Explore some of the unique wineries in TNQ
Tropical North Queensland (TNQ) is an area well-known for its sandy beaches, beautiful rainforests and tropical animals.
Yet did you know that the region is also home to some spectacular wineries?
Head to TNQ for a weekend getaway and sample wines with a difference, such as a crisp lychee still or a sweet mango sparkling.
Unlike the vineyards in the south, those in the north use tropical fruit to make unique, fresh tasting sensations - something a little different for your tastebuds!
Here are our top three wineries to visit next time you are in TNQ:
Sick of the same old Shiraz or Sauvignon Blanc? You'll definitely find something different at Golden Drop!
This winery uses mangoes as opposed to grapes - and not just any old mangoes, either.
Only the best of the best are suitable for the Golden Drop, and those are Kensington Red mangoes. Known for their sweet flesh, these taste delicious once made into wine!
You can choose from sparkling or still wine, or even sample their unique Mango Port or Mango Cello.
Located a short drive from Mareeba - just an hour from Cairns - the Golden Drop winery is open to the public seven days a week.
If you're an early bird you can swing by as early as 8am. At the latest be sure to arrive mid-afternoon, as the winery closes at 6pm.
Even if you don't love wine, the Golden Drop is still worth a visit. With more than 17,500 mango trees, it is one of the largest mango plantations in Australia.
Drop in to see the rows and rows of golden fruit for yourself!
Murdering Point Winery
Don't be put off by the name - the Murdering Point Winery is definitely worth adding to your itinerary.
Located in Silkwood, in between Cairns and Townsville, the winery is one of the most popular attractions of the Great Tropical Drive, a 2,079 kilometre stretch of road that starts in Cairns and ends up in the Outback.
Like the Golden Drop, Murdering Point Winery also uses tropical fruit to make its concoctions, only they experiment with more than just mangoes.
Take a visit to Murdering Point and you'll be able to taste the fruits of summer. In addition to mangoes, wines are also created from passionfruits, lychees, lemon aspens, Davidson's plums, black mulberries, black sapotes, pineapples and jaboticaba.
For those of you who haven't heard of jaboticaba, this is a dark, purple-black fruit similar to berries that is native to Brazil.
Murdering Point also uses ginger and ginseng to give their wines a distinctly original flavour.
Be sure to make time to visit the winery yourself to taste-test some of these unique blends - it is open seven days.
Shannonvale Tropical Fruit Winery
Yet another one of TNQ's tropical fruit wineries, Shannonvale is located near Port Douglas. If you are staying here, it's well worth renting a car and heading north to this special winery.
While Shannonvale uses similar fruit to Murdering Point, they only make single-fruit wines - no blends!
Whether you fancy mango, lychee, passionfruit, jaboticaba, ginger or pineapple, there is sure to be a flavour to suit your tastebuds.