Mission Beach

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 abounds.

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.

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