By Laura Rancie.
Nearly five years ago I moved my family from the bustling thrill of living in the inner-city suburbs of Melbourne to chilled out Gold Coast. Tropical Fruit World was probably one of the first tourist destinations that hit my radar – but what I discovered was far beyond a tourist attraction.
This is not a promoted post – it is the genuine appreciation and awe I have of this incredible slice of Northern NSW region, Duranbah.
Tropical Fruit World is more than a tourist attraction and more than a commercial farm, it is a labour of love, a fruit farm of inimitable value. Complete with a biological sustainable horticulture philosophy, this family-owned heritage business takes seriously its custodianship of the land as seeks to educate, share and unlock nature’s secrets with visitors, community and family alike.
Upon first arriving, kids can play in the playground and massive sandpit while you grab a quick coffee as you wait for your open carriage to arrive, led by a massive tractor. From here you’ll tour the working farm's 215 acres, in a captivating journey through lush tropical landscapes of exotic fruits, farm animals, trees and fruits from around the world. There are more than 500 varieties of fruit on the farm, which have been collected from every continent and many different altitudes across the globe!
Now and then you’ll stop to hand crack a macadamia, pick bananas off the tree and sample sapotes or whatever in-season fruit is being harvested that day. You’ll drive past the bee farm and take in the awe-inspiring vistas of the coastline to the majestic silhouette of Mount Warning (Wollumbin).
Along the way, a stop is made at ‘fantasy island’ where you can walk across to the farm animals. From here, you’ll take a guided tour down the river on a gondola while white ducks and geese straight out of the film, The Notebook, swim alongside.
Unarguably, the highlight is being completely immersed in such raw tropical lush beauty in every direction. Being able to be guided through, but also stop at leisure to sample – is refreshing.
The tour concludes with an immersive fruit-tasting show where the expert guide takes you to an open-air hall to educate the group on what is currently in season, fruit pairings and recipe suggestions and of course…delicious tastings.
For those who may have already experienced the award-winning farm previously (over and over again), will soon be able to journey deeper into the jungle with an enriching, hands-on farm workshop. Topics include sustainable farming to the art of growing your own fruit trees and uncovering tips from seed to harvest. Check the website for upcoming details.
There is of course a mouth-watering café onsite featuring fruity handmade gelato right in front of your eyes. Keep an eye out for sneaky little animals roaming freely – after all, you are deep in the lushness of a tropical working farm.
On our last visit a snake was sunbathing in the rafters above us, which made the afternoon all the more exciting! There’s a great retail space where you can purchase organic and handmade products plus a fruit shop and nursery and if that’s not enough, Tropical Fruit World hosts a Saturday farmers market from 8am to 11am.