Stop 1: Lake Barrine National Park and Tea House
A mere 1 hour drive from Cairns via the scenic Gillies Highway brings you to the cool atmosphere of the Atherton Tablelands, where you will come across a beautiful, enchanting natural lake hidden in World Heritage Rainforest. Lake Barrine is something special as it is a water filled crater left by a volcanic eruption approximately 10,000 years ago. Depending on the season we sample some Tropical Fruit Skewers with local Mungali yoghurt or warm banana crepes with fruit salad and enjoy a special ‘Lake Barrine’ coffee or local tea at the charming 80 year old lakeside teahouse amongst beautiful terraced gardens. Lake Barrine offers one of the most beautiful and relaxing environments in the tropics.
Stop 2: Rainforest Bounty
Next stop we are heading to the scenic outskirts of the Historic rural town of Malanda to a private property to taste Gallo Cheeses with their signature condiments utilising locally grown Davidson (Ooray) plum, lemon aspen (rainforest citrus), lillypilly (rainforest berries) and rainforest (Boonjie) tamarind in traditional artisanal recipes infused with the unique qualities of Australian rainforest fruits. We also get to taste some organic local small goods and a native fruit cocktail whilst overlooking the delightful Johnston River from their River Pavilion.
Stop 3: Gallo Dairyland
We now head towards the historic village of Atherton. Driving through this thriving hub, a patchwork of amazing farmland and rolling green hills appear before us. We are on our way to a fully operational dairy farm spread across 1000 acres of rich red volcanic soil with delicious handcrafted chocolates and a gourmet cheese factory. Here we can buy the delicious cheeses that we have just tasted and sample irresistible Swiss style filled chocolates that are a work of art whilst gazing out over the picturesque landscape. Meet some friendly animals before heading back to Mareeba through a variety of diverse crops.
Stop 4: The Humpy
We now head through a patchwork of amazing farmland, diverse crops and rolling green hills towards the thriving hub and historic village of Atherton. For a tasting and shopping treat, we stop at ‘The Humpy’, the best place to go to for freshly harvested Atherton Tablelands produce straight from the growers. From vegetables to tropical fruits and hundreds of different varieties of nuts, dried fruits locally produced jams and sauces. Even organic and gluten free produce as well. Here we get to taste some seasonal fruits and many different flavours of hot local peanuts and macadamia nuts. We leave you time to browse this amazing and quirky grocery store so you can purchase goodies for the rest of your stay.
Stop 5: Mount Uncle Distillery
Then just down the road, we arrive at Mount Uncle distillery, North Queensland's first and only distillery. Here we taste some of their award winning liqueurs and spirits before a delicious fresh lunch of local produce and a glass of wine or beer. Then take a wander around this stunning property nestled in coffee and banana plantations, with beautiful gardens and friendly animals.
Stop 6: Debrueys Boutique Tropical Winery
We then head down our secret bush track to De Bruey's Boutique Wines located near Mareeba on a 15 hectare mango orchard cradled between the peaks of the Great Dividing Range. All wines are made on site using a blend of tradition and innovation which produces high quality wines from a rich diversity of tropical fruits. Sit on the back deck sipping 15 deliciously different tropical fruit wines, liqueurs, cream liqueurs and Ports whilst overlooking the beautiful surrounds of gum trees waterfall, terraces and lake.
Stop 7: Jaques Coffee Plantation
Next stop is to Jaques Family coffee plantation, the 3rd generation. With 85,000 Arabica Coffee trees growing in the rich soils they produce a smooth and vibrant flavour unique only to the remarkable location. Relax in the air conditioned theatre to watch the fascinating history of the Jaques Family and also an enchanting insight into the finer details of coffee from the tree to the cup. We stroll through the gardens and finish our stop with a delicious cup of Jaques coffee made 'just as you like it' and homemade scones with local jam and Mungali Dairy dollop cream lovingly made by Linda Jaques.
Stop 8: Rainforest Retreat (QLD Wines and Beers)
If that’s not enough we continue down the range and stop in at a hidden paradise. Here you can soak up the stunning rainforest and pristine environment which is a sanctuary for bird and animal species. Pat friendly Wallabies and head to ‘The Rainforest Retreat’ where you can sit in this tranquil setting as the sun goes down whilst sipping some Queensland wines and beers. And wander down to dip your toes in the most beautiful mountain stream.
Only 20 minutes to the base of the Kuranda range we begin our drop offs.
Cairns, QLD, 4870, Australia