Creating magic with some of the country’s most succulent tropical fruits
Besides its stunning natural scenery, the Daintree region in Queensland is also home to a bevy of local makers that are creating culinary magic – be it chocolate, ice cream, fortified liqueurs or full-on five-star degustation menus – out of its native produce. The area’s nutrient-rich soil and waters provide the perfect fodder for cultivating incredible crops: including vibrant and flavour-filled tropical fruits such as zesty jackfruit, velvety soursop and creamy chocolate pudding fruit.
One of the most stunning tropical fruits grown here is the Davidson plum, which many are predicting could soon overtake acai berries as the next great superfood. Besides packing a tart punch, the fruit is rich in potassium, Vitamin E and zinc –essential nutrients required for glowing skin.
While eating it au naturel is akin to devouring a mouth-puckering lemon, mixing it into ice cream – like they do at the Daintree Ice Cream Company – guarantees some of the best sorbet outside of Italy, with none of the fruit’s natural acidic taste.
Located half an hour from Cape Tribulation, the Daintree Ice Cream Company churns out colourful, delicious and inventive ice cream flavours using tropical fruits grown on the 22-acre property’s organic orchards. “I feel incredibly lucky when I am walking around my property, when it’s just me and the fruit trees. There’s no place I’d rather be,” says owner Dave Mainwaring.
“It’s capturing that fruit at the perfect moment of ripeness,” he says of the secret to producing his tasty treats. Forget standard supermarket offerings such as vanilla or hokey pokey: the innovative flavours here are derived by blending different tropical fruits – including canistel, soursop, black sapote (chocolate pudding fruit) and Davidson plums – with fresh, high-quality Jersey milk from local cows. “We really hero that fruit we use (from) the property, and that is complemented by the other amazing local produce we can get nearby,” Mainwaring adds. “This is the place for me, and I’m delivering an experience hopefully that people remember.”
Queenland resident and 2016 MasterChef runner-up Matt Sinclair is among the Daintree Ice Cream Company’s avid fans, and praises the latter for having an ice-cream philosophy that encourages people to “open [their] minds and [their mouths] and expect the unexpected,” he says.
Currently the owner of Sum Yung Guys, a trendy modern Asian restaurant in Noosa, Sinclair has put together a mouth-watering dessert recipe that showcases the tropical flavours of the Daintree region, which you can find below. Give it a go at home: You can easily recreate it with fruits and ingredients sourced from any supermarket in Singapore.
Why you need to visit the Daintree region
One of Queensland’s best-kept secrets has to be the magical Daintree region, so it should be one of the places on your bucket list if you’re hoping to travel to Australia once leisure travel resumes. As the only place in the world where two stunning Unesco World Heritage Sites – the Daintree Rainforest, which straddles Cape Tribulation, as well as the Great Barrier Reef – meet, the area is a haven for Australia’s native flora and fauna, and is an alluring destination for those looking to reconnect with nature.
The Daintree Rainforest itself is one of the oldest and most biologically diverse in the world. Thought to be over 135 million years old, it is filled with ancient ferns, emerald-hued vines and lush canopies. Fun fact: the rainforest’s stunning landscapes even provided inspiration for the movie Avatar.
Visitors will be spoilt for choice with a range of exciting activities. You can choose to cruise along the meandering Daintree River, which will allow you to get up close and personal with the area’s wildlife (keep an eye out for crocodiles); learn more about the region’s origins and biodiversity at the Daintree Discovery Centre; or embark on various walking tours that will take you right into the heart of the ancient rainforest.
Beyond the rainforest, there are plenty of other natural wonders to uncover. The sandy shores of Cape Tribulation are perfect for beach picnics or horseback riding. Avid snorkelers and scuba divers can also explore the colourful corals and exciting marine life – including white-tip reef sharks, squid, parrot fish, stingrays and octopus – of the world-famous Great Barrier Reef.
To visit the Daintree region, fly direct into Brisbane airport via Singapore Airlines and take a domestic flight to Cairns airport. From there, pick up a car and embark on the Great Barrier Reef Drive to reach Cape Tribulation and the Daintree region.
Get to know Matt Sinclair
Originally from the suburbs of Sydney, Sinclair comes from a long line of talented home cooks who honed his passion for great food. The laidback young chef became a household name when he participated in Masterchef Australia’s eighth series, eventually coming in second.
After the season wrapped, Sinclair and his best friend decided to fulfil their lifelong dream of owning a food truck and set up a store in the form of a 20-foot shipping container at Eat Street market in Brisbane. The success of their food truck lent them the confidence to build a more permanent business on the Sunshine Coast. In 2017, they welcomed their first guests to Sum Yung Guys, a modern Asian restaurant that continues to be a crowd favourite.
Sinclair sees Queensland as a culinary hotspot and draws inspiration from the region for his menus. “Queensland’s food scene is ever-emerging, with some amazing new establishments in amazing locations, championing the unique produce we’re renowned for,” he says.
Today, Sinclair also runs his own YouTube food channel (Mean Eating) and is an Ambassador for Noosa Tourism.
Covering the north-eastern portion of Australia, Queensland is renowned for its beautiful sandy beaches, with a coastline that spans nearly 7,000km. Brisbane, its capital, is already an attractive destination, thanks to its thriving arts and dining scene, but its accessibility also enables travellers to use it as a hub for scenic road trips through the rest of Queensland.
Within the city, you’ll be spoiled for choice with the growing number of sophisticated dining venues popping up across town. A popular choice is the heritage-listed wharf along the Brisbane River, where you’ll find an eclectic collection of fine-dining establishments, bars and breweries. Even non-descript laneways in the city have been spruced up to house chic cafés and trendy restaurants. To eat like the locals do, pop by Eat Street Northshore, which is the city’s largest street food market and features a mouth-watering array of international cuisines as well as live music entertainment.
Taste of Queensland is a campaign that aims to highlight local produce from Queensland’s famous food bowls. From Sunshine Coast for fresh ocean catch to Outback Queensland, producer of the finest Australian beef, all the way to North Queensland for tropical fruits galore, you can easily (and happily) eat your way around Australia’s second-largest state.
Singapore Airlines ensures its passengers travel safely at every step of their journey. To learn more about the safety measures in place to safeguard the wellbeing of customers and crew, please visit here. For updates and travel advisories, please visit Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website.