Unless you are in the know, this dirty secret, the location of the Stanthorpe truffle farms with their underground treasures, and the rest of the Granite Belt truffle farms is definitely well kept but you will find truffle joy at The Truffle Discovery Centre.
There is a good reason why truffles are known as ‘black gold’. Selling anywhere from $30 to $75 each with an average price of $3 a gram, these black nuggets are a valuable commodity. They grow underground in the dirt between the roots of some species of oak trees and can be found by smelling the soil, a job that is usually done by trained dogs.
Matt Hibberd, owner of The Truffle Discovery Centre at Stanthorpe, says farmers like to keep their truffieres to themselves because of biosecurity and security concerns, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out!
More about Stanthorpe truffles
- Finding truffles on the Granite Belt
- Getting to the Truffle Discovery Centre
- What you need to know about buying truffles in Australia
Finding truffles on the Granite Belt
If you want to get up close and personal with a Stanthorpe truffle, you’ll need to head to the Truffle Discovery Centre where dogs are trained to sniff out the distinctive aroma of the underground harvest or try it at one of the local restaurants.
Sharing premises with Matt’s Lawdogs Australia in the back streets of Stanthorpe, this is the only place in Australia where you can see a truffle hunt all year round.
It’s a real turn around in fortunes for the dogs. From an uncertain future at the local pound, they are trained to become super sniffers, smelling the ripe gems lurking in soil under the base of oak trees in the truffiere.
The oak trees at the Truffle Centre are only at the seedling stage so the demonstration hunt is above ground. The star of the show is Conan, a rescue Mastiff Cross that was dumped 18 months ago, and adopted by Matt. He learned truffle detection in about 25 minutes.
Getting to the Truffle Discovery Centre
The Truffle Discovery Centre is open on Wednesday and Saturday from 10.30am to 3.30pm with tours every 30 minutes.
Find it and the Tartufo Festival at 335 Church Road, The Summit. Ignore your GPS and follow the signs to Lawdogs Australia.
The Truffle Hunt experience costs $10 per person and should be pre-booked. Find out more at the Truffle Discovery Centre.