Are these the Tableland’s top sips? Alison and Peter Huth do the hard yards to find out

Mareeba is a country town, and a very good one at that. We only really had one day to check it out, but that was enough to realise how lovely it was, and friendly the people were.

We are not alone in loving coffee–good coffee, freshly ground and with character. I know you can get carried away with it and have notes of this and after tastes of that, sounds like a wine really. However, good coffee is important and they grow a lot of coffee in Far North Queensland.



There are quite a few specialty places in Mareeba to sample coffee but we had to decide on two. Our first one was Coffee Works, and they have excellent coffee. I had an iced coffee, and the coffee shone through. You could taste it with every mouthful. Robust is the best description. Peter had a double shot with cold milk on the side. His eyebrows went up on the first sip and that said it all. Plus, I had a small but exquisite ice-cream which was full of coffee flavour – real coffee too.

There is a huge gift shop here with all things to do with coffee, tea, and life in general. I resisted the temptation to do some early Christmas shopping, it was only April and we are in our van.


Second stop was Skybury, it’s a bit out of town, but well worth the trip. They don’t just concentrate on coffee here, they also grow Red Papaya which they incorporate in a lot of dishes from their kitchen.

The coffee here was smooth, very smooth. I didn’t get the jolt that some coffee gives, but the more I drank the more the coffee effect happened. Delicious.

We ate here too, Peter had a Reubens Sandwich and I went with an Eggs Bene. I didn’t have much to choose from because–well–I don’t like Papaya, but I did enjoy my Eggs Bene, and the servings are generous to say the least.


Every town seems to have one these days, and they all seem to have gin. I need to say that I am not a gin drinker. It has never been on my list of things to drink. However, we are tourist and tourists go to Distilleries, so we went to Mt Uncle Distillery. We had a four glass sampling tray, with three gins and one rum. The first two gins (Botanic Australis Navy Strength and Botanic Australis Northern Gem) were not too bad–I know, and this from a non gin drinker. I knew they were gin, but the flavour was anything but the old Gordons Gin. The third gin was Botanic Australis Bushfire Smoked Gin, and I dipped out on that.

However, I did give the FNQ Rum Co Iridium GoldRum a go, and it was decidedly rum and decidedly worth drinking. The distillery is really well set up and a pleasure to spend some time there sampling their range.


We had to do a little shopping in town, and Mareeba has everything you need. People are very friendly and helpful too. We had a wonderful time in Mareeba, and as we all seem to say too often, if I had known how good it was I would have stayed longer. Mareeba deserves longer and there are more coffee places to try!