Atherton Tablelands to Mission Beach, QLD.

After the Daintree we headed South for Atherton, eager to go to a Saturday market, only to miss each one. Our timing was out and in one case by a week as the biggest and best market was advertised as the last Saturday of the month, it was only the 4th Saturday… with 5 that month 😦

When we traveled to Cairns from inland QLD, we drove through Atherton and were looking forward to returning and exploring. It was etched in our memory as a green oasis after our 6 months in the outback. When we returned it did not disappoint, lots of fresh produce and dairy’s.

Gallo’s Dairyland:

Malanda Falls:

We stayed at the caravan park in Malanda, they had a few farm animals including these turkeys! All puffed up chasing his lady!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Hen & Mr Gobbler! Such a laugh to watch.

Tinaroo dam:

We bought a permit to fish here at Tinaroo Dam, nice afternoon, but that’s about it…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Mungalli Dairy:

Oh my, oh my, oh my, this was breathtaking.

Mungalli DairyOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
I love being able to sit in our van and look out the window at such stunning vistas. It really is the reason to travel.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Kurrimine Beach:

Kurrimine Beach is just north of Mission Beach, a very popular tourist destination. We decided to try Kurrimine instead and loved it. WikiCamps had some great reviews of the area and I think all of the 3 caravan parks were about 100m from the beach. We managed to collect more coconuts, give a de-husked coconut away, go fishing 3 times without success, meet more really nice people, a group from Melbourne who told us of their fishing adventures the day before out on a boat catching BIG fish, who then drove home and brought us a couple of kgs of it! We are so spoilt.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Charley’s Chocolate Factory:

They run an excellent tour, most importantly friendly, with lots to see and the focus was on the chocolate. They are in a unique position to demonstrate the chocolate making process from tree to bean to bar. The farm is owned by a couple who moved from Melbourne and decided to start a cocoa tree farm on some land they’d bought.

During the tour, we were given a history of chocolate both ancient and modern, then we were taken to the nursery to see how their cocoa plants are grown from seed, there is a very narrow window that they have to import and plant, from memorey about 10 days! Then we were walked over to where the cocoa plants are grown and harvested. The way they trellis their trees to protect them against cyclone and produce a bigger yield is really amazing.

We then returned to the shed to hear, see and taste how the cocoa beans are extracted from the pod, fermented, roasted and made into bars. I actually missed a bit of it as an older lady fainted in the humidity and was lending a hand. The tour concluded with lunch and an opportunity to purchase some bars of ‘Australian Origin’ chocolate!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Cacao tree green house.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
This my friends, is the beginning of what you know as chocolate! The flower before the fruit.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Esther crawling over to the Cacao fruit! She knows a good thing when she sees it.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
One of a few Australian Cacao Plantations.

From here we hopped back in the car with the caravan in tow and headed further south to follow up some job opportunities for Dan.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s