We don’t really do a lot of touristy things on the Sunshine Coast (though you can easily take your pick from Aussie World to Sea Life).
But I’m fairly partial to ginger so thanks to a good friend who stayed with us in early August, I’ve now ticked off another item on my must-do-list on the Sunshine Coast: the Buderim Ginger Factory in Yandina.
It’s the largest ginger factory in Australia, and whilst my expectations were probably pretty low, it turned out to be surprisingly good!
A SUNDAY AFTERNOON AT THE GINGER FACTORY
Visiting the Ginger Factory on a Sunday ends up being more of a tell than a show for the obvious reason that the factory is closed. Our main reason for going really was doing the factory tour but plenty of people just take the kids along for a boat ride or to explore the grounds and playgrounds.
Even though the factory is closed on Sundays, I still found it quite interesting.
On the short tour you still learn how ginger is grown, harvested and turned into the various Buderim Ginger products. If you actually want to see the factory in action, make sure you visit during the week though.
Apparently the biggest export markets include the US, UK and, get this, Germany!
I can’t say that I’ve ever seen Buderim Ginger stuff in Germany… [Update Aug 2015: I was so wrong! I’ve since found Buderim Ginger products in a tiny shop near Dresden in Germany!]
I usually prefer my ginger fresh so I’m not really that keen on most of the sweet products. All ‘sweet’ Buderim Ginger products are basically sugar-coated to the max as the ginger sits in a syrupy brine for some days.
That said, I bought some Naked Ginger pieces (ie not coated in extra sugar) but even they have an 80% sugar content! Crazily high and yet the ginger pieces are still spicy and have plenty of kick…
In terms of wholesome, healthy food though… not so much.
Aside from the interesting bits and pieces about how raw ginger ends up as a Buderim Ginger product, what’s great about the tour is the tasting session at the end of the Factory Tour!
Oh, and actually, ask questions, that makes the tour way more interesting, too!
At the tasting session, you don’t just get to taste finished ginger products. They actually make little dishes for you (well, very little dishes but still).
It’s a clever marketing ploy but it also makes for a tasty afternoon snack. The rice crackers with ginger cream were my favourite! I think the husband liked the meatball with ginger sauce best, and they did look very tasty but I didn’t try them myself (instead, he got to have two 🙂 ).
So don’t miss out on this yummy part of the tour by heading off early!
After the tour, we went for a quick walk through the gardens… or if you’re a kid, you could just take the train.
I loved the little animal mosaics along the garden path though I’m not entirely sure about the half-upright kangaroo.
The Buderim Ginger shop obviously has tons of ginger products that you’ll want to buy after the tasting session. 😉 I’d have really liked to buy the Buderim Ginger bears but alas, they contain wheat so are a no-go for me.
The shop also sells the world’s most expensive Manuka honey!
I’m sure if I googled it, I could find honey that’s even more expensive. But seriously, even though Manuka isn’t cheap at the best of times, this has got to be the most expensive honey I’ve ever seen!
Beyond the factory, there are also a few things for kids to do at the Buderim Ginger Factory.
They can hop on the Ginger Train, jump on board the Overboard for a water adventure, or learn more about bees. It should make for a fun, though not necessarily cheap, day out for the whole family. Or grown-up children like me.
Check out the Ginger Factory for details on opening hours, annual ginger festival (usually held in January) and more.
MORE POSTS ON THE SUNSHINE COAST
Being outdoors is obviously the place to be on the Sunshine Coast.
You could visit a few lookouts on the Sunshine Coast or even do some short walks. The Maroochy Bushland Botanic Garden is a lovely tranquil place to get some rest after a busy day or just to have a picnic.