For forty years the Ginger Factory has been one of the Sunshine Coast’s largest tourist attractions, with its ginger product productions, stunning gardens, bee keeping, honey production, shopping and fun educational tours, it has something to keep everyone entertained. After hearing people bleat on about it I finally decided to visit and see what all the fuss was about. My wife was quite excited, being a huge fan of everything ginger – Ginger Beer, Ale, snaps and adding it to just about every meal she cooks. As for myself, I was more excited to get a closer look at their vintage train and stunning gardens, and of course the evil side of me hoped to play witness to an escaped swarm of bees chasing their keeper around the park, from a safe distance of course. The devil on my shoulder was disappointed, no escaped bees this time, but the rest of me was very satisfied with our visit.
There are a number of tours on offer at the factory and we immediately jumped into a group for the ginger production facilities. It was educational and interesting to watch the whole process, but the best part for us was the smell of all that ginger, it was so strong, amazing. Following the tour we joined a group preparing to take the train ride through the gardens. It was a beautiful old train in great condition. I took some pictures of the train, mortifying my wife, as kids and adults alike wondered aloud what that weird man was doing lying on the ground, then bounding up onto rocks and into trees searching for the best angles. The staff quickly put a stop to it, much to my dismay and my wife’s relief. We clambered aboard, my wife took a seat near the front and sparked up a conversation about the gardens while I took my place at the back so I could happily snap my way through the ride. It was relaxing and enjoyable, a nice cool breeze made its way through the trees and flowers. It created a subtle shudder of movement through the plants, tossing their colours around and mixing them together to create a very memorable display. There was one final ride offered at the Ginger Factory that we chose against, not for any particular reason, it’s more for the kids, the ‘Overboard’ attraction. It’s a short boat-themed ride through a world of puppets and ginger fantasy tales, with the Gingerbread man himself. The kids definitely seemed to enjoy the ride, but it simply wasn’t for us.
We decided to take a lunch break before hitting the ‘Ginger Village’ and its boutique stores. The ‘Ginger Café’ boasted a sophisticated and tantalizing menu that didn’t disappoint. The food was fresh, beautifully presented and eloquently crafted into delectable meals. We sat, bellies full and satisfied, among the surrounding gardens in a delightfully relaxed venue, taking our time with some coffees before heaving ourselves out of our chairs and onwards. We slowly waddled into the heritage style village of ‘Ginger Town’. Like the rest of the ‘Ginger Factory’ there was much more to the village than just ginger products, although we did pick up a number of these. Temptations on offer included a wide range of porcelain, hand crafted dolls at ‘The Dolls Cottage’, a wide range of alternative health and well-being products at the ‘Herbs and Scents’ store and ‘Granny’s Macadamia Kitchen’. As a big fan of macadamias I went nuts here, if you’ll pardon the pun. They had just about every macadamia product you could ever want and I soon spent most of my dosh on stuffing as many treats as I could into my wife’s handbag. In addition to the stores are the ‘Blue Koala Lodge’ and ‘Gingertown Motor Garage’ but unfortunately we ran out of time to visit them all and explore them as fully as we’d have liked.
All and all a fantastic day out, particularly for young families and ginger nuts, and I will probably visit again myself, if only to stock back up on nuts and crisps and classic ginger beers. For more information on the ‘Ginger Factory’ visit their site here.