• Thu. May 12th, 2022

Tropic Now Let’s Drive South: Mission Beach Travel Guide

ByKeith M. Jones

Mar 25, 2022

Tropic recommends…Hospitality on the farm

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

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

It has become a favorite among locals passing through, drawn by the beautiful local fresh fruits and vegetables, fantastic coffee, delicious toast, homemade ice cream and much more.

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

“We want to make it a fun and educational space and people walk away saying ‘wow,'” said Aaron Gallagher – one of Gallagher’s two sons. Tropic.

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

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

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

Pumpkin, watermelon, vanilla and dragon fruit are some of the crops already on site, and the family is doing riparian replanting along the property’s freshwater stream.

The exterior is also home to cows and water buffaloes, which visitors can interact with.

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

“If you are there early in the morning, you can see the animals feeding on molasses and hay.”

Inside is a gourmet paradise, entirely focused on what is produced locally.

“We have all the local produce from silkwood pepper to chocolate, vanilla and locally made chutneys, sauces and jerkys,” Aaron said.

“Plus, there’s arguably the best cup of tea on the Bruce Highway, whether it’s cappuccino, brewed chai, dragon fruit smoothie as well as a gourmet selection of toast, cakes and sweets.

You can also pick up the finest locally handcrafted products, ranging from jewelry to native wooden pieces.

Find the family and all their goodies at 60840 Bruce Hwy, Friday Pocket – just past the Mission Beach exit if you’re heading south.

CONTINUED: @thepocketelarish