Is it time for a lush (and tasty) escape to Tropical North Queensland? Whether it’s a romantic getaway for two or you’re bringing the whole family, there’s a tantalising foodie trail for everyone to enjoy. Take your fork to some bush tucker, try your first bite of crocodile, and indulge in the sweet succulence of ‘creme caramel’ fruit – without the guilt. We’ve put together a flavour-laden journey taking in the main sights from Port Douglas to the Daintree.
Port Douglas: try crocodile and indulge in fresh seafood
No holiday to Tropical North Queensland is complete without spotting a crocodile! So spend the morning with your eyes peeled on a Lady Douglas cruise as the paddlewheeler glides through the mangrove wetlands of the Dickson Inlet. Are you curious to try some? Take the 25-minute drive south to Hartley’s Crocodile Farm for a half-day tour that’ll guarantee some close-ups – as well as tastings! Otherwise, pick up a famous crocodile pie for lunch at Mocka’s Pies and head to beautiful Four Mile Beach for some downtime in the sun. If you like the sound of an afternoon picnic, pick up some fresh produce, homemade dips and condiments at Blood Orange – but be sure to leave room for dinner!
Dinner recommendation: There are so many amazing restaurants around Port Douglas, from beachside bars to fine dining restaurants with ocean views and fresh seafood. For something truly unique though, the award-winning Flames of the Forest experience is just 10 minutes out of town, an outdoor dining extravaganza set beneath the rainforest canopy.
Hot tip: Pick up breakfast and browse the stalls at the Port Douglas Markets if you’re here on a Sunday.
Mossman: taste the rainforest with some bush tucker
Mossman is in a beautiful spot on the southern edge of the Daintree National Park. To get an insight into the Aboriginal heritage of the area, join a Dreamtime Walk through the Mosman Gorge Centre. You’ll be fascinated by stories about how the native plants were used by Indigenous tribes, and afterwards, you can dine at the centre’s Mayi Cafe and Restaurant. The menu is full of Indigenous bush ingredients to tantalise the tastebuds. Then walk it off with an easy walk along one of the trails into Mossman Gorge – and maybe even a dip at a local swimming hole. If you’ve got a fisherman in tow, take the 25 minute drive to Julatten to explore Barramundi Gardens, a commercial aquaculture farm and sports fishing facility. Otherwise, book into a relaxing spa treatment at Healing Waters Spa in Silky Oaks Lodge.
Dinner recommendation: A fantastic spot for dinner is the Treehouse Restaurant and Bar at Silky Oaks Lodge. The flavour-laden menu has spectacular food, Australian wines and plush views of the rainforest and Mossman River.
Hot tip: Need a coffee to start the day? Drop into the Mossman Markets if you’re here on a Saturday.
Cape Tribulation: tuck into the tropical fruit flavours
On the journey north to Cape Tribulation, stop in at quaint little Daintree Village for a wander. Then, on your way to the Daintree River crossing, pull over at the Daintree Tea House Restaurant for an early lunch in the leafy al fresco setting – the barramundi with tropical fruit salad gets rave reviews! When you get to Cape Tribulation, head straight to the Cape Tribulation Exotic Fruit Farm, an organic permaculture orchard, in time for the 2pm tour (book ahead to save your spot). Here you’ll taste and learn about rare tropical fruits from around the world, from the Amazon to Borneo and Africa. You’ll also hear fascinating stories about strange fruits like ‘chocolate pudding fruit’ and ‘lemon meringue pie’. Keep that sweet tooth happy next at Floravilla Ice Cream Factory. Choose from 50 amazing tropical fruit flavours of ice cream and water ice – they’re all organic and biodynamic – and take it with you one of the amazing local beaches where the rainforest meets the sea.
Dinner recommendation: Cape Tribulation has many fantastic spots for dinner, from casual cafes to top-notch resort dining. On the Turps, The Cape Restaurant or Whet Cafe, Bar & Restaurant are three great spots.
Hot tip: Work up your appetite by zipping through the rainforest on a Jungle Surfing Canopy Tour.