Issue 25: Visiting Cocoa Farms in Queensland, Australia (part 1)
In August we planned a family trip to Far North Queensland, Australia. While most people visit this area for the Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef, both UNESCO Heritage Listed, we were here to learn more about Australian grown cocoa. My family didn’t complain; the thought of eating chocolate at all stages from seed to bar was more than enough.
Along the way I interviewed several Australian cocoa farmers. I also visited farms for several other ingredients commonly found in chocolate that are also grown in this area including sugar and vanilla. I’ll be sharing these interviews over the next few weeks.
We started our trip in Cairns and drove south. Our first stop was Charley’s Chocolate Factory. They offer regular tours of their farm and production. For a full write up of Charley’s with an overview of Australian cacao, read the article here.
Charley’s is right near Mission Beach. How beautiful is this!
From here we drove up into the Atherton Tablelands. The road was lined with farm stalls and we picked up many ripe papayas and even a few cocoa pods. It seems many families around here have a tree or two in their backyard. If you like food, you will love the Tablelands. A few highlights include
The Cathedral Fig Tree, one of the most breathtaking things I have ever seen. Really a special moment.
Looking (and finding!) platypus at Playpus Viewing Area
A tea at Nerada tea, the biggest tea plantation in Australia
Milk and cheese at both Gallo Dairlyand and Mungalli Creek Dairy
Fresh strawberries at Shaylee Strawberries
A huge highlight is the Tonga Bat Hospital. This is highly recommended. They give regular tours explaining why bats are so important and what we can do to help.
I had four hot chocolate here. One was at Paronella Park. Jose Paronella came from Spain in 1913 to Australia and decided to build a castle in this region. The property was build several years later and the owners have been renovating it and bringing it back to life. Read more about that here.
Another was in at the Malanda Collective in Malanda. I wish this cafe was closer to where I lived. I’d hang out here all the time. Read the full review here.
We stopped at Skybury, a coffee and papaya farm with a beautiful restaurant. They have a theatre showing videos of their production and the opportunity taste and buy all of their products. Click here for the full review.
Last but not least, they serve a white chocolate mocha at Jacques Coffee Plantation. You can take a tour as well.
Finally, if you liked this newsletter, could you please share it with a few other chocolate loving friends?
Thanks for reading and have a great week!
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