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David Mainwaring

Lower Daintree, Far North Queensland

Establishing an ice cream company in one of the world's oldest tropical rainforests is not an easy undertaking. Using fresh fruit grown organically on the scenic farm where the ice cream is made, it quickly became a must-stop destination for visitors to Daintree National Park.

Hi, I'm Dave Mainwaring, owner of the Daintree Ice Cream Company. We're about 2 hours north of Cairns up in Far North Queensland.

I describe my business in one sentence as exotic tropic fruit gelato served in paradise. The best way to learn about my line of work is to eat lots and lots of ice cream, that way you get to work out what is quality and what is not.

I actually studied exercise physiology in Brisbane quite a few years ago, became a tour guide about 13 or 14 years ago, and somehow found myself eventually making ice cream at the Daintree Ice Cream Company.

If you want to know about some of our unique flavours, we grow really weird and wonderful fruits from all over the world. We've got fruits that have come from deep in the Amazon, we've got fruits from South East Asia, we've got some really cool local fruits that we use as well. The idea is to try and create a tasting experience, I suppose, for the tourists that are coming past. We don't serve the run-of-the-mill vanilla and things like that, it's all about the weird and the wonderful.

Nestled on Dave Mainwaring and Jenna Rumney's 22-acre property, with panoramic views of the surrounding Daintree National Park, is an organic fruit orchard, ornamental tropical gardens and ice cream shop. Making ice cream in one of the world's oldest tropical rainforests is not for the faint-hearted, starting out with no mains power or town water. Things have modernised since the company began in 1993, but the unique flavours of homemade gelato made from the fresh produce in the organic orchard has not changed.

The Daintree Ice Cream Company specialises in premium quality gelato, made onsite daily from the 15 species of rare and exotic fruit trees in the organic orchard. Gelato is served in a 4-scoop cup to showcase the fresh and rare fruits, such as black sapote and roasted wattleseed. Visitors are encouraged to take the free self-guided orchard walk to learn about, see and touch the fruit they are eating. This interactive activity helps visitors understand the journey of the produce from field to cup.

Situated in one of the world's oldest tropical rainforests, owners Dave and Jenna are passionate about managing their land responsibly. They place a high importance on farming organically, preserving the habitat and caring for the natural world. The property is irrigated naturally with 4 metres of rain per year. Numerous revegetation projects have also been undertaken and they have now become a certified International Humane Society Land Heritage Trust wildlife sanctuary. Even the ice cream cups are biodegradable and are composted onsite to use as mulch on the orchard. One of the Daintree Ice Cream Company's principles is to demonstrate how business and ethical land management can co-exist and enrich one another.

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