|Hervey’s Range Heritage Tea Rooms|
I never thought I’d be grateful for my unsophisticated palate until it saved me $50 and a mouthful of cat-poo …
That publicity favours Townsville’s Paluma Range National Park over the much closer Herveys Range may be due to the unfortunate council boundary line placing Herveys Range on the wrong side of the Townsville regional border.
Then again, although the occasions are rare, I HAVE been known to be wrong – so there may be another reason altogether, as despite the lack of information about it, visitors have no trouble making the ~30 minute drive up the range to the Herveys Range Heritage Tea Rooms, housed in Queensland’s oldest known building.
|Herveys Range from Mt Stuart, Townsville|
Beautifully renovated, the building has passed through several incarnations since its 1865 construction – including Eureka Hotel, Cobb & Co stop, travellers accommodation – before its current status as Tea Room and gift shop with outlying wedding chapel and function centre.
And home to the worlds most expensive cup of coffee.
At $50 (AUD) a cup, Kopi Luwak gives one’s quest for ‘great coffee’ a whole new meaning. The subject of deliberation by Customs before its import was allowed, this Sumatran delicacy is not for the faintheated – either of wallet or palate.
|Herveys Range Heritage Tea Rooms Entrance|
The civet digestive process is thought to alter the proteins in the whole coffee beans harvested from the civet droppings on the jungle floor. This gives the Kopi Luwak its distinctive smooth, aromatic flavour – and in a nod to its humble origins, the Tea Room website whimsically refers to it as ‘Cat-Poo Coffee’!
|Outdoor Wedding Chapel, Herveys Range|
But the magnificent scones (7 flavours!), jam and cream for which the Tea Rooms are also justly famous, viewing artefacts unearthed by an archaeological dig that established the presence of a Chinese garden nearby and a walk around the grounds (taken at my peril) more than made our trip worthwhile – even if the resident ghosts didn’t make an appearance!