THE Tastings on Hastings celebrates its 10th anniversary this year as Greater Port Macquarie's annual food and wine festival.
October is food month in this thriving mid north coast region where, from October 6 to 27, the festival will bring together the best local chefs, winemakers, farmers and producers in a program of culinary events.
This year's "Fun with Food" theme runs throughout the program with the "Breakfast in the Beds" at Near River Produce and "Kindee Valley Farm to Plate Experience", just to name a couple of events.
And, this year the main event, The 2012 Holiday Coast Credit Union Tastings on Hastings Food and Wine Festival, on October 14 settles into an exciting new venue in the CBD on the lawns of The Town Green's spectacular Hastings River frontage.
The event will feature more than 100 exhibitors lining the Town Green and streets, offering more room to meet, mingle and chat with hinterland farmers and producers and taste the flavours from coastal restaurants.
The program centres on country goodness with a series of inaugural events hosted by hinterland producers on their farms and a new Farm Gate Tour.
There's also High Tea on the Hastings by Zebu Bar + Grill, plus master classes, long lunches and degustation dinners.
The main event on October 14 features Serge Dansereau (Bathers Pavilion) and Adam Liaw (MasterChef), alongside many of the region's top chefs, in the Essential Energy cooking demonstration arena.
The Sundowner Breakwall Tourist Park will present the RiverStage with Australian blues artist Jeff Lang and locals Geoff Turnbull and James Bennett.
There's plenty of entertainment for children as well.
Port Macquarie's food and wine scene has flourished to offer a huge number of quality producers and Tastings on Hastings is the best time to come to the region and see how the industry has grown.
Greater Port Macquarie produces an abundance of seafood such as freshly farmed oysters, fish and prawns, crisp fresh vegetables, fruits, olives, macadamia nuts, cheeses, spices, meat, poultry, eggs and other primary produce.
Other interesting products include olive oils, pestos, gourmet jams and preserves.
Festival events include a Degustation Dinner at The Corner restaurant (October 25, 7pm); Tasting Australian Wine - How does the local drop rate? at The Boardwalk restaurant (October 10, 6pm); and The Foreshore Artists and Farmers Market (October 13).
■ Details: For a complete schedule and some great value accommodation packages go to www.portmacquarieinfo.com.au or call 1300 303 155.