Tropical north Queensland
Far North Queensland is one of those places that has everything – reef, rainforest and yes – secret foodie delights you need to checkout!
Recently we took 3 days to explore the food trail from Palm Cove to Mission Beach and into Tully to see all the amazing food and meet some of the region’s chefs (shout out to Nick Holloway from Nu Nu for showing us around!) and producers. We discovered a thriving and diverse agricultural community breaking the cycle of annual cane crops with important rotation crops including SunRice fragrant Rain Fed Rice. We even cooked up an epic Pilaf and Coral Trout dish using the rice (make sure you check out the recipe below).
Tropical North Queensland; salt-of-the-earth Queenslanders ready to open their doors (and farm gates) to show us around and a fine dinning scene serving a uniquely tropical, forest-to-plate dinning experience.
So, here’s our top 5 things you absolutely can’t miss when you visit.
1 The Reef
It really goes without saying really. But we thought we should put it on the top on the list as now more than ever the reef needs you to see it, love it and care for it.
2 Fishing and diving around Dunk Island
Outside of the Marine park area Far North Queensland has some of the best fishing and dive spots on the Australian East coast. From the famous Barramundi, to game fishing outside of the reef, to just lazily throwing some bait in around dunk Island – you’re sure to catch something! We were taken out by Alistair and his son (from Hooked Up) for a day and their knowledge of the waters and general good nature made the day heaps of fun.
3 Fruit Forest Farm
Now this place is what we are talking about when say secret foodie fun. Peter Salaries and his family run this incredible rare fruit orchard. If you have never seen a dragonfruit, touched a Buddha’s hand, or tasted an Amazon custard apple you need to visit. With literally hundreds of varieties Peter runs a special place well worth the visit. (Fruit Forest Farm)
4 Nunu Restaurant
Chef Nick Hollaway is the man behind the legendary Nunu restaurant. Originally a chef from the top kitchens of Melbourne, Nick made the sea change twelve years ago to open Nunu. Nick describes his food as “food of the sun”, a distillation of all the unique tropical and cultural influences that characterise the region.
5 Waterfall chasing
While TLC would tell you not to go chasing waterfalls – Bondi Harvest would definitely give you the go ahead! We took the time to drive up the tablelands to Misty Mountain to the waterfall circuit where you can swim in three world class waterfalls Millaa Millaa Falls, Zillie Falls and Elinjaa Falls all within 3 km of each other.
There are also 130km of walking tracks called the misty Mountain trail for explore if you have the time.
note: our trip was paid for with support from SunRice, Mark’s words are his own.