History, innovation and sustainability are all on show at Australia’s newest macadamia attraction.
The macadamia industry has grown five-fold in Bundaberg over the last twenty years and it is now the country’s largest producing region. The Steinhardt family has been at the forefront of this growth. They recently opened a visitor experience centre adjacent to their new cracking facility that tells their farming story, as well as that of the Bundaberg region.
The new Macadamias Australia visitor experience
Located on the road into Bundaberg, the Macadamias Australia orchard has always hosted a farm gate stall to give both visitors and locals an opportunity to purchase nuts directly from the farm. When planning to build a new cracking plant it made sense to create a space where visitors to the farm could experience more than just a taste of their fine produce.
Nestled in the working orchard, the new visitor centre showcases the versatility of the macadamias they grow. Walking in, visitors can look upwards through skylights that provide views of the beautiful macadamia tree canopy above. ‘Totem poles’ made from macadamia wood dominate the room, giving guests an outline of the family’s history in the Bundaberg region. In fact, most of the exquisite interior is also finished with beautifully-grained macadamia wood. The organic, flowing shapes of macadamia nuts and leaves surround guests as they explore the interactive displays which tell the history of macadamias and how sustainability plays a key role in the industry.
More than just a taste test
Of course the best way to enjoy macadamias is to taste them and this new centreadds much to that simple experience. Guests can take a self-guided interactive tour of the orchard outside, gather a few nuts and crack them at one of the cracking stations. Those who want a less energetic tasting experience can enjoy a guided tasting of the single origin macadamias produced by the farm.
Visitors seeking more substantial refreshment can choose from the delicious macadamia treats served in the Orchard Table Cafe, including locally made macadamia gelato and other seasonal fresh and local produce for which the Bundaberg Region is renowned. On the way out guests can purchase macadamia nuts as well as macadamia skincare, jams and sauces made from local ingredients, and internationally-renowned husque bowls made by Australian artisan Marc Harrison using ground macadamia shells.
The Macadamias Australia Visitor Experience actually even runs on macadamia power. The leftover super-hard shells from the cracking plants are burnt on site in a low oxygen environment to create biochar, a high-carbon fertiliser for the orchard. This process generates heat to dry the macadamias, but also electricity to keep the lights on in the visitor centre. It’s just one of the sustainability initiatives showcased by this fantastic new facility.
To learn more about Australia’s newest macadamia attraction, including how to get there, visit Macadamias Australia.