What happens on our hunts?
Every weekend from the end of June to the end of July we’ll have truffle hunts at one or more of the local truffieres (that’s a truffle growing farm). The growers are inviting us along while they they have their dogs and truffle hunters in the field, collecting truffles. They are doing this as a way to help everyone learn how truffles grow, are found and harvested. Most are on Saturday or on Sundays, and some truffle farms are willing to do private hunts at different times. They usually take place at 10 or 10.30am and you are generally required to travel to the farm with your own car.
This year, most of the Truffieres are managing their own hunts and you’ll find a link to their websites below where you can book online or make a phone or an email reservation.
The price varies, but is generally around $60 per person, little kids (14 or under) free. Growers tend to use this opportunity to really connect with their visitors, and in addition to the hunt and detailed talk — they also prove warm tea/coffee and a chance to taste a warm dish with truffle. We’re walking across (often wet) grass so you should have sensible shoes and it’s not really wheel chair friendly.
We limit the numbers to around 25 because we want you to get up close to a truffle and see what’s happening. And so we can watch where you’re walking so you don’t step too close to the trees where the truffles growing.
You’ll usually have the option of buying a truffle from the grower (the price last year was $2.50 to a gram – we say you’ll need about 4-5 grams per person for a main meal – see our Recipe Section for suggestions). You’ll need to bring cash to most of these farms because out in the paddock, surprisingly we don’t have card facilities.
After the hunt, and smelling all those truffles, you’ll want to taste them. We have cooking classes at 3seeds and Le Tres Bon most weekends, there are a number of special dinners, but you’re spoiled for choice as many of the local cafes and wineries have truffle on the menu. See the Dining Experiences menu. We’re always back in time for them and it’s usually just a short drive to lots of great restaurants with truffles.
Here are the profiles of the Truffieres, growers and their hunts. Follow them up on their own websites for more information.
Can you please make a note of the Biosecurity requirements for a truffle farm visit at the foot of this page, provided by Terra Preta truffles.
French Black Truffles of Canberra – Mt Majura
This is the only truffiere actually in the ACT. Sherry and Gavin McCardle-English are your host growers here. Their truffiere is in the beautiful Majura Valley just a 10 minute drive from the airport. The low lying trees certainly get the hours of frost that truffles need but if you rug up, the sun hits the area by the time of our hunt. You’ll love Sherry and her super truffle dog Snuffle. We meet in the Truffle Shed for a talk about growing truffles and there’s plenty of parking at the truffiere location.
Hunts are on every Saturday morning and Saturday afternoon, starting on 15th of June and going through to 17th of August. Hunts are $60 per adult, and $45 for children aged 10 – 16 (no younger children please).
Jason Mesman the Truffle dog trainer, and his 4 dogs work with Sherry. Packages are also offered for a truffle hunt, a cooking class at 3Seeds at Fyshwick Markets and accommodation at the Diplomat Hotel. More details and bookings for hunts and packages are available through the
Blue Frog Truffles Sutton
Blue Frog is owned by Wayne Haslam, one of the Festival organisers and the first hunts we held were at his truffiere in Sutton. Wayne’s son Justin Haslam is helping organise the hunts at Sutton this year, along with local truffle growers Michael and Jenny Gardiner. The hunter and dog handler is Jason Messman and Jason is always training a new dog or two and he’ll explain what is involved in training and what qualities he looks for in a truffle dog. You’ll notice how important the dogs are to truffle hunting, (we reckon they should have their own website).Jenny is preparing a warming truffle tasting after the hunt, and you will be able to purchase truffle from Justin.
These hunts are all on Sunday mornings, and leave from the city, outside the Crowne Plaza hotel. They are available as part of an accomodation and hunt package through the hotel. See the details here. If there is extra room, or there are cancellations we’ll make seats available here one week out from the hunt date, up until the day before the hunt. Check back or email us to go on a standby notification list (we’ll call you if you give us a phone number)
Just one remaining.
Terra Preta Truffles Braidwood
The truffiere is in a beautiful location and Peter is a renowned arborist and it shows in the oaks and hazelnut trees here. The Marshall’s dog Sal was trained by Fran Lee and works with Kate almost every day in the season. Their daughter Rita and sons Keith and Gus are also part of the Terra Preta family business.
Due to public demand and a resounding success from last years hunts we will be holding truffle hunts on our farm on every Saturday from the 22nd of June till August the 10th: 22 June, 29th June, 6th July, 13th July, 20th July
27th July, 3rd August and 10th August.
The cost is $100 per head, children under 14 visit for free.
Payment to be made to us when we are at the Old Cheese Factory.
Cash or Cheque please, we do not have an EFTPOS machine in the field.
To book a place on a hunt please call (02) 4846 1070 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Our approximate schedule for each hunt is:
10:30am Meet at the Old Cheese Factory in Reidsdale. 21km from Braidwood.
Spend half an hour tasting Gary and Gina’s heritage cider.
Grab a coffee.
Biosecurity boot check (see below).
11am Travel 5min to the Truffle farm for a bite to eat and an introductory talk.
11:30am Begin the hunt, led by the masterful Sal the Labrador and Shadow the amphibious truffle dog.
1:30pm Bonfire and truffled lunch.
3-4pm Depart tired but happy.
Truffles will be available to purchase after the hunt. Reidsdale can often be cold and wet, please make sure you bring boots, warm clothes hats and also sunglasses. We are happy to discuss having a hunt at other times. Minimum of 20 people.
For more details of our hunts see our Terra Preta website
Gap Hills – Tarago
This hunt is on Denzil and Anne’s small mixed farm, known as Gap Hills. They have a small fine wool merino flock, a few cattle and, of course, the truffiere. Their farm is located about 22km nor-east of Bungendore. You turn off the Bungendore – Tarago road into Willandra Lane which takes you across the Canberra-Sydney railway line. A row of macarthuri gum trees on the right of the laneway will lead you to your first sighting of their truffiere.
Denzil and Anne’s first planting of 1750 robur and ilex oaks along with hazelnut trees was in 2002 and 2003 and is now a well established and productive trufferie. In 2008/2009 they planted a further 2500 trees in a separate block and are looking forward to their first harvest of this area in 2013.
Generally there are two or three dogs and handlers at Tarago Truffle hunts and this allows for small groups to join a harvester and get up close and personal with the truffle.
Anne always offers a tasty truffle treat like a hot soup with shaved truffle and you can select and buy fresh truffles after the hunt. Be prepared to part with your cash as eftpos facilities are not available. Truffle on the day is usually worth $2.50 per gram.
You may even want to have your photo taken with him.
Hunts at Tarago Truffles in 2013 will include ones on July 06 and July 13 and are part of a package which includes cooking classes and truffle cooking demonstrations by Chef Christophe Gregoire of Le Tres Bon restaurant in Bungendore. A bus will transport you from Bungendore to Tarago Truffles for these two hunts. To book the package contact www.letresbon.com.au or call 02 6238 0662.
To book private hunts which are $60 per person, children under 14 free, contact Anne via their webpage or call 02 4849 4605 or 0457 877 655.
Turalla Truffles – Bungendore
Established in 2005 on the oldest property in the district, Turalla Truffles is set on the picturesque Southern end of the Lake George Basin, a half hour drive from the nations capital. Your host Damian Robinson and family along with their Truffle dogs ‘3Spot’ and pup in training ‘Eight’ will be your hosts in either of their two Trufferies with over 900 well-producing Oak and Hazelnut trees.
In 2013 Turalla Truffle hunts are to be held in conjunction Lunch packages with Le Tres Bon Restaurant and Lark Hill Vineyard and Restaurant.
You are able to just book a hunt or enjoy the combination of finding the Truffle then cooking with it!
Hunt only fees are $80 and will include transport to and from the town of Bungendore. This will allow anyone who is getting too cold during the hunt to be able to retreat to the warmth of the heated bus! Truffle products will be available for tasting and purchase at the end of the hunts..
Hunts are available on: SUNDAY 23rd June, 10.30am; SATURDAY 29th June, 9.00 am; SUNDAY 14th July, 10.30am; SATURDAY 20th July, 9.00am; SUNDAY 28th July, 10.30am; and SUNDAY 4th August, 10.30am.
To book a Truffle hunt contact Damian Robinson, Phone: 0407105857
Macenmist Black Truffles and Wine – Bredbo
Macenmist is one of three truffieres located in South Eastern NSW, just 87km South of Canberra and 39km north of Cooma. The soil nutrients at Macenmist are ideal for the production of the coveted black truffle. Richard and Barbara Hill, their Lagotto Romagnolo named Fahren will welcome you for the seasons planned truffle hunts.
Hunts this year are packaged. They include a lunch at the Bredbo Inn Hotel and a visit to the Bredbo Christmas Barn. Hunts are scheduled for Saturday July 6th and Sunday July 21st and commence at 10am. Bookings for these hunts can be made via our website: www.macenmist.com.au
The drive to the farm is on sealed roads apart from the last 2.3km which is suitable for two-wheel drive access all year round. There is ample parking available.
For those that want to stay and savour the truffle delights a little longer accommodation can be booked at the recently renovated Bredbo Inn Hotel and you can then pick up the truffle trail and head to the next location.
Limestones Farm – Bredbo
Jodie and Mark Umback took over custodianship of Limestones Farm in January 2008 . The trees were very small and 150 of the more than 500 trees had died (mostly hazelnuts). In spring 2009 we replaced the dead trees with oaks only.
Our harvest has been increasing and last year we started selling locally. We are not holding truffle hunts this year, but will be selling our product at Snowy Mountains Gourmet Food in Bredbo.
Truffle will be sold at Snowy Mountains Gourmet Food Phone Kath on 02 6454 4200
Yelverton Truffles – Robertson
Yelverton Pastoral is located at Robertson in the ‘Green Heart’ of the Southern Highlands NSW. It is owned and run by Ted and Barbara Smith. Their cold climate, pristine environment, rich red soil, natural springs and regular rainfall all contribute to a very productive farm. Truffles are of larger than average size with excellent aroma, flavour and marbled texture.
Yelverton Truffles grow renowned, premier French Black Perigord Truffles (Tuber Melanosporum) under Ilex & Robur Oak trees. They are into their second season of harvesting and have their own trained dog for sniffing out these elusive underground treasures.
Field visits with optional tasty truffle treats for morning tea or a tantalizing lunch showcasing truffles can be arranged by special appointment. Lecture, dog demonstration and truffle tour are included. All visits are for adults only.
OPTION 1 - Lecture & Field Visit
Refreshments on arrival, lecture, Truffiere field visit and truffle dog demonstration. Cost $25 per person. Minimum of 10 and maximum of 25 guests.
OPTION 2 - Option 1 with Morning Tea
Refreshments on arrival & lecture. This is followed by a Truffiere field visit and truffle dog demonstration. Morning tea will follow with a variety of truffle treats as an introduction to the flavour, fragrance and versatility of these underground treasures. Cost $50 per person. Minimum of 10 and maximum of 25 guests.
OPTION 3 - Option 1 with Truffle Lunch
Refreshments on arrival, lecture, Truffiere field visit and truffle dog demonstration. Lunch is a tantalising 4 course meal demonstrating the versatility of these unique gourmet delicacies. Enjoy nature’s culinary masterpiece first hand. Cost is $110 per person. Minimum of 10 guests.
Bookings can be made on (02) 4885 1924 or 0418 277 690 and more information is available on their website
Yelverton is in a picturesque rural setting of 75 acres and the day is informal. At over 700m (2200ft) above sea level Robertson can be cold & wet so please ensure you bring appropriate clothing, boots/shoes, hats and sunglasses. Toilet facilities are limited and a comfort stop prior to arrival will assist.
Prepayment in full is required by cheque or direct deposit. Payment is transferrable at our discretion to an alternate date if cancellation is due to weather or unavailability of truffles, however we would inform you of such. And of course truffles may be purchased on the day depending on availability.
It is vital to us that we prevent contamination of the truffle patch with foreign microbes.
Please wear clothes that have been freshly laundered. Scrub your boots the night before to remove particles of soil from the treads. Please make sure all backpacks, handbags and any other personal items have been scrubbed, washed or brushed so they do not bring in any contaminants including seeds or dirt that may be inside.
Many thanks for taking care of this. It will save you from being dipped in Dettol!