Day Trips from Cairns: Food Trail Tours - Vikingess Voyages

Friday, March 21, 2014

Day Trips from Cairns: Food Trail Tours

 There are many activities one can do to get out of Cairns for a day, and for those of you who've already seen the Great Barrier Reef and been on a trip into the rainforest it might be a good option to go on a tour with Food Trail Tours. This tour takes you out of Cairns to Mareeba, which is an area where you get to visit local farmers and try out their local produce.

Lake Barrine and the Lake Barrine Teahouse
First thing on the program is a short stop at Lake Barrine Teahouse where you're served some delicious scones and coffee. Apparently Lake Barrain used to attract a number of large tourist busses every day with people who wanted to experience the lake and its vicinity.

A 550 year old fig
Although you get to taste a lot of different products during the day this trip is not only about food and drinks. As you drive through the untouched nature you have the chance to see various types of landscapes, with a mix of rainforest and open country. We took a short brake along the way, and our guide showed us a 550 year old fig that had strangled its host and developed into a huge tree. 

Our first tasting experience was at a dairy farm called Gallo Dairyland, a local producer that had won various prices for their cheese. Our guide demonstrated the process for producing the cheese, and we got to try their prize-winning cheese and chocolate. Definitely something different than what we get at the local supermarket (on a side note: we found the famous Norwegian Jarlsberg cheese in the Australian supermarket, which is pretty good).
Prize-winning cheese
Locally produced gourmet dairy produce

Our second stop was a macadamia farm called Wondaree Macademia. For those of you who don't know what a macadamia is, I can tell you it is a type of nut that apparently is supposed to be one of the healthiest nuts in the world. The oil is even better to use for cooking than olive oil, and it can also take higher temperatures without getting burned. Additionally, studies have shown that the nut is good for the heart. If you want something unique from Australia I suggest buying macadamia nuts!

According to Wondaree Macademia:
"Macadamia are high energy food and contain no cholesterol. The average composition is 76% natural oils, 9% protein, 9% carbohydrate, 2% dietary fibre and significant amounts of the vitamins thiamine, riboflavin and niacin as well as the essential elements calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and iron. The oil is rich in monounsaturates and is considered to be beneficial in reducing the risk of heart disease."

Cracking macademia nuts

After the trip to Wondaree Macademia we had lunch at an old restaurant dating back to the late 1800s. The local mackerel we had here was really delicious. It tasted more like regular meat than fish actually.

After lunch it was time for some exotic wine tasting. The farmer we visited told us that his ancestors came from France, and that they had been nobles who owned great French castles and fought for Napoleon. He was however the first winemaker in their family, and took great pride in his price-winning drinks. He let us have a taste of some of his exotic wines including among others lycée, mango, mulberry and the local bush cherry. 
Australian bush cherry whine

The last stop we had on the trip was at a coffee plantation called the NQ Gold Coffee Plantation where Bruno and his daughter plant, nurture, harvest and roast the coffee all by themselves. Their motto is "from the coffee bush to the coffee cup".

Our guide demonstrated some of the machines, and afterwards we enjoyed a nice cup of coffee (actually the same brand as we had for breakfast at the beginning of our trip)
Demonstrating how the coffee beans are processed
Maloberti's coffee beans
Our trip to the coffee plantation was the last activity on our list, and it was time to travel back to Cairns. We had a great day traveling with Food Trail Tours, and it was a memorable experience we'll never forget. Of course we bought with us some of the local produce as well, and we'll enjoy the products once we get back to Japan/Norway.

Other pages:

Other blog posts from Cairns:
-The RainForeStation
-The Skyrail Rainforest Cableway

-All blogposts from Australia

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About Anette
Anette came to Japan as an exchange student in 2010, met the love of her life and got stuck. From her base in Tokyo she writes about her experiences as a full-time worker in Tokyo and about her travels in Japan and abroad. She's a free-spirited adventurer who enjoys both the great outdoors and her urban lifestyle.

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About Me

Adventures ofAnette

A modern day shield-maiden who loves to explore the unbeaten paths of the world. From her base in Tokyo, Anette takes on both rural and urban challenges, and goes by the motto "No challenge too big, no adventure too small"!
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