Wedged between the World Heritage-listed rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef, Mission Beach is a stunning stretch of sand along Queensland’s Cassowary Coast. Despite its popularity with tourists, the town has managed to retain a laid-back vibe and offers scenic views of the nearby Family Islands. The area around Mission Beach provides habitat for endangered cassowaries, with these large, flightless birds regularly seen sauntering nearby.
Things to do in Mission Beach
A highlight of visiting Mission Beach is doing absolutely nothing on its long stretch of sand, with nets set up during the stinger season so you can swim safely. There are also plenty of places where you can cast a fishing line to see what’s biting, including the Clump Point Jetty, Tam O’Shanter Point and the mouth of Porters Creek.
Charter a boat or hop aboard a water taxi to visit the Family Islands National Park, a cluster of islands that were named by Captain Cook when he visited the area in 1770. Hike through the lush rainforest that covers Dunk Island or explore uninhabited Coombe and Wheeler islands, then see the distinctly-shaped Battleship Rock.
Coincide your visit with the bi-monthly Mission Beach Markets where you can find everything from local produce to vintage clothes, handicrafts and plants. Roadside stalls selling fresh tropical fruits are also plentiful in the region, with bananas, mangos and pineapples found seasonally.
Getting around Mission Beach
Mission Beach is around two hours’ drive south of Cairns Airport or three hours from Townsville Airport, with Greyhound buses connecting to both cities. Trains stop at Tully railway station, which is around 30 minutes from Mission Beach. Having your own car is the most convenient way of exploring the region while water taxis provide easy access to the nearby islands.