Affectionately known as Australia's fruit bowl, it's no secret that Queensland tops the list as one of the country's most prominent agricultural hubs – but fresh produce isn't its only draw card. Boasting Australia's finest cattle, thousands of acres of lush farmland and one of the world's most diverse off-shore ecosystem to boot, this self-sustaining state has a little bit of everything. Whether you're a fine-food connoisseur or simply want to get a taste of the Tropical North, we've got Queensland's best points of call for pathfinding foodies.
Ready to eat your way through the Sunshine State? Grab a car hire in Brisbane and discover the best places to grab a bite in this bona fide foodie paradise.
If the household name of this quaint country town didn't give it away, visitors to Bundaberg are in for a sweet surprise. One of Queensland's largest producers of sugar cane, this township's claim to fame is its ingenious use of excess molasses to produce some of Australia's finest barrel-aged rum and carbonated beverages. Also known for growing macadamia nuts by the field full, there'll be no shortage of salty bar snacks to wash down your "Bundy" rum and fresh-brewed ginger beer should hunger strike on a stopover.
If farm fresh produce and grass-fed beef are your mainstays, you'll find yourself right at home in Rockhampton. Home to more than 2.5 million cattle, Australia's Beef Capital often feels more Texas than Tropical North Queensland – but that's exactly how the locals like it. Saddle up in your cowboy boots and mosey your way through the Rockhampton Heritage Village Markets where you can grab a choice cut of beef and all the seasonal trimmings under one roof. Rather have your steak served tableside? Opt for one of Rockhampton's legendary steakhouses, where Australia's finest red meat comes complete with ocean views.
One for the fruit and vegetable fans, this coastal town is the epicentre of fresh produce in Queensland. Proudly donning the title of Australia's Mango Growing Capital (with the token giant mango statue to prove it), visitors to Bowen aren't limited to this yellow-fleshed fruit. Call into one of the roadside stalls to sample just-picked lychees, pineapples and avocados, or fill your own basket at one of the town's traditional farm stays.
Not only where the Great Barrier Reef meets the rainforest, this coastal hinterland is also an intersection of all things indulgent. Weave through the leafy canopy of the Daintree and you'll soon stumble upon a wonderland of artisan producers as well-versed in winemaking as they are in coffee roasting. A perfect pit stop for those who've had their fill of Queensland's fresh produce, travellers can fuel their foodie journey at the renowned Coffee Works café and roasterie before filling the boot with a selection of the region's finest cheeses, chocolates and dessert wines.
Back on Queensland's coastline, Port Douglas takes full advantage its proximity to the world's largest reef bed to bring its residents the freshest seafood in the state. Take a cue from the locals and try a fresh-caught mud crab Singapore chilli style or opt for any number of the exotic species of fish and shellfish that call the shores of Far North Queensland home – from the highly-coveted Moreton Bay bug to the crowd-pleasing coral trout.
If you don't have time for a full-on foodie tour, make a beeline for Brisbane. A melting pot of cuisines bursting with the colours and flavours of Queensland's fertile land and sea, this cosmopolitan centre is quickly making a name for itself as one of the country's hottest dining destinations. From the aptly named Eat Street Markets to the fine-dining establishments of South Bank, there's something to please every palate in this culinary capital.
Craving a food-filled adventure? Pick up a car hire at the Brisbane Airport and sample Queensland's best eats straight from the source.