Charley’s chocolate tour is unique in Australia and one of only a few places in the world where you can experience the fascinating and little understood journey from cocoa tree to chocolate bar all in the one location.
Charley’s chocolate tour is authentic and that’s what our visitors really like. You’re on a working sustainable cocoa farm that makes the chocolate too. We’re purposefully NOT a theme park; there are no chocolate fountains at Charley’s and there never will be! The tour’s fun, informative and a ‘must do’ when visiting tropical far north Queensland.
On the tour you’ll hear about the fascinating 3,800 year history of cocoa starting with the ancient cultures of Mesoamerica, think Mayans and Aztecs, through to cocoa’s European introduction in the 1500s. We then follow cocoa’s historical progression to becoming a chocolate bar in the 1800s and industrialisation in the 1900s.The next tour stage is to bring you to the present day and bean to bar movement and Australia’s place in this chocolate evolution.
We visit the cocoa tree nursery to see how Charley’s journey began. Next is the cocoa plantation itself. Here you’ll see the tiny orchid like flowers where chocolate starts its transition to become a ripe cocoa pod. It’s a truly amazing fruit and to see it on the tree is an incredibly special experience. At Charley’s we grow our cocoa on trellis and we’ll explain why we do this and how it’s a world first for Australia. You’ll see a cocoa pod being opened and have the chance to taste the cocoa fruit. Then we move onto the cocoa processing stage after the pods are opened and beans removed and learn about both age old and recent fermentation methods and drying techniques.
You can take part in the cocoa bean cracking and winnowing steps and get to taste the cacao nibs before experiencing the final stages of conching and tempering as the chocolate becomes a finished chocolate bar.
The best bit is yet to come…tasting the chocolate! Here you’ll be amazed at how ‘real chocolate’ tastes and how different beans make very different chocolate. Dark chocolate’s considered a health food; find out why. With the tasting we include a wide selection of our multi award winning, Australian grown and made premium chocolate varieties.
We suggest you wear sensible shoes and a wide brimmed hat. There’s some walking involved on gravel and grass. Sunscreen and insect repellent are worthwhile. Don’t forget your camera or more likely your phone! You’re very welcome to take photos and share on social media.
To finish off the morning and your tour, we serve local grass feed beef burgers barbecued to perfection and served with caramelised onion and a choice of condiments. (We offer Vegetarian or gluten free options but these need to be pre-ordered at time of booking).
Charley’s chocolate tour is an ‘all weather’ tour and use of an umbrella is provided free if rainy or sunny. It’s one of the most popular activities to do on a rainy day in the tropics! As we only operate tours on selected days please book as soon as you can. Tours often get booked out in peak season and school holidays.
Naturally, our entire chocolate range is available for you to buy. We also feature other selected local products. All make excellent gifts and we accept cash, Visa and MasterCard.
Tours must be pre-booked and paid for prior to arrival at Charley’s. We welcome kids but ask they be supervised at all times for their safety and consideration of other guests. We provide colouring books and quizzes to help keep the little ones amused and bigger kids involved.
We hope you can join us when visiting tropical far north Queensland which is a truly amazing place to explore. You may even see a cassowary on the way!