4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Atherton Tablelands: Foodie Heaven

Stumble upon pools like this one in Oz's lush Atherton Tablelands.
Stumble upon pools like this one in Oz's lush Atherton Tablelands.

The Atherton Tablelands sit high up in the Great Dividing Range west of the tropical coast of Queensland, Australia. The popular attractions of the coast draw most of Australia's tourism – but inland, there are gems to be found.

In Atherton the sun is just as bright and the days are just as warm, but the humidity of the coast falls away and the land rolls gently in waves of green grass, unusual for the arid continent. The soil here is old volcanic, making the area unusually fertile farmland.

Indeed, it is teeming with food. Ignoring all the epic farm stands along the road offering amazing produce at well below market cost, there are an array of farms and other places open to visitors to experience via smell and taste.

Set amongst the sunshine and pastures are a network of rivers and waterfalls punctuated by picturesque swimming holes.

Millaa Millaa Falls is one of these. A perfect little hole in the jungle with a breathtaking waterfall feeding a pool of cool, refreshing water that sends up a haze of mist and a pleasant roar. I didn't want to leave, but my taste buds were calling me up the road.

My travel partner Michelle and I journeyed on to a dairy farm/chocolate factory set amongst the rolling green hills and three hundred happy cows. We taste-tested everything, then ordered a platter. We were not disappointed. A huge array of artisan cheeses and fruits with some crackers to complement. So much cheese that Michelle and I (both huge cheese lovers) couldn’t finish the whole thing. We left with a doggy bag and huge smiles.

Further up the river was a field of strawberries and a small building where the fruit was washed and packed. We opted to pick our own, and came out with about a kilogram of strawberries picked fresh from the vines for about $10 AUD. We couldn’t leave without some fresh strawberry jam as well. There’s something the cold-stored strawberries don’t have that the fresh do. You can always tell the difference between fresh-picked and store-bought produce, but nowhere does it appear more so than in these flavorful berries.

Other adventures in culinary delights over the next few days included visiting two very different tropical wineries. A tropical wine is made from tropical fruit obviously, with little or no grape content. They're often quite sweet and refreshing, with a potent alcohol content you don’t notice until it’s too late.

I bought a bottle made of lychee for its smell alone, and a bottle made from a blend of passionfruit and mango at a winery/distillery in Yungaburra.

Nearby we stopped at a peanut farm and mini-factory. They grew the nuts out back, then roasted and seasoned them right in the next room. A wide range of seasoning was available, and we tasted them all, but I was there for one thing: peanut butter! I'm a fiend for good peanut butter, and freshly made, organic, chunky, unsalted stuff is what I crave for most. Combined with some fresh-baked bread and the strawberry jam we bought the other day, a most gourmet PB&J was created. Delish.

Before heading down the twisting road out of the tablelands and into Cairns, we visited a roadside diner and ordered some exciting food: kangaroo burger with beet root and fresh endive on great bread, as well as an order of crocodile and chips. Both were well prepared and presented.

Crocodile is a unique meat. I can’t remember ever eating reptile before, and I’m fairly sure I never have. It had a very thick consistency and was not gamey at all. Somewhere in between fishy and chicken-like.

Kangaroo is gamey and quite lean. Not juicy, but not too dry if cooked delicately. A novel dish with a texture and taste all its own.

Finally we stopped in Kuranda, a touristy town right up in the hills behind Cairns and a popular getaway for visitors once they’ve had too much of the intense young-traveler-party vibe that the coastal city thrives on. This town is as far inland as many people go.

If only they knew all the flavors they were missing.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Tiki Oasis, Miss You Like Hell, Sip of Julian

Events July 29-July 31, 2021
Next Article

How San Diego thinks it will keep outdoor dining

And keep walkers and bicyclists happy
Stumble upon pools like this one in Oz's lush Atherton Tablelands.
Stumble upon pools like this one in Oz's lush Atherton Tablelands.

The Atherton Tablelands sit high up in the Great Dividing Range west of the tropical coast of Queensland, Australia. The popular attractions of the coast draw most of Australia's tourism – but inland, there are gems to be found.

In Atherton the sun is just as bright and the days are just as warm, but the humidity of the coast falls away and the land rolls gently in waves of green grass, unusual for the arid continent. The soil here is old volcanic, making the area unusually fertile farmland.

Indeed, it is teeming with food. Ignoring all the epic farm stands along the road offering amazing produce at well below market cost, there are an array of farms and other places open to visitors to experience via smell and taste.

Set amongst the sunshine and pastures are a network of rivers and waterfalls punctuated by picturesque swimming holes.

Millaa Millaa Falls is one of these. A perfect little hole in the jungle with a breathtaking waterfall feeding a pool of cool, refreshing water that sends up a haze of mist and a pleasant roar. I didn't want to leave, but my taste buds were calling me up the road.

My travel partner Michelle and I journeyed on to a dairy farm/chocolate factory set amongst the rolling green hills and three hundred happy cows. We taste-tested everything, then ordered a platter. We were not disappointed. A huge array of artisan cheeses and fruits with some crackers to complement. So much cheese that Michelle and I (both huge cheese lovers) couldn’t finish the whole thing. We left with a doggy bag and huge smiles.

Further up the river was a field of strawberries and a small building where the fruit was washed and packed. We opted to pick our own, and came out with about a kilogram of strawberries picked fresh from the vines for about $10 AUD. We couldn’t leave without some fresh strawberry jam as well. There’s something the cold-stored strawberries don’t have that the fresh do. You can always tell the difference between fresh-picked and store-bought produce, but nowhere does it appear more so than in these flavorful berries.

Other adventures in culinary delights over the next few days included visiting two very different tropical wineries. A tropical wine is made from tropical fruit obviously, with little or no grape content. They're often quite sweet and refreshing, with a potent alcohol content you don’t notice until it’s too late.

I bought a bottle made of lychee for its smell alone, and a bottle made from a blend of passionfruit and mango at a winery/distillery in Yungaburra.

Nearby we stopped at a peanut farm and mini-factory. They grew the nuts out back, then roasted and seasoned them right in the next room. A wide range of seasoning was available, and we tasted them all, but I was there for one thing: peanut butter! I'm a fiend for good peanut butter, and freshly made, organic, chunky, unsalted stuff is what I crave for most. Combined with some fresh-baked bread and the strawberry jam we bought the other day, a most gourmet PB&J was created. Delish.

Before heading down the twisting road out of the tablelands and into Cairns, we visited a roadside diner and ordered some exciting food: kangaroo burger with beet root and fresh endive on great bread, as well as an order of crocodile and chips. Both were well prepared and presented.

Crocodile is a unique meat. I can’t remember ever eating reptile before, and I’m fairly sure I never have. It had a very thick consistency and was not gamey at all. Somewhere in between fishy and chicken-like.

Kangaroo is gamey and quite lean. Not juicy, but not too dry if cooked delicately. A novel dish with a texture and taste all its own.

Finally we stopped in Kuranda, a touristy town right up in the hills behind Cairns and a popular getaway for visitors once they’ve had too much of the intense young-traveler-party vibe that the coastal city thrives on. This town is as far inland as many people go.

If only they knew all the flavors they were missing.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

25 years later, Stone Brewing finds a new way to provoke us

Buenavida Hard Seltzer is no joke
Next Article

Tiki Oasis, Miss You Like Hell, Sip of Julian

Events July 29-July 31, 2021
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close