Top 7 food stops for your road trip around Cairns - Part 1 (Port Douglas and the Daintree)

So you have your car rental in Cairns all set to go for your awesome road trip, but you are not sure where to stop for food along the way? We have you covered, because, as locals, we know all the best food spots in the area. In Part 1 of our food exposé, we start with road trips to Port Douglas and the Daintree moving onto the Atherton Tablelands in Part 2. Enjoy!

1.    High Falls Restaurant

Located just 30 minutes north of Port Douglas on a secluded property in Whyanbeel Valley, High Falls Restaurant offers a beautiful setting with waterfalls and rainforests galore! Nestled against a tumbling creek, this restaurant offers fresh seasonal meals with fruit specials directly from their own farm. Sit on their open timber deck and enjoy an Aussie meal and listen to the sounds of the tropical birds and the river gurgling on its way. However, they don’t open every day and mainly serve lunch with dinner on Friday nights, so it pays to call and book a table before arriving in your car rental from Cairns.

2.    Daintree Estates

If you love chocolate then Daintree Estates in Mossman is definitely worth a food stop! Considered as Australian cocoa experts, they actually make their own chocolate from cocoa beans grown in the Daintree. This isn’t a sit down restaurant, it’s a shop where you can buy the best chocolate you have ever tasted! Just park your Cairns rental car and check out their wine infused or classic chocolate range, napolitains and buttons, gift packs and Fyto the frog for kids. If you fall in love with their chocolate (who wouldn’t!), you can even buy more online, because they ship all over Australia.

3.    Salsa Port Douglas

As you drive north from Cairns in your car rental, consider stopping at the Salsa Port Douglas for a tropical drink and a memorable meal. Located just across the park from the wharf, this beautifully decorated restaurant is light and airy with a welcoming breeze off the ocean. Open for lunch and dinner with a kid’s menu, the meals are modern Aussie with a focus on seafood. Check out their Sicilian inspired tuna tartare, pork scallopini, black Angus eye fillet and their Daintree Estates chocolate & Cointreau souffle. Their meals are fabulous, but you can easily walk it off with a stroll along the nearby beach before heading off on the next stage of your road trip.

4.    Grant Street Kitchen

Open every day from 6am to 3pm, the Grant Street Kitchen is where you top up on all your favourite pastries. Located on the corner of Grant Street and Macrossan in Port Douglas this popular bakery cafe is at the other end of the block from the Salsa and on the other side of the road. With light snacks and meals, speciality coffee, freshly baked bread and pastries, all you need to do is park your Cairns rental car, take a seat at one of their outdoor tables and prepare to be transported to heaven!

5.    Shannonvale Tropical Fruit Winery

Made from organic tropical fruit that’s locally grown on their own farm, the wine produced at the Shannonvale Tropical Fruit Winery is very popular with locals. All but one of their wines is a single-fruit wine and they are not sickly sweet – so don’t worry! Selling both table wines and fortified wines, they are located about 20 minutes west of Port Douglas. So stock up on your favourites and head off in your Cairns rental car to your next destination!

6.    Daintree Ecolodge

Nestled in the heart of the World Heritage Daintree Rainforest, the Daintree Ecolodge offers accommodation (in their 15 treehouses), as well as a bar and timber decked rainforest restaurant. Stay overnight or for a weekend, even just drop in for lunch – this is a pristine environment that helps you reconnect with nature at its most primeval. So once you have parked your Cairns car rental, why not take a seat at a table overlooking the lagoon, check out the waterfall and swimming hole and relax over a meal of organic, healthy food? Located 90 minutes north of Cairns, this eco retreat and spa is the perfect way to idle away a few hours on your road trip - you will even enjoy the drive to get there!

7.    Croc Xpresso Café

If you want good honest food on your road trip, then you must stop at the Croc Xpresso Café located in Daintree Village. Serving great coffee and awesome burgers and pies, this is good old Aussie tucker at its best! Stop in early for breakfast or grab something awesome for lunch – maybe check out their croc burger! Portions are huge and their barramundi and chips is a legend! If you hire a car rental in Cairns, Australia and take a road trip to the Daintree, you can’t do better than putting your feet up and enjoying a light snack at the Croc Xpress Café.

Look out for the Top 7 food stops for your road trip in the Atherton Tablelands in Part 2!

For more information on car rentals in Cairns, call us on 0447 809 899 today!



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Cairns Luxury Car Hire is the longest running premium car rental company in Far North Queensland & Cairns inc Port Douglas. We specialise in luxury sports, muscle and elite car rentals, wedding cars, tours & corporate car hire services
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