Macadamia, an Aboriginal Delicacy

Macadamia, an Aboriginal Delicacy Hunter Valley Gourmet Food & Wine Tasting - Two Fat Blokes

For thousands of years before European settlement the Aborigines of eastern Australia feasted on the native nuts which grew in the rainforests of the wet slopes of the Great Dividing Range. One of these nuts was called Gyndl or Jindilli, which was later corrupted to Kindal Kindal by early Europeans, while in the southern range of the tree it was known as Boombera. We now know it as the Macadamia.

The high oil content of these nuts was a coveted addition to the indigenous diet. However, they were difficult to harvest in great quantities so probably were not a major staple food. The fallen nuts were collected in dilly bags and taken to feasting grounds. Some coastal, aboriginal middens contain large quantities of bush nut shells along with sea shells, often 15 – 20kms from the nearest trees.

Nuts were eaten raw or roasted in hot coals. Many processing stones have been found in eastern rainforests, consisting of a large stone with a delicate incision for holding the nuts and sometimes a smaller, flat stone sits on top which is then struck by a larger ‘hammer’ stone.

Modern technology has not invented a better hand nutcracker than this. The more bitter species, particularly in North Queensland, were ground into a paste and washed in running water to make them edible.

There were at least twelve tribes in the region where the trees grew and they were used as an item of trade with other tribes. With the arrival of white settlers nuts were bartered, often with native honey, for rum and tobacco.

King Jacky of the Logan River clan, south of Brisbane, was probably the first Macadamia nut entrepreneur as he and his tribe have been recorded as regularly collecting and trading them during the 1860’s.

Cosmetics and Medicine

The Aborigines would express the oil from the nuts and use it as a binder with ochres and clay for face and body painting. This was a method of preserving clan symbols of the dreaming. The oil was also used neat for skin rejuvenation and as a carrier where it was mixed with other plant extracts to treat ailments.

It was believed the nuts contained a stimulant which aided breast milk production. Lactating mothers would eat the bitter nuts that had commenced to germinate.

Health Benefits of Macadamia Nuts

  • Macadamia nuts have sweet taste and are rich source of energy. 100 g of nuts provide about 718 calorie/100 g, which is one of the highest calorific values among nuts.
  • These nuts are packed with numerous health-benefiting nutrients, minerals, antioxidants and vitamins that are essential for optimum health and wellness.
  • 100 g of macadamia provides 8.6 g or 23% of daily-recommended levels of dietary fiber. Additionally, they are a very good source of phytosterols such as ß-sitosterol. However, the nuts carry no cholesterol.
  • Since macadamia is free from gluten, it is one of the popular ingredients in the preparation of gluten-free food formulas. Such formula preparations are a healthy alternative in patients with wheat gluten allergy and celiac disease.
  • The nuts are rich source of mono-unsaturated fatty (MUF) like oleic acid (18:1) and palmitoleic acids (16:1). Studies suggest that MUF fats in the diet help lower total as well as LDL (bad) cholesterol and increase HDL (good) cholesterol levels in the blood. The Mediterranean diet, which is rich in fiber, MUF fats and antioxidants work favorably in maintaining healthy blood lipid profile and thus offer protection from coronary artery disease and strokes.
  • Macadamias are an excellent source of minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese and zinc. 100 g nuts provide 3.6 µg of selenium. Selenium is a cardio-protective micro-mineral and an important anti-oxidant cofactor for glutathione peroxidase enzyme.
  • Furthermore, the nuts are also rich in many important B-complex vitamins that are vital for metabolic functions. 100 g of nuts provide 15% of niacin, 21% of pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), 100% of thiamin, and 12% of riboflavin.
  • They contain small amounts of vitamin-A, and vitamin E. Both these fat-soluble vitamins possess potent anti-oxidant activities, which serve to protect cell membranes and DNA damage from harmful oxygen-free radicals.

In concise, sweet, refreshing macadamias brimming with essential minerals, vitamins and heart-friendly mono-unsaturated fatty acids.

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What is the minimum number of people you will pick up?

There is no minimum restriction to book so singles and couples can book tours, but there is a minimum number of people needed to run tours effectively.

We do our best to make sure every tour runs, which sometimes means shuffling minimum numbers together so tours can operate.

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Yes. A day tour with your friends enjoying drinks and tasty food is one of the most enjoyable but hassle free ways to celebrate a birthday. We take care of the details and let us know if you would like something extra special too!

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Each tour vehicle contains passengers from multiple bookings until it is filled to the ‘maximum guest limit’ (shown on each tour). This limit keeps our group small so it’s fast and fun with premium access.

A tour will operate when a minimum of four seats are booked. If there are only four seats booked, great you will have the tour all to yourselves in one of our smaller vehicles. The more a tour fills up, the bigger the vehicle we use until our maximum guest limit for that tour is reached.

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We can cater to larger groups by combining multiple vehicles for any tour.

Transfer Locations

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Sydney Transfers

  • SYDNEY direct transfers are not available.
  • To arrive from Sydney customers can catch the train between ‘Sydney-Newcastle-Maitland’ and request a Two Fat Blokes pick-up/drop-off at ‘Maitland’.

Transfer Fee Information

  • Flat rate is a single price for pick-up/drop-off at that location whether it’s two people or a full group of people.
  • Minimum 2 person pickup is required to operate the pickup service to fee based locations.
  • Fees are in addition to your tour booking and will be collected by your guide at time of pick-up. Please pay these fees by cash, ATM’s will be available on the tour.
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Discover up to 3 great wineries handpicked for you.

How do you determine which wineries are best for my group?

Because we know the area so well and try to deliver the best experiences based on:
– Rave reviews from previous tour groups
– Boutique, non-touristy locations
– Excellent wines, moderately priced
– Warm & friendly service
– Perks available (cellar tours, barrel-tasting, wine-maker available, etc.)

Which wineries do we visit?

There is no set schedule of wineries. Our tour guides will take advantage of the best winery experiences available on that day, including special events, to make sure you get the most value from your itinerary, have an enjoyable day and maximise your taste time of the Hunter Valley.