By Stephanie Williams
Mission Beach is a relaxed beachfront town between Cairns and Townsville on the Queensland coast. Here two World Heritage areas, the Great Barrier Reef and Wet Tropics Rainforest, form a natural environment like nowhere else on earth. Mission Beach is a gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and a perfect base for visiting nearby Dunk, Bedarra and Hinchinbrook islands.
Mission Beach is made up of four villages: South Mission Beach, Wongaling Beach, North Mission Beach and Bingil Bay. The palm-fringed beach connects these four small townships, from Kennedy Bay in the south to Garners Beach in the north.
At Mission Beach you can find adventure and indulgence in equal measure. There's a vibrant arts, food and culture scene. Accommodation includes luxury resorts and quality holiday homes, as well as secluded rainforest retreats and charming bed and breakfasts. There are no chain stores or traffic lights in Mission Beach – you'll slow down and enjoy the simple life here. Take note, though: October to June is stinger season. Marine stingers such as the box jellyfish have toxic stings that can be fatal, so only swim inside the stinger nets during these months.
HOW TO GET THERE
Mission Beach is a two hour drive south from Cairns and a three hour drive north of Townsville. You can fly to Cairns or Townsville from Brisbane, and to Cairns from other capital cities and some destinations in Asia. From Mission Beach you can travel north along the Pacific Coast Touring Route to Cairns or Port Douglas or south to the Whitsunday Islands.
- Take a day trip to Dunk or Bedarra Island to swim and snorkel in a secluded paradise
- Go whitewater rafting on the Tully River
- Spot cassowaries and other amazing birdlife