We found Cape Tribulation in January 1986 on our journey from Melbourne
to Darwin to take up teaching positions in the Northern Territory, and
fell in love with the place, especially the rainforest, the isolation
and the warm climate. The variety of fruit was amazing - fruit we had
never heard of - and which tasted so different to the traditional apples
In 1988 we came back to spend a week camping at Cape Tribulation before
setting off to travel the world for several years. It was even better
than we remembered it from two years before.
But this time, there was land for sale - abandoned grazing land which
had been cleared of rainforest in the 1960s - and we had money saved
from two years of teaching in the Northern Territory - money intended
for world travel. We looked at the land, and in five minutes we decided
to stay,and have now established an orchard and made our life at Cape
Over the last 20 years, we have collected seed from around the world
and planted an exotic tropical fruit orchard at Cape Tribulation,
with more than 100 different species and over 2000 fruit trees
from the Amazon, South East Asia, and the Caribbean.
We have chosen to set up an organic farm and apply the philosophy of
permaculture to Cape Trib Exotic Fruit Farm. We needed to develop a
system which copied the rainforest and provided a supply of nutrients
to the orchard trees in rotting material and vegetative matter. To this
end large numbers of legume trees, bananas and legume ground covers
were planted through the orchard to creat a food forest, and provide
a nitrogen supply for the plants.
In 1996, as our trees started to produce enough quanitities of fruit
we decided to offer an exotic fruit
tasting to visitors who were interested in unusual fruit and
permaculture. Hundreds of visitors from around the world have
arrived on our doorstep at Cape Tribulation, and we have enjoyed
watching them discover for themselves the delights of eating exotic
After spending 18 months overseas travelling and working - Digby had
a contract with the UN working in Samoa with the Ministry for Agriculture
- we returned to Cape Tribulation full of renewed energy and opened
our Bed and Breakfast accommodation
in October 2001. Now we are able to offer the kind of hospitality that
we experienced and enjoyed in Bed and Breakfasts in Ireland and France
- where you arrive as a guest and leave as a friend.
Whenever we go away on holiday we return to Cape Tribulation with greater
appreciation of the place and how lucky we are to be able to live here.
We have two Rottweilers - Kimmy and Clare, who get to visit the
beach every day - two of the luckiest dogs in the world.The photo
shows Alison with Mia as a puppy.