Coconut Odyssey – Australia’s Only Coconut Tour
On the Great Barrier Reef Drive between Cairns and Port Douglas, where the Coral Sea meets forest-clad mountains, is a Coconut Odyssey Tour that will take you deep into the world of the humble coconut.
Available for in-house guests staying at Thala Beach Nature Reserve, the tour is held approx. three times each week and is complimentary.
The Coconut Odyssey Tour takes guests through the life cycle of coconuts, known as the Tree of Life. With almost 700 coconut palms in Thala’s plantation, our coconut guide covers the history of coconuts and its usage worldwide with no coconut left unturned. Coconuts have been described as a miracle food and you’ll find out why during this tour.
Coconuts have been attributed with numerous health benefits, from preventing cancer to banishing cellulite. They are highly nutritious and rich in fibre, vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6 and minerals including iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous.
Classed as a fruit which is often mistaken for being a nut, the coconut is actually a one-seeded drupe. In Sanskrit, the coconut palm is known as kalpa vriksha: ‘tree which gives all that is necessary for living.’ Virtually all parts of the coconut can be used: water, milk, flesh, sugar and oil. Even the husks and leaves are used as materials in furnishings and decoration or as firewood. Palm trees produce coconuts up to 13 times a year and although it takes a year for the coconuts to mature, a fully blossomed tree can produce between 60-180 coconuts in a single harvest.
Furthermore, coconuts grow in the sand, need no fertilizer, and don’t need to be genetically modified. With the fruit growing so high in the tree, it’s difficult for pests to affect the fruit and so pesticides are not required.
Coconut water vs Coconut Milk
What’s the difference? We’re glad you asked. Coconut water is the clear liquid found in young green coconuts. It’s best drunk by drilling a hole into the coconut, inserting a straw into the soft husk and drinking immediately.
Coconut milk and coconut cream are created similar to their dairy counterparts. Coconut flesh (the white part) is grated and soaked in hot water. The coconut cream then rises to the top and is skimmed off. The remaining liquid is filtered through a fine cloth, with the liquid being coconut milk.
Once you’ve checked into Thala Beach Nature Reserve, check with Reception when the next Coconut Odyssey tour is being held.