Winners of the fourth series of ‘My Kitchen Rules’ in 2003, Dan & Steph are serious foodies and now they are taking to the road with their new TV Show Travel and Eat with Dan & Steph, exploring their own backyard and meeting the families growing great Aussie produce.
Did you catch their latest episode on Channel 7? Avid followers on social media and want to know more? Join their journey to The Whitsundays, the Heart of the Great Barrier Reef.
First up, the Airlie Beach Lagoon. A massive swimming pool bordered by sandy beach areas and grassy knolls, located within close distance to the main street of Airlie Beach. It is the perfect place to kick off your tropical adventure on the mainland, and the free public Lagoon and surrounding parkland area also feature a children’s splash pool and playground equipment, providing the perfect location for families. There are also several barbeque facilities situated throughout the lagoon’s parklands.
Soaking up the extensive views out over the Coral Sea and Whitsunday Islands Dan & Steph sampled incredible local seafood from FISHI, a family run business established by Matt and Bronwen Calder in 2013. They have branded their local produce as ‘Whitsunday Wild’ and they guarantee that the products are sourced in a sustainable way ensuring the continuity of quality built for their FISHI customers.
After a fresh seafood feed, it was time to make tracks to the Northern jewel in The Whitsundays crown, Bowen. Situated on the shores of Edgecumbe Bay, 45 minutes north of Airlie Beach, this picturesque seaside town is a relaxed beachcomber’s paradise with eight incredible sandy tropical beaches surrounding the town, some with the best fringing reefs lying just a few metres offshore.
The first stopover on any visit to Bowen has to be the Big Mango, located at the Bowen Visitor Information Centre. A great source of information on the Whitsunday region it is also home to the local mango sorbet! Dan & Steph took the opportunity to give their Apollo Motorhome a short break and met with local mango farmer Jenn Honnery who served up the infamous mango sorbet and provided some insight into the Bowen mango, the much loved tropical fruit which is the much loved fruit of Australia during the summer months.
With the remainder of the day still ahead next stop was Horseshoe Bay Resort which would be home for the evening! Located only metres away from award winning Horseshoe Bay, which is home to Bywa, one of the underwater marine sculptures installed in 2019 located along the Ngaro Sea Trail. It also has an entry point to the Cape Edgecumbe Walking Trail, which links the fringing reef beaches of Horseshoe, Murray, and Rose Bays. The whole trail will take approximately one hour return, however as discovered by Dan & Steph a short 10 minute hike takes you to the Rotary scenic lookout over Horseshoe Bay.
Taking advantage of the tropical waters – where the year round water temps are 25 degrees Celsius on average – Dan snorkelled Grays Bay. This picturesque gem boasts azure waters, white sands and is a popular location for water activities. Not to mention, the sunsets are incredible!
After incredible sunsets, and a good night’s rest comes spectacular sunrises and Flagstaff Hill is known for offering 360 degree panorama of Bowen. An idyllic spot to sit and watch the sun pop its head over the horizon, the views encompass the Whitsunday Islands of Gloucester, Middle, Stone, Holbourne and close to shore, North Head Island and its historic lighthouse.
Steph’s brother Justin calls Bowen home and with this the first time Dan & Steph had visited Bowen it seemed the perfect opportunity for a family reunion. Guided by Justin it was time for some fishing at Grays Bay and as a commercial fisherman they were in the best hands to source the main ingredient for lunch – Mexican Fish Tacos.
Affectionately known as the salad bowl of the North, Bowen is home to many farms that play a hand in providing produce to dinner tables across the globe! With a selection of fruits & vegetables being picked from mid-May to December and mangoes from October to January, agriculture in The Whitsundays is an important economic mainstay of this regional town.
It goes without saying that Dan & Steph had to meet with a couple of the Bowen local farmers to sample their produce and stock up on supplies! Stackelroth Farms’ have a roadside stall where they sell to the public a varying range of produce but possible best known for their incredible tomatoes, it was time to pick some fresh off the vine before being guided through the process of how they spin their honey.
Dan & Steph’s daughter Emmy is a MASSIVE fan of cucumbers so the next stop (thanks to some local guidance) was Phantom Produce where they met with Carl Walker! For 25 years Carl and his wife Trudy have cultivated a strong brand for their 100-acre farm formerly know as Walker Farms. A proud Bowen local his passion for produce is evident as he guides the crew through his farm and wins young Emmy’s heart with cucumbers straight from the plant.
There is no denying that Bowen, which holds the title of North Queensland oldest town, is a must see for any visitor to The Whitsundays! And if a holiday to The Whitsundays has made it to the top of your ‘next destination’ travel list visit www.tourismwhitsundays.com.au to start planning today.
Check out Dan & Steph’s incredible recipes here.
All images have been provided courtesy of ‘Channel 7’ and ‘Travel and Eat with Dan & Steph’