated. Warm to hot summers and cold winters with frosts are perfect for truffles.
All updates and booking options on The Truffle Festival can be found at trufflefestival.com.au
Plan a weekend of truffles
Plan a drive weekend to visit the region during truffle season. Many of the hosts along the Poacher's Way have truffle events. Browse through our extensive range of accommodation options in the Canberra district to research and plan your stay.
Travel advice and assistance
Alternately, if you prefer to have a friendly human to chat to, give our Visitors Centre a call on 1300 554 114. If you call on Fridays they often have unbeatable last minute accommodation deals you won't find online (shhhh - don't tell anyone we told you).