If you are looking for a picture-perfect tropical paradise on the
Australian mainland, the trendy hideaway township of Mission Beach fits
the bill perfectly. Mission Beach, midway between Cairns and
Townsville, could well appear on any postcard requiring a long sandy
beach lined with palm trees. The impressive Dunk and Bedarra Islands
sit off the coast just to make the picture even more perfect.
Mission Beach is surrounded by a lush backdrop of World Heritage Listed
wet tropical rainforest, endless white sandy beaches and the silvery
shimmering blues of the Coral Sea and Great Barrier Reef. Located
between Townsville and Cairns, it is spread over a 14km coastal stretch
and encompasses a number of beachside communities including Bingil Bay,
Wongaling Beach, South Mission Beach and Garners Beach. There is no
real centre to the region however Mission Beach itself has a few shops,
restaurants and a travel agency, all tucked away in a strip of tropical
bushland between the main road and the ribbon of beach.
There are numerous walking tracks from which to explore the beautiful
rainforest, mountain streams, waterfalls and coastline. These tracks
range in length from 1.5km to 7km and are suitable for all ages.
Tam O'Shanter National Park, which is situated 8km west of the town,
protects some of the last remaining lowland forest in the Wet Tropics.
The Park is quite unusual as it is rainforest predominantly filled with
Fan Palms. It is also home to the endangered southern cassowary. If
there is a chance of seeing a Cassowary, Mission Beach is the place
where it will happen. They are regularly seen crossing the roads and
are often seen wandering through the township.
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There are many activities available to cater for all levels of
energy. Go scuba diving, snorkelling, fishing, sailing, tandem
ski-diving, beach combing, birdwatching, golf, rainforest walks, white
water rafting. Or just lay back and take in the natural beauty that
Daily trips to the Great Barrier Reef from Clump Point enable visitors
to experience this natural wonder of the world by glass bottom boat,
snorkelling and scuba diving.
As well, gamefishing, sport fishing and reef fishing are all available
by charter, or better still bring your own boat and make Mission Beach
your base to explore this magical fishing destination. For the more
adventurous there is white water rafting on the nearby Tully River or
tandem skydiving from 10,000 feet onto the Beach.
The township had its origins in 1914 when the Queensland Government
established an Aboriginal Mission here to house local indigenous
people, hence the name. Tourism has rapidly become the main industry in
and around the Mission Beach area. There is also quite a lot of farming
of tropical fruits and vegetables, crayfish and prawn farming and of
course sugar cane.