Tropic Now’s travel guide Let’s Drive South: Mission Beach

Tropic Now’s travel guide Let’s Drive South: Mission Beach

 

Tropic recommends…Farm Hospitality

The Pocket is your farm in the tropics, with not only local fresh produce and great coffee, but fantastic paddock-to-plate home-style meals and treats, all set in a nature lover’s paradise.

Long-time farmers the Gallagher family purchased The Pocket near El Arish last year and quickly set about adding their own flair.

It’s become a favourite among locals passing through, drawn by the beautiful fresh local fruit and veggies, fantastic coffee, yummy toasties, home-made ice-cream and so much more.

For visitors it’s a must-do, with the scenery, working farm and locally-made artisanal gifts adding to the experience. There are chooks, resident wild cockatoos, wallabies, cattle and even water buffalo. You might also spot a cassowary, kingfisher or frogmouth owl.

“We want to make it a space that’s enjoyable and educational and people are walking away going ‘wow’,” Aaron Gallagher – one of two Gallagher sons – told Tropic.

“It’s a space where people can connect to nature and understand life on a farm.

“It is incredibly unique, it’s so lush and biodiversity-wise it’s incredibly rich in wildlife and in what you can grow.”

The Gallaghers are planting a range of tropical and exotic fruits, including native species.

Pumpkin, watermelon, vanilla and dragonfruit are among the crops already on site and the family is conducting riparian re-planting along the property’s freshwater creek.

Outside is also home to the cows and water buffalo, which visitors can interact with.

“We really want to hand rear a couple so we can ride and swim with the water buffalo,” Aaron said.

“If you are around early in the morning, you will get to see the animals have a lick of molasses and a feed of hay.”

Inside is a gastronomic paradise, all focused on what’s locally produced.

“We have all the local products ranging from Silkwood pepper to chocolate, vanilla and locally-made chutneys, sauces and jerkys,” Aaron said.

“Plus, there’s arguably the best cuppa on the Bruce Highway, whether it’s cappuccino, brewed chai, dragonfruit smoothie as well as a gourmet selection of toasties, cakes and treats.

You can also pick-up the best quality locally hand-made products ranging from jewellery to native timber pieces.

Find the family and all their delights at 60840 Bruce Hwy, Friday Pocket – just after the Mission Beach turn-off if you’re heading south.

MORE: @thepocketelarish


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