Australia may not be a country that you consider when thinking about great coffee, but believe it or not we do grow and roast here! This post will cover three producers that we visited in Cairns in March.
All 3 are located approximately 45-60 minutes from Cairns in and around Mareeba. If you’re looking to break up the drive Kuranda makes a great stop, located just before or after the beautiful winding drive up the range depending on which direction you’re heading.
You can visit the properties in any order you please that we’ll write about them in the order we visited starting with Jacques.
Jacques Coffee Plantation
Jacques was probably my favorite plantation to visit and one that you should probably leave a little time for if you enjoying outdoor activities! Before you get into the activities, coffee and food though make sure to have a read here about the battles faced by Australia’s first commercial coffee plantation along their journey.
The drive from the property gate to the Cafe takes along gravel road lined by coffee trees, when we visited the berries were in different stages of ripening and displaying every colour from green to red. As you pull into the carpark it’s hard to miss the microlight popping it’s nose out of the garage/hanger adjoining the cafe.
If you’re an aviation fan you’re not just limited to a Microlight, Jacques also have a Gyrocopter onsite that can take you for a 20 minute spin around the property. If aviation isn’t your thing, a segway tour is also offered. One third of the My Little Earth team has experience with Segway’s and commented that the off road version on offer at Jacques look’s like a brilliant time!
We didn’t get to try any of the activities but did get to enjoy a Double Espresso among the trees and bushes. Jacques have a decent Lunch menu with a couple of the usual Vegetarian options, see attached menu and brochure!
Certainly give them a visit if you’re in the area, you can even go on a tour of the plantation for $15 which includes a Complimentary Coffee and Coffee Liqueur.
Our next visit was out to Skybury Coffee, on the other side of town. If you’ve traveled through the domestic side of Cairns airport you will have no doubt seen their shops about the terminal, the coffee experience at their premise is much better however!
The plantation sits side by side with the Australian Coffee Center, the facility where you can relax, have a feed and enjoy some coffee. The View is an amazing one, we spent quite a bit of time here over lunch gazing out over the landscape and keeping company with the Kookaburras hanging about.
Veggie burgers can be a funny thing.
You might get nothing more than a potato scallop in place of the meat patty or you may end up with an amazing homemade Veg patty, the burger here was very deliciously the latter. It was super tasty and filling, it seemed based on beans which is always a winner with me.
The meal didn’t give us much room to wash down coffee, but the obligatory Double Espresso was still enjoyed!
Wandering around the Australian Coffee center you can pick up Beans, Coffee Accessories and fruits such as Banana and Papaya which are grown alongside the coffee.
We’d recommend making Skybury/Australian Coffee Center your lunch break, the great food on offer and brilliant location cemented this choice for us.
On our way out of town we saw sign posts for this place, we decided to stop in briefly but really shouldn’t of.
If it had only been the fact that it wasn’t the kind of place we’d normally enjoy visiting it wouldn’t be so bad but add that to the fact that we got a very very ordinary long black and iced tea alongside the staff of the day not really caring and you leave with a sour taste in your mouth.
Coffee growing in the carpark
We are not generally folk to criticize and it could well just of been set’s of circumstances combining on the day but do some research on their website before deciding to go and see if it’s your kind of place.