Maybe like me you've come to Cairns a bit of a coffee addict and bemoaned what appears to be a shortage of decent cafes... I would like to assure you all though that this is not entirely the case. An early walk around town can lead to quite a few decent cafes that serve some great cups of coffee. One thing that most of these shops have in common is that they serve locally grown coffee... so last weekend I got to actually take a trip out to Skybury Coffee Plantation - the home of Cairns coffee!
Skybury Coffee Plantation is located in Mareeba in the Atherton Tablelands. The plantation is 300 acres and is Australia's oldest producing coffee plantation and the largest exporter of home grown coffee. While there, you can enjoy a Plantation Tour to see the coffee production process from planting to tasting. Also the plantation is home to a tropical fruit farm so there is fruit tasting as well. The cafe serves some awesome lunches and of course the very best cups of coffee. It was also fun to walk through some really nice walks to see wallabies, kangaroos, and some of tropical North Queensland's various birdlife.
While in Mareeba at the Skybury Coffee Plantation I also enjoyed a visit to CoffeeWorld located at Coffee Works. This museum is a tribute to all things coffee and was a big hit with a caffeine addict like myself. This museum is the work of love of one man, Ian Bersten working to amass the largest collection of coffee and tea making facilities throughout the ages. He has even tracked down the world's first espresso machine. This museum even satisfied my English mate as it covers quite a bit about the history of tea as well. The best thing about it was that the entrance fee of only $19 also includes tasting of 21 different coffees. It was kind of cool to find out that Mareeba, right in Cairns backyard, produces 80% of Australia's coffee.
So whether you're starting to feel the chill in Melbourne or Sydney, or maybe just think that you won't find a decent cuppa outside a major city... remember that all this coffee comes from somewhere... and this just happens to be Cairns and coffee addicts should definitely visit the Skybury Coffee Plantation and Cafe!