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New food trail a taste sensation

By Mark Beale

CHARLIE and Jen Sturgess of Airlie Beach Transfers and Tours went to Whitsundays Marketing and Development Ltd with an idea to target Asian tourism in the Whitsundays – only to be told it was something that had global appeal.

On Wednesday, they launched The Great Whitsunday Food Trail, which incorporates all aspects of our region.

The pair had operated Airlie Beach Transfers and Tours for little more than a year when Mr Sturgess was asked to take 16 Chinese tourists on a five-hour day trip.

“I had to wing it and find out what they liked,” he said.

“That’s when I realised they were all about food.”

So The Great Whitsunday Food Trail was born.

The day begins with a visit to Beefalo Valley, then tourists meet a mud crabbing professional down the road, before stopping off in the canefields and learning about coffee at Whitsunday Gold Coffee.

They then travel to Bowen to visit the seafood co-ops and some of the most successful growers in Australia.

Then it’s back to Cannonvale to visit the Sausage King at Master Butchers Whitsundays, before fresh local food is whipped up for dinner either by Tides Restaurant or Colonial Palms. Visit for more information.

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