Another little hinterland town that we love to visit regularly is Yandina. Gone are the days when this little gem was predominantly a timber town, with timber cutters logging bunya pine, cedar and beech from the forests. Today the growth of the Sunshine Coast population has meant that the little town of Yandina has grown too, although its main attraction still remains The Ginger Factory, which relocated to Yandina from Buderim in 1979.
Yandina can be found 112km north of Brisbane, via the Bruce Highway and twenty kilometres inland from Coolum Beach.
The local Aborigines, the Kabi Kabi, called the district around Yandina 'koongalba', which means 'small water' and the early settlers named it Native Dog Flat. This little hinterland town was then named Yandina, after the Yandina cattle run, which was positioned east of Mount Ninderry. According to locals, 'Yandina' is a combination of two local Kabi Kabi words 'yan' meaning 'to go' and 'dinna' meaning 'feet', in other words 'to go by foot.'
We love the quirkiness of old-school Yandina and are constantly on the look-out for somewhere special to have a light lunch and a coffee. And this is how we discovered the totally out-of-the-way Gun Cotton Coffee Roasters. I say 'out-of-the-way' as in, this awesome restaurant is not immediately visible in the main street of Yandina, but rather is slightly tucked away in Railway Street, opposite the train station parking area.
Opening its doors in an industrial-type shed, a year ago, Gun Cotton Coffee Roasters is run by husband and wife team, Corey and Grace Scoble. This speciality small batch coffee roastery duo have been sourcing and roasting speciality coffee for decades, creating new blends and trying new innovations but always ensuring that the coffee they produce is of the highest quality.
Gun Cotton Coffee Roaster's beans are sourced from all over the world, with their signature blends ethically sourced from coffee farms in Uganda, Columbia, Ethiopia and Burundi. With quirky names like '44.Caliber, AK47 and BB Gun Decaf', one has the sense of being transported back in time to Dirty Harry or the Wild, Wild West. All Gun Cotton's coffee is roasted in-house and if you are lucky, you may even catch the roasting in action at the back of the shed. Our personal verdict of the coffee: 10/10, absolutely the best coffee we've ever had on the Sunshine Coast and well worth bookmarking for future repeat visits.
For lunch my adventurous other chose the totally delicious Korean Kicker Salad, with kimchi, Asian slaw, quinoa, capsicum, roasted nori, edamame, sesame fried tofu, served with a miso and ginger dressing ($18). My more-ish Nourish Bowl (also $18) with roasted pumpkin, sweet potato, chilli chickpea, capsicum, feta, mixed green leaves served with a house dressing, proved to be absolutely perfect for a warm summer afternoon.
Supporting local farmers and other local businesses in and around the Sunshine Coast, Gun Cotton Coffee Roasters ensure their fresh and tasty 'all day' menu, created with love by a team of highly skilled chefs, offers patrons a varied and delicious dining experience.
I loved the eclectic style at Gun Cotton Coffee Roasters, boasting a little bit of everything - a little bit of 'old', a little bit of 'contemporary' and a little bit of 'unusual' - an invitation to diners to take an admiring walk around. The 'wait' staff at Gun Cotton Coffee Roasters are called 'Gun Runners', off-centre for sure, but totally appealing to my wacky sense of humour.
The 'Gun Runners' were very attentive and their service was top-notch too!
The Ginger Factory at 50 Pioneer Road produces a large proportion of the world's finest ginger for confectionery and is Yandina's premier tourist attraction. With free entry, the Ginger Factory is a much-loved destination for the young and the young-at-heart.
Nutworks and the Chocolate Factory can be found opposite the Ginger Factory at 37 Pioneer Road, with a totally delectable nut and chocolate gift shop as well as a macadamia nut processing factory.
The Yandina Historic House and Visitor Information Centre is always a treat to visit with their gift shop selling heaps of home-made goodies from local creatives. A small and lovely art gallery is dedicated to local Sunshine Coast artists, with artwork and art pieces available for sale.
If you're feeling particularly energetic, why not tackle Mount Ninderry, one of the easiest climbs of all the summits and doggy on a leash friendly too.