The Atherton Tablelands is just one big picnic basket. Here’s how to fill it up:
Ever wondered about all that sugar cane growing in the Tropical Far North? What does it taste like – well now’s your chance.
Sweet Farm Tours is on a working sugarcane farm and takes guests way beyond the farmgate on a personalised farmer guided tour. And it’s not just sugar cane – the farm also produces cocoa (yum chocolate) and vanilla (the second most expensive spice in the world after saffron) and you get to find out about these delicious products as well.
This eco friendly business is a fourth-generation family enterprise. They love nothing better than showing people what they do. The kids will love the novelty of the tour and there is even a koala food tree plantation to visit (no koalas live on site). Take a hat, sunscreen and decent footwear.
Sweet Farm Tours – http://sweetfarmtours.com
Did someone say coffee? The Atherton Tablelands are Australia’s premium coffee growing area and you can test that for yourself around Mareeba.
Jacques Coffee has an onsite roastery, licensed restaurant, café, coffee sales and tours to keep you well fed, well watered and well informed. This rolling plantation has more than 85,000 Arabica coffee trees and you can try their produce in the café or restaurant and/or take a tour – either self-guided or with a member of staff which will include yummy coffee and liqueur tastings. And if that coffee has got you buoyant you can go up, up, up on a flight from its own airstrip in a helicopter or microlight aircraft.
Jacques Coffee – https://www.jaquescoffee.com.au/
Coffee Works has outlets for its coffee all over Tropical North Queensland but if you want the “Disneyland of Coffee” drop by Coffee World in Mareeba. For one price you can enjoy all day tastings with as much coffee, chocolate and liqueurs as you like. With more than 20 different kinds of coffee the place is buzzing. It’s inside the Mareeba Coffee Works shop so if you like you can buy beans to take home. There’s also a museum with more than 2000 coffee and tea treasures. Your cup runneth over.
Coffee Works/Coffee World https://coffeeworks.com.au/
Skybury Café and Roastery has the most panoramic site on the Atherton Tablelands and offers light lunches and morning and afternoon tea as well as amazing coffee it grows itself. Skybury does its own roasting and sells a wide range of coffee products. There is heaps of information on the plantation and the Skybury way of farming, which includes double cropping with papaya and superior green credentials. This is a lovely place to sit back and relax or go for a wander around the park like grounds.
Skybury – http://skybury.com.au/
Feel like a tipple? Mt Uncle Distillery at Walkamin will float your boat with quality hand crafted spirits and liqueurs. It’s the first and only distillery in Tropical North Queensland and while it’s known for its gin it also makes a very special rum out of all that sugar cane juice that flows around these parts. But if your drink of choice is vodka, whiskey or a cheeky liqueur they have something for you too to taste. Mt Uncle is set in gorgeous grounds with a banana plantation and some resident alpacas, donkey, goats and peacocks for good measure.
Mount Uncle Distillery – https://www.mtuncle.com/
The dairy lands of the Atherton Tablelands produce rich sweet grass and Gallo Dairyland serves up a double whammy of cheese and chocolate. This fully functioning dairy farm makes its own gourmet cheeses and artisan chocolates. If you are there at 3pm you will catch the cows being milked and there is an animal nursery to go gaga over. A a fully licenced café also produces its own food from fresh farm produce.
Gallo Dairyland – https://gallodairyland.com.au/
Rainforest Heart near Mungalli is an awesome experience for all your senses. Set deep in the tropical jungle this farm and orchard is visually stunning and you will be surrounded by the sounds of the rainforest. On the tour you get to hear all about how this venture was started and endured extreme growing conditions and tropical cyclones to produce exquisite and unusual foods. But it’s your tastebuds that will be truly tantalised with bush food and exotic fruits such as Davidson’s plum, lemon aspen, rainforest cherry and finger limes. The afternoon tea is epic. They do tours by appointment so ring before you set out.
Rainforest Heart – https://rainforestheart.com.au/
You really can’t go past a Mungalli Creek Dairy platter – or any of its other beautiful products. This biodynamic dairy farm has its own farmhouse café overlooking the green rolling hills of the Atherton Tablelands. It produces yoghurt and cheeses and has eggs for sale. The café does a delicious range of food including scones, a ploughman’s, serious ice cream sundaes, an authentic cheesecake and that famous platter full of tasty cheeses. It may be Out of the Whey (their joke) but the drive through lush countryside is almost as nice as the destination.
Mungalli Creek Dairy – https://www.mungallicreekdairy.com.au/