A family holiday or a weekend trip with your friends wouldn’t be complete without good food, and lots of it. Fortunately, Australia’s East Coast, aside from its gorgeous beaches, scenic landscapes, and pristine parks, is also known for its lush farms and food factories. From nuts and chocolates to ginger and dairy products, the East Coast has a lot to offer. If you’re thinking of other ways to spend your next weekend, check out these top destinations and see why a food factory tour should be included in your itinerary.

The Ginger Factory (Yandina, QLD)

familyImage by www.tui.in

Considered as the biggest operating ginger factory in the world, the Ginger Factory has a lot to offer aside from the usual food tour. It’s a factory located inside a ginger-themed tourist park, so expect plenty of fun rides and attractions. Start the day with a tour on how ginger is grown and manufactured into a variety of goods such as ginger coffee, candies, and herbal products. Then hop on into the Ginger Train, a cane train that takes you on a relaxing tour through the theme park’s beautiful gardens. End the day with a shopping spree at Ginger Town, and take home a couple of porcelain dolls and ginger candies for the kids.

Phillip Island Chocolate Factory (Phillip Island, VIC)
chocolate factoryIf you’re a chocoholic, then you’re going to love the Phillip Island Chocolate Factory. For an unforgettable holiday, check out Pannys Amazing World of Chocolate. Kids and kids-at-heart can push buttons, pull levers, and watch interactive exhibits as they learn how the humble cocoa bean turns into a delicious slab of chocolate goodness. You also get to create your own chocolate and eat it. The tour wouldn’t be complete without a yummy treat at the Pannys Chocolate Cafe. Give in to your sweet cravings and order a chocolate fondue, a cup of hot choco, or a small plate of truffles.

Maleny Dairies (Maleny, QLD)

cow kidsImage by www.malenydairies.com

For your weekend dose of dairy products, head to Maleny Dairies, a local farm and factory that manufactures fresh milk-based products. The tour starts with a visit to the animal pen where you can pet the baby cows. After a brief talk about the dairy’s history, you’ll see how the cows are milked and where the milk is processed. The tour ends with a free sample of the farm’s delicious products. If there’s enough time, school kids can join a Q&A and play games as they learn more about how dairy products are processed and packaged.

Nutworks (Yandina, QLD)

chocolateImage by www.fly2food.blogspot.com

For a nutty weekend, Nutworks is the place to be. This macadamia nut processing factory started out as a small business and is now a huge company that supplies the local and international demand for macadamia nuts. Aside from its macadamia treats, it also manufactures chocolate products, dried fruits, and organic cosmetic goods. The factory isn’t really open to public, but they do offer viewing areas at the factory’s retail store. In these viewing areas, you get to see up close how macadamia nuts are processed. Chocolate roasting rooms are also open for viewing, giving you a glimpse on how Nutworks makes its delicious chocolate-covered macadamia nuts and other chocolate treats. The highlight of the trip is the free macadamia tasting at the retail store. The counter is filled with small tubs of flavoured macadamia, with flavours ranging from smoked hickory, wasabi, and even sour cream & onion.

When planning a factory tour or viewing trip, make sure to check the factory’s schedule first because some tours are only available on certain days. Book a time weeks before your planned visit, especially if it’s the peak season. Don’t forget to book a cheap car hire and discover the best local treats through a self-drive trip.