by Peter Carruthers
THE opening of the Whitsunday Gold Coffee plantation planned for later this month has been pushed back, after it was decided to scale up the attraction's offerings.
Owner of the plantation, Nikki Phillips, has just returned from a trip to Townsville where she sourced a 6.6 metre high jungle gym that would be installed in an enclosed area at the Bruce Hwy coffee house.
The kitchen at the award-winning coffee plantation is also receiving a major overhaul, and renowned local chef Adam Cawthorne has been working on menus with a view to offering a complete lunch-time dining experience.
A tea pot ride for the children would provide entertainment for the little ones and Ms Phillips said there were plans to host children's birthday parties.
A vegetable garden has been planted and will provide the kitchen with fresh produce.
Ms Phillips couldn't provide an exact reopening date but said the work was progressing as quickly as possible.
"Because we have decided to go a bit bigger we need council approval and it's going to take some time,” she said.
"I was thinking about a softly, softly approach to the reopening but then thought let's go the whole hog.”
Ms Phillips said the feedback about the reopening had been overwhelmingly positive.
"Every week I get emails and calls saying we love it as a destination. Everyone is really excited about the reopening,” she said.
Unfortunately Cruise ship passengers will not have a chance to visit the reopened Whitsunday Gold Coffee plantation as passenger itineraries are scheduled a year in advance but Ms Phillips imagined the plantation and restaurant could become a "community hub, with a farmers' market where people can meet and chill out”.