Last Friday, Peta, Ned and I enjoyed a great day out at The Ginger Factory. Located in Yandina (literally 10 mins up the road from my home), we’d heard that they had stepped up their game and that it really was a local attraction with a difference.
As a lifelong Sunshine Coaster, I’d visited The Ginger Factory over 25 years ago and remembered the factory vaguely, but was looking forward to seeing how it had grown into a popular local tourist attraction.
We arrived shortly before lunch time and Ned was inconveniently asleep, so Peta and I sat down to enjoy a nice meal in Gingers Cafe
, along with a pretty decent ginger beer. They’re licensed too, so we’re definitely planning on enjoying a glass or three there one sunny afternoon soon!
I chose the Signature Burger, with homemade beef pattie, bacon, lettuce, cheese, tomato and caramelised ginger onions.
My classic Ginger Beer was super refreshing, and Peta’s Ginger Beer and Pear would be perfect with a dash of vodka in Summer – just sayin’.
Along with a HUGE outdoor covered area to sit and supervise the children in the fenced playground, Gingers Cafe also had some comfy and more relaxed seating areas.
By the time we finished our lunch, the Nedlet was awake and desperate to play on the play equipment. He had a little run around to burn off the post-sleepiness, then we strolled a short distance to the 100-year old restored cane train named Moreton
. I thought the little Thomas-the-Tank-Engine-loving kid would’ve been keen as a bean for this, but no. It was grumpypants on for the first half of the loop journey around the Ginger Factory grounds, and only once the train driver threw out bread scraps for the chickens and ducks to flock around did he begin to smile again!
Let me off!
He can be a reluctant man when the camera comes out; no idea why though, when his cheeks are that cute!
Ducks! Chickens! Flashing train lights!
Now, the visit wasn’t all for Ned, as Peta and I wanted to experience some of the more grown-up tours that The Ginger Factory offers. Our gracious host Kathy was very understanding of our slightly shortened attention span (due to chasing a small person around), and gave us shortened tours of both Super Bee
and The Ginger Story
. These two educational tours include tasting of honey and ginger respectively, and also give the full story behind such important ingredients that pretty much all of us use regularly in the kitchen.
Visitors are encouraged to feel the temperature of the wall hives – it’s incredible to feel the warmth that the busy workers create where they’re bustling around, then slide your hand up the glass to feel the much cooler area where the bees store the honey.
This is such a great space for the beekeepers to give their presentations, airy and light and full of the hum of bees working hard!
As a sidenote: I am crazy passionate about the importance of bees to humans. This little insect that works so tirelessly and quietly around us certainly is one of the main reasons for the possibility of human development on earth. Without them, the development of life on earth as we know it now, would have been much different and the conditions for human development may not have existed. These conditions are the appearance of the flower bearing plants and pollinators such as bees, being the crown jewel of the pollinators. The appearance of pollinators such as bees, and flower-bearing plants, and humans are all an interconnected series of events over an enormous amount of time. You know what? I think I’ll write a nice little blog post soon on my thoughts on these great little creatures.
Peta and Ned checking out the factory floor – the workers were great, looking up and waving to Ned to make him smile!
These 69 enormous tanks are full of ginger and syrup, all being processed into different products.
The Ginger Story tour took us to a viewing room high over the factory floor, with displays of vintage ginger product that the region has produced over the years.
Now this was a walk down memory lane… these Merrybud products are the exact brand and packaging of ginger and marmalade my grandfather used to love.
Peta and I then hit the Overboard ride
with little Ned.
Think Disneyland’s It’s a Small World boat ride on a search for the cheeky Gingerbread Man who has run away from some dastardly cooks!The ride features brightly costumed audio-animatronic dolls from all over the world, and some pretty funny moments that kids will love to hunt down. Ned loved this ride so much, and Peta and I had some great laughs too… so much so that when we floated up the end, we asked our host to let us go around again!
Is it just me, or are boat rides always the best?
He was the happiest fellow in all the Gingerbread lands.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… those cheeks.
Because the lighting in this ride is set up to showcase the dioramas you’re floating past, it doesn’t make for great photos of your kidlets, but I couldn’t NOT share this one of Ned. He enjoyed pointing out so much stuff to us, and his little excited face is my favourite.
The obligatory ride photo… well, at least Ned looks cute.
After such a big day, Ned was ready for an icecream and a little run around at the playground, so we all enjoyed icecream cones from the Bliss Icrecreamery. I chose a delicious ginger and macadamia, but there were other ginger combination flavours as well as the standards.
What’s a day out with Peta and I without an outfit photo or two? I went for a casual and comfy look, knowing that I’d be pretty active playing with Ned, so mixed high street and department store finds for a Canadian tuxedo, wearing French Connection jeans and hat, Target Belle Curve denim shirt and Country Road sandals (similar here).
After experiencing a day at The Ginger Factory, I think it’d be a wonderful day out for locals and visitors alike. I’d love to bring our out-of-state relatives here, there’s something for everyone from the littlies needing a safe toddler playground, a more challenging version for the tweens, plenty of rides to keep them occupied and great cafe with garden walks for the parents and grandies to enjoy.
Thank you very much to Kathy, Bonnie and The Ginger Factory team for giving the three of us the opportunity to enjoy such a great day together, and plenty of sweet and funny photos to look back on!