seafood feast great barrier reef safaris

Blog Post

Taste your way along the Cassowary Coast

TNQ Writer

Tasting your way along the Cassowary Coast’s bountiful tropical food trail will satisfy any food lovers appetite. From orchards laden with exotic fruits to seafood buffets on tropical islands, you’ll be making all sorts of stops along the way. So pack your hampers and make room in your car boot, we’re taking you foraging!

Broken Nose Vanilla

Load up on Vanilla pods, paste and essence

A fragrant vineyard of sorts (who knew vanilla grows on vines) nestled amidst the forest fringe of Queensland’s highest mountain, Mount Bartle Frere, Broken Nose Vanilla is a small batch producer of bourbon vanilla. After being pollinated by hand, nurtured with plenty of sweet tropical rain and harvested between August and September, irresistible pure vanilla is produced. Stop in at the farm gate anytime to load up on vanilla pods, paste and essence, but make sure to try (and buy) the most delicious caramelised vanilla balsamic you might even taste (and smell).

Great Barrier Reef Safaris

Tuck into a seafood buffet with your toes in the water

Camp on your own private island

The crew from Great Barrier Reef Safaris know all the best places to drop you off for a sumptuous private picnic or overnight camping adventure on the necklace of deserted islands dotting the coast off Mission Beach. At the helm, Captain Stuart navigates your private charter into hidden coves and calm bays to snorkel and swim, while co-captain and Marine Biologist Dr Adele will guide you over fringing island reefs explaining all the corals and marine life that call these waters home.

Afterwards, be whisked across sapphire seas to your own private island to indulge in a seafood lunch served with your toes tickled by the sea. You can chose to make a night (or more) of it by camping out on the island. All gear is provided (snorkelling gear, stinger suits, tents, bedding and pre-arranged supplies) and they will even put up your tent – so you can spend your time kayaking, beach-combing or basking on beaches imprinted by your footprints only.

Innisfail Seafood

While exploring the Cassowary Coast, pop in and discover what locals and visitors call “the best fish and chips in the north”. Innisfail Seafood’s sustainable seafood arrives fresh each day from local fishos whose commitment to the surrounding seas delivers wild, line-caught fish plus a smorgasbord of local seafood delights including prawns, bugs, squid and crabs. Sit out front if you want to tuck in right away, or take a walk around the back where you’ll find boats bobbing on the North Johnstone River that add the perfect view for devouring delicious seafood.

Fruit Forest Farm

See the working farm on the custom tours

Explore the farm grounds

Take a 2-hour tropical fruit tasting tour by tractor at Fruit Forest Farm in Feluga to see how a microclimate working within a rainforest produces some of the most exotic fruit on the planet. With over 150 varieties of tropical fruit grown, a farm tour will give you an appreciation for this niche industry, but also a chance to taste fruits you may never have even heard of before. From the giant bean like ice-cream fruit (and yes, it tastes exactly like ice-cream), to creamy caramel abiu and rollina – that tastes similar to a lemon meringue pie. The farm offers custom tours only, but it is worth rounding up some mates to share the cost, as up to 12 people can be seated in the tractor trailer, to see one of the best working tropical fruit farms in Australia.

Murdering Point Winery

Try tempting tropical wines at Murdering Point Winery

If all that eating is making you thirsty, drop into the uniquely Tropical North Queensland cellar door at Murdering Point Winery to sample some fruit wine. You will have to nominate a designated driver, as the wine is alcoholic, but you can always take some home to taste too. Tropical fruits and some native bush tucker makes not only delicious wine, but also port, liquors and delicious creams too. Try banana, mango, lychee, passionfruit and pineapple or go even more exotic with jaboticaba, black sapote (chocolate pudding fruit) or davidson plum. A great gift idea for someone special.

Oliveri's Deli

Oliveri’s is an Innisfail icon, so don’t be fooled by its humble street side aesthetic, as once inside you won’t know where to look first with gourmet eats, antipasti and treats filling cabinets and shelves. Cheese is at its finest at Oliveri’s, so speak up to ask for some advice to find out what cheese pleases your palette. If you really can’t decide, pre-order one of Oliveri’s platters in advance to take-away, but be sure to add also add a coffee, as locals claim the barista here makes one of the Cassowary Coast’s best brews.

Charley's Chocolate

Get your sweet fix at Charley's Chocolate

Did someone say Chocolate? Charley’s Chocolate in El Arish offers a true plant to palette experience where you follow the journey of chocolate from a seed, right through to tasting rooms where you can sample it for yourself. Single-origin 70% cocoa is blended with the best tropical fruits and nuts to make mouthwatering artisan dark and milk award-winning confectionary. Try Davidson plum dusted dark chocolate for something devilishly delicious, or milk chocolate dusted in lemon myrtle for a zesty zing. Factory tours (including tastings) run every Thursday and Sunday at 10.30 am with bookings essential.

Nutrinana Banana Farm

The most famous fruit in Tropical North Queensland is undeniably the banana, with as much as 94% of Australia’s supply grown on farms dotting the Cassowary Coast. To find out the inside story on bananas, join a guided tour at Nutrinana where everything from sustainable propagating, producing and packing the best bunches is revealed.

Fun banana fact to take home to the grandkids – Innisfail’s Feast of the Senses Festival holds the Guinness Book of Records title for the worlds longest banana split. The record was set in 2017 and included 40,000 bananas, 2,500 litres of ice cream and and incredible 2,000 litres of topping.

Explore, eat, repeat

Discover food trails and experiences in Cairns & Northern Beaches, the Atherton Tablelands and beyond.

Lake Barrine Devonshire Tea cafe Atherton Tablelands
Atherton Tablelands
13 Food trail highlights on the Atherton Tablelands

Foodies take a deep breath and prepare your tastebuds for tantalisation. Here’s fourteen fun ways to get your foodie fix on the Atherton Tablelands.

Read more
cairns breweries
Cairns & Northern Beaches
Bars & breweries to check out in Cairns CBD

A big part of travelling is finding the perfect spot to have a cold drink at the end of a day adventuring. Here’s where to quench your thirst in Cairns, whether you’re a cocktail connoisseur, beer buff, gin junkie or simply love a glass of wine with a view.

Read more
local market fruit
Food & Wine
Food & drink events to sink your teeth into

Eat and drink your way through 2022 with these tongue-tingling Tropical North Queensland food and drink events.

Read more
Walkabout Cultural Adventures crab
Tropical North Queensland
Mudcrab to mangoes: your guide to eating local in Cairns

From earthy bush tucker and exotic fruits to ocean-caught seafood and a biodynamic dairy farm, Tropical North Queensland offers up a menu with a unique ingredients list.

Read more
crystalbrook whiskey and wine flynn
Cairns & Northern Beaches
Your guide to the Cairns Esplanade Dining Precinct

The iconic Cairns Esplanade has had a major makeover. Enjoy a new and improved esplanade dining experience by visiting the Cairns Esplanade Dining Precinct.

Read more
smokey pint port douglas
Port Douglas
A guide to Port Douglas restaurants

Eat your way around Port Douglas as local food blogger Foodvixen shares the ultimate guide to Port Douglas restaurants.

Read more
Gallo Dairyland chocolates
Atherton Tablelands
Tasting the Tablelands

From speciality cheeses to coffee liqueur, Tim Richards enjoys a day of chasing culinary delights on the Atherton Tablelands.

Read more
Nu Nu Palm Cove
Palm Cove
Eat your way through these Palm Cove Restaurants

Taste the flavours of the north in the seaside village of Palm Cove, where restaurants take pride in local produce, fresh flavours and providing a warm tropical welcome served with an icy-cold drink.

Read more
Tropical North Queensland
How to explore the region’s food bowl

Get a taste for adventure exploring the region’s food bowl on a drive around the Atherton Tablelands and Cassowary Coast.

Read more
Friends enjoying seafood platter at Prawn Star Cairns
Cairns & Northern Beaches
Seafood lovers’ guide to Cairns

As the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns is teeming with an abundance of restaurants offering fresh, local catches and exceptional seafood. Find the stand-out seafood dishes in Cairns below.

Read more