Best Culinary Experiences In Tropical North Queensland

28 Mar 2016

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When it comes to discovering the local tastes of Tropical North Queensland (TNQ), it's about where you go as much as what you eat.

With so many regions all boasting their hidden gems and surprising delicacies, many of us unintentionally bypass the best TNQ has to offer.

Don't leave wishing you had tasted more. Find out the must-do foodie experiences and destinations.

gourmet salmon

Brett's Outback Tasting Adventure

Port Douglas

Combine two of TNQ's most popular aspects: food and the Outback. This adults-only tour begins with convenient hotel pick-up, followed by a big day touring Port Douglas' furthest reaches and immersing yourself in the local culture and cuisine.

You dive headlong into the action with morning tea at Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park. Indulge in some home-grown Indigenous specialties while learning about the local way of life.

Wash it all down with a few glasses of vino at De Brueys Winery, before moving onto the harder stuff at Mount Uncle Distillery, a one-of-a-kind in North Queensland, along with some quality Aussie tucker.

Cellar wine tasting

You'll need a pick up after all the alcohol, which is where your next stop at a coffee plantation works its magic. Emerald Creek Ice Creamery is next, followed by beer, wine, cheese and wild platypus watching – how often do you see those four in the same sentence!

With every taste bud satisfied, don't be worried when you wake up the next day wishing you could do it all again.

Australian Experience Dining

Cairns

Run through the Ochre Restaurant in Cairns, the Australian Experience Dining presents an evening of sumptuous Aussie food, intoxicating atmosphere and award-winning service.

Ochre has made a name for itself around the country as one of the best places to eat if you're looking for innovation. Such dishes as salt and pepper leaf prawns, grain-finished beef tenderloin with caramelised red onion and bush tomoto jus, and crocodile with Vietnamese pickles highlight the offerings.

Dining with friends

The Australian Experience Dining gives you all these and more in its four-course menu. Make sure you leave room for the accompanying wine and, of course, dessert – quandong creme brulee with hazelnut tuile.

The actual restaurant places you within the cosy confines of the Outback with rich red colours, natural timber and Indigenous artwork.


Inspiration for your Tropical North Queensland holiday

Enchanting Palm Cove

Wonders of the tropical north: 3 must-do Australian adventures


More great TNQ foodie treats

Lizard Island

One of the lesser-known islands on the Great Barrier Reef, Lizard Island is one of those Aussie treasures that only a few people know about and even less visit.

The resort is a beautiful beachfront property with ocean-facing villas boasting private infinity pools, four-poster beds and an abundance of living space.

However, it's the Saltwater Restaurant, with its views of the deep blue and daily-changing menus, that garners most attention. Australian, Asian and Mediterranean influences go into most dishes, and only the freshest ingredients are used.

For a more intimate evening, you can choose to dine on the beach, the ocean lapping at the sand only a few steps from your table.

Lizard Island dining

Silky Oaks

Tucked amongst the Daintree Rainforest, Silky Oaks is a heavenly retreat of tree houses, babbling streams and waterfalls tucked behind lush native foliage.

Those fortunate enough to call this place home for a few days shouldn't pass up eating at the Treehouse Restaurant.

Take a seat high above the ground and soak up the views of the Mossman River running past metres from the balcony. The three-course menu is constantly changing, but can include crocodile, Pacific oysters, organic chicken, potato and brie ravioli, and orange and olive oil cake.

Ben Stower

I love the kind of travelling that is one part strategic planning and two parts spontaneous adventure. Whether I'm exploring my local city or a small town in the middle of nowhere, I'm always hoping to find something no one else has discovered.