Charley’s Chocolate Factory – Mission Beach
We recently enjoyed Charley’s Chocolate Tour near Mission Beach in tropical Far North Queensland.
Charley’s Chocolate Factory started up in 2011.
Chris and Lynn, the owners, believe that cocoa farms in tropical Far North Queensland are a great new initiative.
They bought a run-down banana farm and discovered everything they could about worldwide cocoa production.
They’re growing a range of South Pacific seed varieties at the moment.
By using their beans, cocoa butter (from Venezuela) and local sugar, they’re starting to supply top quality Australian grown and manufactured chocolate.
As well as the agricultural side of the business, Chris and Lynn have been astute enough to recognise the opportunity to show off their successes to visitors.
Charley’s Chocolate Tours
Charley’s Chocolate Tours offer tourists and visitors the chance to be part of an entire chocolate experience.
We learned the history of chocolate over the last 3800 years, and found out how Chris and Lynn moved to FNQ and established this unique venture.
We then toured the farm, starting with the seeds that are planted to grow the trees and the nursery and hardening-off hot houses.
The tour then took us out to the fields to see the espaliered trees growing on specially formed trellises.
Then came the next part of the tour – discovering how it is that the ripe cocoa pods are transformed into the chocolate bars that we all enjoy.
Secrets of the chocolate making process were revealed by cleverly using small pieces of equipment to show us on a small scale just what goes on in chocolate factories.
We were able to follow each step to see (and to sample) the cocoa as it moves down the production line.
Then came what many of us thought was the best part – sampling a range of pure chocolates all made using the same recipe.
The tasting samples were from a number of regional sources, and we could compare the subtle differences between one product and another.
We then had the chance to buy a range of chocolate products as well as some delicious dried tropical fruit from a local producer.
An enjoyable “farm lunch” is also included in the cost of the tour.
Our group came away feeling that the tour was an entertaining, educational and enriching experience.
We all knew a lot more about chocolate than any of us had on arrival.
We can’t recommend Charley’s Chocolate Tours highly enough for visitors to tropical Far North Queensland’s Cassowary Coast.
To find out more, please visit: charleys.com.au