The Feast of the Senses festival is an annual foodie event that celebrates north Queensland farmers and their produce. It’s held in the town of Innisfail on the Cassowary Coast – a region that produces 70% of Australia’s bananas and is the centre of the exotic fruit industry. It’s also highly regarded for its seafood.
Many tourists time their trips to North Queensland to coincide with a food festival. That allows them to explore the region and its produce to the full.
Begin your gastronomic journey on the Atherton Tablelands. This lush region lies an hour west of Cairns at an elevation of 700 metres above sea level. Farmers on the tablelands produce cheese and milk, coffee and tea, strawberries, mangoes and much more.
A popular spot for enjoying the local coffee is Coffee Works at Mareeba. It offers many flavours to sample and is home to one of the world’s largest collections of coffee and tea pots.
For something different, visitors often visit Rainforest Bounty which specialises in farming native fruits in their natural habitat: the rainforest. Examples include the Davidson Plum, Lemon Aspen and the Bougie Tamarind. Rainforest Bounty has created various condiments for purchase and offers cooking classes.
Mt Quincan Crater Retreat offers luxury treehouse accommodation that overlooks the tablelands. The retreat is close to all the region’s tourist attractions.
Food Vixen is a blogger who regularly writes about north Queensland food and cuisine. Her blog is a great introduction to the many eateries and foodie festivals in the region.
Many producers in the region are open to visitors throughout the year; others throw their doors open during March for the Feast of the Senses Festival. Broken Nose Vanilla is one such place. The farm produces about 100 kilograms of vanilla each year. The crop has inspired the creation of a range of products that are sold in gourmet shops around the state.
Want to savour the region’s best bounty from the ocean? Innisfail Seafood is the perfect place to sample the freshest catch. Owner, Ben Heath, also offers classes on how to prepare various kinds of seafood.
While you’re in Innisfail, Snapping Tours offers a terrific way to view the town and its surrounds. Head out on the Johnstone River to spot crocs, catch fish and much more.
A great home-away-from-home in Innisfail is the Barrier Reef Motel. It has 41 modern units as well as a bar and restaurant. It’s also close the centre of town.
Feast of the Senses
Innisfail, QLD 4860
0447 037 476