The rolling hills around Mareeba are covered in tropical fruit plantations, farms and wineries ... it's no wonder that 'food tourism' has been such a growth industry over recent years. The area is now responsible for 90% of Australia's coffee production, and visitors can sample some of the local brews, including macadamia flavoured coffee, right on the plantation. Also, there are wineries that make wines and liqueurs from tropical fruits.
Mungalli Creek Dairy: the dairy's award winning produce can be tasted at Out of the Whey Cheesery & Teahouse at Mungalli Creek Dairy. Open Daily, the teahouse offers free Cheese and Yoghurt Tastings. Enjoy the magnificient views to Mt Bartle Frere as you enjoy lunch, cake or coffee.
Location: 256 Brooks Road, Mungalli Creek
Kuranda Homemade Tropical Fruit Ice Cream: located next to the Kuranda Markets arcade, you can try flavours such as custard apple, pumpkin and nutmeg, avocado, ginger, and jaboticaba, as well as the old favourites... chocolate, strawberry, coconut, pineapple and many, many more. Now available in soya milk.
Location: 7 Therwine Street, Kuranda Markets, Kuranda.
Shaylee Strawberry Farm: there are plenty of farms with roadside stalls in the Atherton Tablelands, and this is one of my favourites. Here you can pick up some fresh strawberries, (pick your own in September), sorbet made on site from tropical fruits and nuts, gelato, and home-made strawberry, mango and plum jams.by a stawberry flavoured ice cream their strawberry jam is to die for! Whatever you do, don't leave without a jar of strawberry jam - it is the best I've ever tasted, and I've tried plenty in my time!
Location: Cnr Marks Lane & Gillies Hwy Atherton
Coffeeworks/Gallo Dairyland: a fully functional dairy farm that is now producing a range of gourmet dairy products and hand crafted chocolates. With a wholesome cafe featuring a range of fresh farm baked produce, informative displays, observations decks into the cheese factory and the surrounds of a working farm.
Location: Atherton-Malanda Road, Atherton
Malanda Dairy Centre: as well as the enticing array of local produce and gourmet foods on sale at the Malanda Dairy Centre, visitors will be delighted to find a 100 plus seat restaurant, open for breakfast and lunch.
Location: 8 James Street, Malanda
Nutworld: sells freshly harvested Atherton Tablelands produce, from vegetables to tropical fruits. Nutworld has hundreds of different varieties of nuts, as well as dried fruits, locally produced jams and sauces. You'll even find organic produce, including gluten free and wheat free bread.
Location: 1 Kennedy Highway, Tolga
The Peanut Place: in the centre of Australia's second largest Hi Oleic Peanut growing region, The Peanut Place offers free taste testing. You can experience all of their scrumptious flavoured peanuts including Honey and Ginger, Sweet and Salty, Chilli and Lime, spicy Cajun or Curry, or Salt and Vinegar.
Location: Kennedy Highway, Tolga
Nerada Tea Plantation: Experienced tea producers have transformed former farmland into over 700 acres of sweeping vistas of manicured tea that is harvested and cured on the Cairns Highlands. Here visitors can enjoy the hospitality at the Nerada Plantation teahouse and tour the tea factory complex.
Location: 933 Glen Allyn Road, Malanda
Coffee Works: selects and roasts arabica coffees from the local Cairns Highlands area of Tropical North Queensland and origin beans from around the world. A feature of Coffee Works is Coffee World - the largest and most significant collection of coffee and tea making treasures ever assembled. If it has anything to do with growing, roasting, serving, drinking or trading coffee, you will find it somewhere in this mammoth sensory wonderland.
136 Mason Street, Mareeba
Jaques Australian Coffee Plantation: as well as a cafe, tours run every half hour, and include a Coffee Movie, inspection of Australia's first purpose-built mechanical coffee harvester, a look at the coffee trees and a taste of the ripe coffee cherries, and a look at the wet and dry factories.
37 Leotta Road, Mareeba
Skybury Coffee Plantation: The award winning two storey timber centre, constructed atop an impressive granite outcrop, features a fully licensed 140 seat restaurant, bar, coffee laboratory, gift shop, and Coffee Cinema.
Ivicevic Road (off Dimbulah Road), Wheelbarrow Way, Mareeba
Tichum Creek Coffee Farm: Mario and his wife Claudia started their project back in 1991, when they vowed to produce 'the best Australian coffee ever' to continue the tradition of drinking a truly fulfilling coffee Mario's mother used to prepare after a hard day's work in the tobacco fields.
3576 Kennedy Highway, Mareeba, opposite Davies Creek National Park turnoff
Mount Uncle Distillery: North Queensland's first and only distillery. The distillery's range includes rum, vodka, whiskey, Banana Liqueur, Coffee Liqueur, Sanguis Mulberry Liqueur, Limecello Liqueur, Calli Lime Cello, Davidsons Plum Liqueur and 'Sexycat' Marshmallow Liqueur.
De Brueys Boutique Wines: Try buy mango wine, or lychee, jaboticaba, passionfruit and native bush cherry wines. Try the brand new Flagship Coffee Elixir.
Location: 189 Fichera Road, Mareeba
Golden Pride wines: Golden Drop is the brand name for a versatile range of still and sparkling white wines with extremely delicate fruity flavours produced from the sweet flesh of the Kensington Red by Golden Pride Wineries.
Location: 227 Bilwon Road, Mareeba