Mission Beach, Queensland

Mission Beach, QLD. © Susan Wright

Mission Beach, Queensland

Mission Beach is a relaxed beachfront town, located mid-way between Cairns and Townsville on the Queensland coast. Overlooking the cobalt waters of the Coral Sea, Mission Beach has more than 14 kilometres of magnificent golden sandy beaches. 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. At Mission Beach, you can find either extreme adventure or an indulgent tropical escape.

Mission Beach is made up of four villages comprising South Mission Beach, Wongaling Beach, North Mission Beach and Bingil Bay. A palm-fringed beach connects these four small townships, from Kennedy Bay in the south to Garners Beach in the north.

Surrounded by World Heritage rainforest on one side and the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef on the other, in this aquatic playground you can be as relaxed or adventurous as you wish. Queensland’s mild, tropical climate is perfect for enjoying water activities all year round. Skydive over the Great Barrier Reef and land on untouched beaches. There is excellent swimming, snorkelling and scuba diving, or go white-water rafting on the Tully River.

There is also excellent reef and estuary fishing, rainforest hikes and crocodile spotting. Close to shore a shallow reef runs from Porter's Creek at the south end of North Mission Beach, almost to Clump Point, at the north end of the beach. Locals say there is good fishing at Clump Point jetty and the rock wall at Clump Point boat ramp.

Mission Beach is home to many wildlife species, most notably the endangered cassowary. This large flightless bird can be found in the rainforest surrounding the area. Much of the area is part of the Coastal Wet Tropics Important Bird Area, named by BirdLife International because of its importance in the conservation of tropical rainforest birds.

Mission Beach also has a wide range of sophisticated restaurants, coffee shops, art galleries, and boutiques, mostly along the main street of Porter Promenade. Queensland is a tropical fruit paradise and boutique wineries specialising in tropical fruit wines can be found in Mission Beach and nearby Kurrimine Beach. There are also championship golf courses close to town which welcome visitors.

Mission Beach is one of the closest mainland access points to the Great Barrier Reef, which is about an hour away by boat. It is the main gateway to Dunk Island, only four kilometres offshore. Water taxis and ferries shuttle guests and day visitors out to the island and its resort. Bedarra Island, which has exclusive accommodation for just 14 guests, is only seven kilometres away. Nearby Hinchinbrook Island National Park, Australia's largest island national park is one of the world's most diversely beautiful wilderness areas.

From Mission Beach you can travel north along the Great Pacific Touring Route to Cairns or Port Douglas which is under two hours away by road or south to the Whitsunday Islands.

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