Wondaree Macadamias & Kuranda Cookies

Everyone loves to pair their cuppa with a sweet treat, or a biscuit or two, but sometimes you want something a little more decadent,; a step or two up from a couple of monte carlos. F, and for over 35 years, FNQ locals and visitors alike have always chosen the iconic Kuranda Cookie as that sweet delight. 

Humble and home baked, the Kuranda Cookie first came out of the kitchen in 1992, and over time has grown into the beloved icon of the region that it is today. When the founding owners decided to hang up their aprons in 2021, they put the company on the market hoping to find someone who would continue the legacy of their beloved biscuits. 

It was perfect timing for Jonathon and Tip Cowie, who had just sold a successful enterprise and were looking for a new small business venture in FNQ. Jono grew up in Mareeba, imploring his Mum for a Kuranda Cookie from her cafée after school each day, and so the idea of becoming the owner of such a personally meaningful brand in FNQ filled him with pride (and an appetite for eating as many cookies as he liked!) so, of course, they jumped at the opportunity. 

Jono had left the quiet idylls of the tTablelands some years ago and, while working overseas in the mining industry, met Tip, through mutual friends in Lao. Tip was a successful restaurateur who, over the years, had worked with some of Lao’s most predominant chefs, pastry chefs and bakers. Deciding that they wanted to raise their family in the Far North, Jono and Tip made FNQ the region their permanent home eight years ago. 

The ethos of Kuranda Cookies is that of hand baked, artisanal products loaded with local quality ingredients, infused with love. All that played well into Tip’s expert hands and the concept remains the same with her as head baker. Tip’s skill and expertise as a food entrepreneur enables her to add her special touch to the beloved classic recipes, with subtle enhancements and refinements of the flavours and textures, all moving toward that perfect bite. Talking of their Snappy Lemon and Lime biscuits, she recalls “adding some orange rind and ginger to the mix, we have lifted the cookie to a new level, bringing a new element of zest and spiciness to the cookie, combined with a subtle and pleasing change in the texture.

Whilst on their quest to source the best ingredients for their most popular cookie, Crush with Roasted Macadamia, their story of local acquisition continued. The recipe for these cookies has always had the best quality local macadamias from the Atherton Tablelands - the prestigious Wondaree Macadamias. Jono and Tip had developed a new passion for keeping FNQ’s iconic products alive, and when they discovered the Wondaree farm was closing the retail brand last October, they saw an opportunity well worth their investment and purchased the brand and retail division of Wondaree Macadamias in 2022. They now package, retail and wholesale these famous nuts across Australia, as well as ensuring the supply of first-grade macadamias for their cookies!

Jono is very proud of their Wondaree Macadamia nut operation and insists that all of their nuts are of the best possible grade, providing the largest and tastiest macadamias available. He and Tip have worked on developing the flavour range, particularly worthy of note is their smoked flavour which carries beautifully across through the larger nut. 

“We are extremely proud to be the stewards of these iconic FNQ brands,” said Jono says. 

“I grew up with both of these products and now I am watching my children grow up with them. I am just so honoured and excited that our new venture is keeping both products alive and available for generations to come.”

Both Kuranda Cookies and Wondaree Macadamias retail online and at a variety of supermarkets, cafes, hotels and tourist venues throughout FNQthe region, and with a strong vision for a new era, these iconic Far North Queensland products may well be popping up worldwide very soon.



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