The pie trail may sound more like a dinner mishap than a tourist attraction, but one NSW region has found a recipe for success in its celebration of an Aussie staple.
June has become Pie Time in the Southern Highlands, a region renowned for its chilly English-style winters, with local towns devoting themselves to creating exceptional pastry-covered delights.
The inaugural event won an Australian tourism award in 2017 and has spilled into a Pie Trail encompassing the towns of Berrima, Bowral, Mittagong and Moss Vale.
It returned meaty profits in 2017, with 100,000 pies sold at 53 venues in 2017, injecting $1 million into the local economy.
Organisers are confident this year’s event will be bigger and better, floating a number of new pie-themed events to attract tourists from all over NSW and the ACT.
“Last year’s Pie Time drew thousands of pie lovers to the Highlands through the month of June who, with the locals, chomped their way through just over 100,000 pies,” said shire mayor Ken Halstead.
“I personally can’t wait to get a taste of the delicious winter warmers on offer this year, and to see the fun, excitement and colour that Pie Time brings to the Highlands region.”
This year, the celebration includes the official NSW and ACT Best Pie Competition, filling three days from June 13-15. Prizes will be awarded for the best white meat, red meat, vegetarian, seafood and sweet pies, with special baking honours for best artisan, best apprentice and best home cook.
The winning pies will be sold at Pie Fest on June 23 and 24 at the local Bong Bong Picnic Racecourse, alongside local wine, beer, cider and spirits.
Other Pie Time events during June include cooking classes, pinot and pie tours and pie-cycle tours taking in several pie stops throughout the Southern Highlands.
Pie Time runs from June 1 to 30 across the region.