Welcome to Part 2 of our exploration into the best places to stop for a bite on your road trip around Cairns in your rental car. In Part 1, we looked at Port Douglas and the Daintree, so now in Part 2, we are checking out the Atherton Tablelands. So let’s explore all things gastronomic in the far north!
If you want to discover your own piece of Australiana, then you must stop at the Yungaburra Hotel in Yungaburra (also called the Lake Eacham Hotel). Built in 1910 it’s about 90 minutes southwest from Cairns and 12 minutes from Atherton itself. This is Aussie pub food at its best, so you better be hungry because it hearty food! From burgers to fish and chips, rissoles and mash, seafood baskets and roast chicken. Just park up your Cairns rental car, grab a seat and hold on tight!
This iconic Aussie Federation style hotel is located in Tolga, just 90 minutes south west from Cairns and 12 minutes from Atherton. This sleepy little rural town only has a population of just over 2000 souls and is in the centre of the regions peanut country. Surrounded by stunning north Queensland red soil and with a backdrop of volcanic hills and rainforest, you won’t have any problems parking your Cairns hire car. Famous for their reef and beef, crumbed steak, garlic prawns and steak sandwiches, you won’t be leaving the Tolga Hotel hungry!
Not heard of The Humpy? Well, it’s a speciality grocery store located in Tolga selling fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts, chocolates, ice cream, spices, dried mangoes, coffee and much more! It’s a great place to park your Cairns hire car, take a stroll, grab an ice cream and just idle away an hour while stretching your legs. Focussing on local produce, they sell a little bit of everything and if it’s in season – it’s at The Humpy!
When you are on a road trip the distances between one good cup of coffee and another seem to get longer and longer! That’s why it’s such a blessing to know that when you hit Mareeba, you can park up and head to Coffee Works, an espresso bar extraordinaire! Coffee Works is well-known for roasting their own beans, as well as their passion for chocolate. They even have a drive-by so if you can’t stop, just slowdown in your Cairns rental car, grab your coffee and keep on going!
Located on beautiful, lush farmland in Mungalli, quite close to Millaa Millaa and under two hours south west from Cairns lies the Mungalli Biodynamic Café. This café is the original farmhouse that the current owners grew up in and is in the heart of dairy farmland. After taking over running the family farm, two brothers Rob and Danny Watson, decided to change from more traditional farming to biodynamics using no fertilisers or pesticides.
Meals at their café are made from their both locally sourced organic produce, as well as their own biodynamic dairy products. Open from 10am to 4pm with a beautiful backdrop of Mt Bartle Frere (Queensland’s highest mountain), you can park up your Cairns rental car for an hour and treat yourself to a healthy feast. From ploughman’s lunch to savoury spinach and feta cheesecake, local smoked fish pot pie and a Devonshire Tea - you won’t regret a visit to the Mungalli Biodynamic Café.
If you love cheese and chocolate then you must stop at Gallo Dairy Land in Atherton. This locally owned business has an Italian family heritage and is located on their 1000 acre dairy farm. They have a restaurant/café, as well as a cheese factory and they even make their own chocolate. Locals and tourists flock to Gallo Dairy land which is open four days a week (Thursday to Sunday) from 10am to 3pm. Their wholesome menu features fresh farm produce prepared daily and you must try their burgers, big breakfast, Spanish mackerel and cheese platters! It’s definitely worth parking your hire car out front and taking a rest before heading back to your Cairns hotel.
Located in Kuranda, just a hop, skip and a jump from Cairns in your rental car, Frogs Restaurant is a family owned restaurant that has become a bit of a cult with the locals. That’s because it’s famous for holding some of the best live gigs in the area, but you want to hear about the food! So, Frogs Restaurant is open six days a week from 10am to 3pm (closed Tuesdays) and is famous for its crocodile and green mango curry! There’s also kangaroo & emu & crocodile plates to share, as well as pizzas, garlic bread, burgers, bacon & eggs, and even a seasonal Aussie craft beer list. The buzz around Frogs Restaurant continues to grow, so make sure to head in that direction before returning your Cairns hire car at the end of your trip.
For more information on car rentals in Cairns, call us on 0447 809 899 today!