Writing for pleasure to showcase the best Australia has on offer.
Published October 23rd 2017
Day Trip, Take a Tour, Enjoy Lunch at Nunyara
Wikipedia states that fossil evidence indicates the olive tree to have its origins dating back 20-40 million years ago in the Oligocene region with the plant first found cultivated in the Mediterranean region around 7,000 years ago. What we know for sure these days is that olives and their by-products are enjoyed the world over for their range of flavours and versatility.
Just three hours drive from Brisbane on the Cunningham Highway, you will come across Nunyara near Inglewood and home to the Coolmunda Organic Olives. Coolmunda Organic Olives is a family run business where brothers, sisters, grandchildren and cousins all take part in the production line.
Photo courtesy of Coolmunda Olive Farm
Over 9,000 trees are hand-planted each season of which all are hand-pruned and hand-picked for processing. Being different from other olives producers, their main focus is on the fruit rather than the yield, therefore quality over quantity. Also, Coolmunda Organic Olives is the only grove in the State to have Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) accreditation for their environmentally sustainable growing practices with a view of picking the very best olives. The fruit not destined for the table is then produced into premium quality extra virgin olive oil.
The climate around Inglewood with scorching summers and frosty winters is typically Mediterranean and allows Coolmunda to experiment with different types of olives. Varieties planted include Spanish Arbequinas and Manzanilos, Greek Kalamatas and Volos, Cypriate Koronieki and North African Barouni, which all thrive in our Australian soil. Irrigation for the trees is taken from Lake Coolmunda from where the name of the property is derived.
My knowledge of Coolmunda Organic Olives came from a recent bus trip to the property where a guided walk around the property with lunch included was provided by one of the owners. Tours are available Monday to Friday from 9.00am to 2.00pm, coach tours need to be booked in advance so catering can be arranged and weekend tours are by appointment only. Please ring Katie on 0418 747 715 or email email@example.com to make your arrangements.
Scrumptious meals at Coolmunda Olive Farm (Author's Photo)
If you have booked lunch or morning tea, you can partake in a tour and taste testing for $5.00 per person.
Morning Tea is $10.00 per person. This includes a mezze platter with a selection of olives, dips, meat and crisps or heated bread
Lunch is at a cost of $30.00 per person and includes an entrée of olives and dips, quiche pie or local gourmet sausages and salad for mains and a fruit and cheese platter for dessert. Gluten-free options are available if you advise before arrival.
Soft drinks are available for purchase for $2.00 each or you can BYO alcohol.
Coffee & Tea on request.
I thought I had never been a fan of olives, however, that thought was quickly diminished by tasting Coolmunda semi-dried olives. A shop is available on the property and my purchase certainly contained a packet of their semi-dried variety. A list of stockists of the Coolmunda Organic Olives can be located on their website.
Photo courtesy of Coolmunda Olive Farm
A children's playground and labyrinth has been built on the property with the labyrinth being the vision of Gesine and Dr Colin Owen. Originally Gesine had envisaged natural sclerophyll foliage used in the building make-up but decided to use bamboo instead as it does not carry disease, it bends and does not break, as well as purifying the air of carbon monoxide. Being designed and built by Madeline Brandt who had helped construct a bamboo igloo as part of her Batchelor of Design-Landscape Course, the Nunyara Labyrinth comprises of two interconnected, half globe shaped durable structures and it is fun for both children and adults to meander in and out of its paths.
Not to be outdone by others, Coolmunda has an amazing bathroom complete with coloured toilet paper and a massive aluminium trough in the middle of the restroom for washing your hands. I was very impressed with the construction of the restroom and attention to detail that went into every aspect to give the visitor a unique experience.