From paddock to plate it’s all in the family

Banana Station beef in the paddocks

From paddock to plate it’s all in the family

Richard and Libbie Wilson are passionate about food, farming and their family. So passionate they’ve created a unique pathway from the paddocks of their Banana Station beef to the plates of the family-owned Waterline Restaurant on the Capricorn Coast.

It’s a passion that’s in the blood of the Wilson’s children too. Mark Wilson and Annie Donohue operate the family’s Banana Station group of beef properties. They make sure the family’s award-winning beef makes its way safely from the Callide and Dawson Valleys to the plates of the Waterline Restaurant run by sister Kylie and her husband Executive Chef Matt Smith. They have it down to a fine art.

But this fifth generation of the farming family says times are changing. The Wilsons first came to Raglan Station in 1864.

Richard and Libbie Wilson are passionate about family, food and farming.

Richard and Libbie Wilson are passionate about family, food and farming.

Annie and Mark say food production has come a long way since their grandfather bought Banana Station in 1959 and even more since their parents took over Banana Station in 1970.

“People are a lot more knowing now. They don’t just want to eat, they want to know where their food has come from, how it got there and to tell others about it,” the siblings said.

“Food production and agriculture have always been a big part of the economic growth in the Capricorn region but now it’s become even bigger story than that. Now food production and service has become a tourist attraction.”

Capricorn Enterprise CEO Mary Carroll agrees, she says the paddock to plate dining experience is a case of one of the older industries delivering new visitors to our region. She says producers like the Wilson family have a unique story to tell.

“The Capricorn Coast is well known for its natural beauty which has drawn visitors to our islands, reef and rainforest as well as our man-made attractions, but visitors want to meet the people who produce our food and immerse themselves in our local culture by experiencing what we locals do.

“Our existing industries like agriculture and tourism are now being complemented by entrepreneurial newcomers to the destination in arts and culture. Artists, authors, fashion designers, television producers are now calling the Capricorn Coast their home bringing creativity and inspiration that identifies with the modern traveller.” Ms Carroll said

The Waterline Restaurant Executive Chef Matt Smith says creating these unique experiences is what motivates him when he is designing, testing and creating Beef Week dishes.

“We have amazing relationships with local suppliers. Fresh mangoes and avocadoes from Triple M Farm, fruit from Pure Gold Pineapples and of course our signature Banana Station Beef and seafood straight from Keppel Bay. We are uniquely located right where “the Reef meets the Beef”, and this gives us great opportunities for creating unique cuisine and a real local dining experience for our guests.

“Beef Week 2018 is a chance to put these local ingredients on show and to serve up dishes like those that won awards.

“Dishes like our Best Signature Dish Banana Station Beef Tataki and our Low and Slow Beef Tongue with criolla salsa, brioche and tomatillo fluid gels,” Mr Smith said.

“Everybody is so busy in daily life we thought we would go against the tide and create a low, slow and local degustation menu and pair it with boutique wines and beers for our Beef Week guests and locals. Our “Banana Station Degustation” is a menu that will let people sit and enjoy our coastline and Keppel Bay Marina, and savour our grass fed Banana Station Beef.”

Beef Week 2018 is one of the busiest weeks on the calendar for The Waterline and tables are filling up fast.

General Manager Kylie Smith, is encouraging locals and visitors to support our beef industry, and be sure to dine on some local beef this Beef Week.

“Banana Station grass fed beef features on all our menus” said Kylie, “Our Cowboy’s Benedict is one of our most popular breakfasts, our famous Banana Station steak sandwiches for lunch and our degustation dinner and award-winning Beef specials are available for lunch and dinner every day. Even our kid’s steak is a 150g Banana Station rib fillet – there’s something for everyone.”

From paddock to plate it doesn’t get more direct than this.

Follow the path from the paddocks of the Wilson’s Banana Station to the plates of their Waterline Restaurant and you’ll see the passion of six generations shine through.

A passion that will no doubt be on show in 2021 when Beef Week Australia returns to Rockhampton.

This is the third year in a row the Waterline have won best beef signature dish. Last year they represented Queensland in the Best Tourism Restaurant at the Australian Tourism Awards. They also received gold at the Queensland Tourism Awards for the best Tourism Restaurant and Catering.



  • 07 4933 6244

All day dining
From 7 am 7 days
Evening Dining Wed-Sun until late

Keppel Bay Marina
Rosslyn Bay Qld 4703


Award Winning Restaurant
on the deck at
The Waterline Restaurant Keppel Bay Marina