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Mission Seashore is a blissfully relaxed seashore city in Tropical North Queensland removed from the hustle and bustle of Cairns and Port Douglas.
It’s made up of 4 coastal villages linked by 14 kilometres of idyllic (principally empty) golden seashore fringed by palm timber—a quintessential tropical paradise.
Whereas most individuals come right here for rest, there are sufficient issues to do in Mission Seashore to maintain you busy together with rainforest walks, wildlife recognizing (it’s top-of-the-line locations to see the distinctive cassowary hen), and snorkelling journeys to a quiet part of the outer Nice Barrier Reef.
On this put up, I share our picks for what to do in Mission Seashore after spending two weeks there. Plus the place to remain, the best way to get there, and a map with all our suggestions.
The place is Mission Seashore Queensland?
Mission Seashore is situated on the Cassowary Coast in North Queensland, Australia. It’s 140km or a two-hour drive south of Cairns and 235km or three hours north of Townsville.
Cairns (CNS) is the closest airport with home and worldwide flights.
Beneath you’ll discover a map and particulars on the best way to get there.
Greatest Issues to Do in Mission Seashore Qld
1) Chill out on the Seashores
The lengthy golden seashore is the spotlight of Mission Seashore. Even within the winter excessive season, the seashore was normally empty, particularly away from the principle hub, Mission Seashore Village (generally known as North Mission Seashore).
The palm timber that line the sand are splendidly picturesque and the views of Dunk Island offshore and the mountains within the distance add to the scenic view.
Don’t anticipate finding any sunbed leases—convey your personal towel. Within the afternoon there’s loads of shade from the timber.
The acute tides imply that the ocean is commonly fairly far out leaving a large agency seashore that’s very best for strolling, operating, and even biking.
Mission Seashore does have some downsides, although. In the summertime months (November to Might), it’s stinger season with a excessive threat of jellyfish together with the venomous field jellyfish.
You’ll be able to nonetheless swim however it’s essential to put on protecting clothes and swim inside the stinger nets at North Mission and South Mission seashores.
From June to October, it’s secure to swim, though I did really feel a gentle tingle within the water generally.
The opposite potential hazard is crocodiles! There’s not a zero per cent probability of crocodiles within the water at Mission Seashore (or anyplace within the Far North), but it surely’s extraordinarily unlikely you’ll encounter one. Locals we met hadn’t seen one in many years. I did keep away from swimming at evening, although, which is the next threat time.
One ultimate situation is that the ocean typically turns brown after rain or wind. This was the case once we arrived, but it surely cleared up a number of days later.
Swimming on the offshore islands is extra pleasurable because the water is clearer and doesn’t have the chance of jellyfish or crocs.
Dunk Island (see under) is the best to go to or we stayed on the luxurious Bedarra Island Resort after Mission Seashore (25 minutes away) and beloved it. See our Bedarra Island Resort assessment for particulars.
2) Go to the 4 Coastal Villages
The 4 coastal villages that make up Mission Seashore are (from north to south): Bingil Bay, North Mission (or Mission Seashore Village), Wongaling Seashore, and South Mission.
They’re all low-rise with minimal improvement between the rainforest and seashore.
Bingil Bay is a sleepy village with a reasonably seashore. There’s not a lot right here besides a campsite and the favored Bingil Bay Cafe with its quirky, vibrant decor.
It’s near Garners Seashore (see under) and the Bicton Hill Stroll.
North Mission Seashore
Mission Seashore Village or North Mission is the customer hub. It has probably the most eating places and cafes, and on weekend evenings is kind of energetic with a number of bars internet hosting reside music.
It’s dwelling to the Sunday Market and some retailers together with Leny’s for tropical fruit, The Bowerbird’s Pantry for espresso and native foodie merchandise, and Helen Wiltshire Gallery for artwork and items.
On the seashore entry on David St (by Loads Restaurant), there’s a cute cassowary signal the place you may take your picture. Subsequent to it’s a very scenic swing hanging from a palm tree.
Wongaling Seashore is extra of a residential space with plenty of seashore homes (together with one we stayed in) on a quiet stretch of sand. There are a couple of eating places and the one grocery store (Woolworths).
South Mission Seashore
3) Pattern Native Tropical Fruit
The Cassowary Coast is a significant rising space for bananas and different tropical fruit.
Leny’s Tropical Fruit and Veg in the principle village is an efficient spot to choose up contemporary produce and there’s a smoothie store subsequent door. They typically have seasonal fruit for $10 a bucket—we purchased scrumptious passionfruit and fortunately made our means by all of them.
Subsequent to Leny’s is an honesty field the place you may choose up cheap bananas.
You can too strive the Sunday Market, however there are only some stalls with contemporary produce.
4) Spot a Cassowary
Cassowaries are massive, flightless birds that descend from dinosaurs. They’re splendidly unusual wanting with shaggy black our bodies, blue heads topped with a big knob (known as a casque), and large three-toed clawed ft.
These dagger-like claws are what give the cassowary its fame as probably the most harmful hen as they will kill people with them. The chance is overstated and it’s unlikely to assault you, but it surely’s greatest to maintain your distance in case you are fortunate sufficient to see one.
So the place are you able to see a cassowary in Mission Seashore? Any of the rainforest walks are place to start out. We noticed their droppings on the Lacey Creek Stroll however didn’t see the hen itself.
We’d nearly given up hope after almost two weeks on the town earlier than we noticed a mom and chick in a discipline by the highway simply previous Lacey Creek.
We additionally met individuals who’d seen them within the backyard whereas staying at Licuala Lodge and the caravan park at South Mission Seashore apparently has an everyday customer.
Etty Bay (40 minutes north) is understood for them however we didn’t see any. We did see two whereas tenting at Murray Falls, although (50 minutes south).
If all hope is misplaced, there’s at all times the Huge Cassowary statue within the purchasing centre in Wongaling Seashore.
5) Snorkel on the Nice Barrier Reef
A snorkelling journey is likely one of the greatest issues to do in Mission Seashore because it’s one of many closest cities to the outer reef and is way quieter than Cairns.
We did a full-day snorkel journey with Mission Seashore Dive, at the moment the one firm that provides group journeys. You’ll be able to dive or snorkel at two spots on the reef.
On our journey, we went to Beaver Cay, which includes a picturesque sand bar, and there have been no different tour boats round.
We snorkelled over vibrant coral and dramatic drop-offs with 1000’s of fish together with parrotfish, angelfish, butterflyfish, trumpetfish, and plenty of extra. Swimming by huge colleges of fish was particularly magical.
It’s an extended time out, although, with a 90-minute journey to the outer reef. This is similar for journeys from Cairns and Port Douglas too. Seeing whales and dolphins on the best way did make the journey extra pleasurable.
A snorkel journey with Mission Seashore Dive contains lunch and snorkel gear. You’ll be able to lease wetsuits for $5 (positively beneficial) and purchase drinks onboard. Excursions don’t run each day so be sure to e-book forward.
Though we actually loved the journey (and you may’t spend an excessive amount of time on the reef), in case you are additionally visiting Port Douglas, we most well-liked our small-group snorkel journey with ABC. Excursions are run by a marine biologist so we discovered so much in regards to the fish, they usually take a most of 12 individuals.
6) Take pleasure in Coastal Views on the Kennedy Strolling Monitor
Kennedy Strolling Monitor is likely one of the hottest hikes in Mission Seashore however usually for the world, we solely noticed a couple of others round.
The entire path from South Mission to Kennedy Bay is 8km return and takes round two hours. You don’t must stroll the entire path to get pleasure from pretty views although (we didn’t).
Keep away from cover tide for this coastal stroll.
The path begins on boardwalk previous the small rocky Lover’s Seashore after which heads up into the rainforest previous a lookout throughout to Dunk Island.
You then take steps all the way down to the lengthy sandy seashore at Lugger Bay the place you stroll on the seashore earlier than reaching the headland and lookout.
Cassowaries have been seen on the path however we didn’t see any.
There’s a small automotive park with a rest room in the beginning of the path (Kennedy Strolling Monitor on Google Maps) on the southern finish of South Mission Seashore.
7) Stroll at Lacey Creek in Djiru Nationwide Park
The 1.1km loop by the rainforest took us 20 minutes. We went anticlockwise and noticed some cassowary droppings (with massive partially digested fruit seeds) on the primary a part of the path however no signal of the birds.
Even with no cassowary sighting, it’s a pleasing, tranquil stroll (though insect repellent is advisable). You move the creek at a number of factors (we noticed fish and turtles) and on the finish, there’s a small swimming gap and picnic desk.
For an extended stroll, the steeper Dreaming and Musgravia Trails begin throughout the highway.
8) Discover Solitude on Garners Seashore
If the principle seashores aren’t quiet sufficient for you, head north of Bingil Seashore down a distant gravel highway by the rainforest to the small bay at Garners Seashore.
On our go to, there was nobody else on this pretty seashore besides a yacht. It was shady within the late afternoon—morning can be higher if you wish to benefit from the solar.
9) Store on the Mission Seashore Sunday Market
A few instances a month the principle Mission Seashore village hosts a market subsequent to the seashore.
The main target is extra on garments and crafts than meals, however there are a few locations to choose up breakfast and produce.
Our favorite stall was Mad Baker for sourdough loaves and scrumptious toasties.
There are two markets on the identical spot in Mission Seashore, however they’re very comparable and each run from round 8am – 1pm:
Mission Seashore Markets
Held on the first and third Sunday of the month all 12 months spherical.
Mission Seashore Monster Markets
Held on the final Sunday of every month from Easter Sunday till the top of November.
10) Eat by the Seashore at Loads
Our favorite meal in Mission Seashore was at Loads. Their menu is extra inventive than the pub grub at many of the different locations on the town, they usually have the most effective location proper subsequent to the seashore.
There are a couple of vegetarian choices and we loved the tonkatsu eggplant and the vegetarian poke bowl (regardless that it wasn’t a typical poke bowl).
It was quiet on a weekday however reserving is a good suggestion on weekends so you may get a front-row seat to benefit from the ocean view by the palms.
Different extra informal spots the place we ate dinner in Mission Seashore Village had been Mad Pizza (good sourdough bases however an excessive amount of cheese for us) and Lansis (a burger place with veggie burger). Each of those do takeout so you may get pleasure from your meal on the seashore simply minutes away.
11) Have a Leisurely Brunch
There are a couple of good cafes in Mission Seashore to get pleasure from a relaxed brunch earlier than hitting the seashore.
We appreciated that Cafe Johalia on the principle road has a vegan large breakfast with hash browns, toast, beans, veggie sausages, mushrooms, and roast tomatoes. It was big however you may order a half portion.
Shanti Cafe simply down the highway has a pleasing backyard setting and a cupboard stuffed with tempting muffins.
Bingil Bay Cafe is one other well-liked possibility.
12) Strive a Really feel Good Banana
A Really feel Good Banana is a domestically made, natural, frozen banana dipped in chocolate.
They’re tasty and filling and also you’ll discover them in retailers and eating places throughout city (such because the Mission Seashore Mini Mart).
13) Play Pétanque
There’s a free pétanque court docket by the seashore in Mission Seashore Village. Sadly, you want boules and there’s nowhere to lease them.
The Pétanque membership meets on Sunday from 3pm and Wednesday from 5pm and guests are welcome to play with them and borrow their boules.
Extra Mission Seashore Actions
Regardless of having two weeks on the town, we didn’t get round to every part on our listing, partly as a result of climate and partly resulting from not wanting to go away our pretty seashore home.
When you’ve got extra vitality than us, listed here are another Mission Seashore actions to think about:
14) Go to Dunk Island
It’s a disgrace we didn’t go to Dunk Island as we spent our entire journey admiring it from the seashore.
The island is dwelling to a now-defunct resort and nationwide park. The easiest way to discover is on the 10km Dunk Island Circuit Monitor, which takes you to the highest of Mount Kootaloo, down Palm Valley, and throughout to Coconut Seashore.
You’ll be able to attain Dunk Island on the FastCat ferry service by QuickCoast. It departs from Clump Level Marina at 9am 4 days every week and returns at 3pm, so that you get about six hours on the island.
15) Go White Water Rafting
One of the vital enjoyable issues to do from Mission Seashore is to go white water rafting on the Tully Gorge which has grade 3 and 4 rapids.
The assembly level for the tour is about 20 minutes from Mission Seashore, so that is a lot nearer than going from Cairns.
16) Stroll Up Bicton Hill
The three.2km circuit takes about 1 hour quarter-hour with 188 metres of elevation achieve. It takes you thru the rainforest as much as a lookout with ocean views.
17) See the Rainforest at Licuala Day Use Space
Licuala is one other space in Djiru Nationwide Park with straightforward walks by the forest. Do the 2km stroll on the Fan Palm and Household walks for an opportunity to see cassowaries.
18) Take a Bean to Bar Chocolate Tour
Charley’s Chocolate Manufacturing facility is a 10-minute drive inland from Mission Seashore Village. They develop their very own cocoa beans and make chocolate onsite.
They provide bean-to-bar excursions twice every week (bookings important) and the onsite store is open 10am – 2pm from Tuesday to Friday.
We purchased their chocolate from The Bowerbird’s Pantry within the village and it was the most effective darkish chocolate I’ve ever had—so fruity and clean. I want we’d finished their tour or at the very least stocked up within the store.
19) Leap out of a Aircraft
Surprisingly, sleepy Mission Seashore is likely one of the greatest locations in Queensland to skydive.
The positioning has Australia’s highest soar (as much as 15,000 ft) with as much as 60 seconds of freefall. Plus you’ll get pleasure from beautiful views of the city from above and land on the seashore.
20) Swim at Alligators Nest Swimming Gap
25 minutes from Mission Seashore close to Tully is likely one of the greatest swimming holes within the space.
Alligators Nest Swimming Gap seems stunning, has no crocs, and is simple to entry. Excellent for a picnic and refreshing dip.
21) See the Fort at Paronella Park
Paronella Park is a novel vacationer vacation spot a 45-minute drive north of Mission Seashore (we stopped right here on our means down from Cairns).
Within the early twentieth century, Spanish immigrant José Paronella dreamt of constructing a citadel. He began out as a farm employee and ended up making his fortune by clearing land, planting sugar cane, after which promoting the farm.
Ultimately, he was in a position to realise his dream and created his household dwelling at Paronella Park. It was additionally open to locals who attended balls and movie screenings and got here to swim and eat on the cafe.
A lot of the buildings are in ruins now because it was hit by many cyclones, but it surely’s an atmospheric place to wander and see the crumbling citadel lined in moss, being taken again by the jungle.
There are additionally some pretty quick walks by the rainforest together with down the scenic Kauri avenue and to a pond stuffed with turtles.
Entrance to Paronella Park is A$55 but it surely features a free tour and is legitimate for 2 years. You even get a free keep within the caravan park subsequent door.
The place to Keep in Mission Seashore
We stayed at this Airbnb beachfront home in Wongaling Seashore and beloved the views and site on a quiet stretch of sand. You do need to drive in all places, although (10 minutes to the eating places in Mission Seashore).
For those who’d relatively have the ability to stroll to eating places and cafes, select a resort in Mission Seashore Village such because the beachfront Castaways Resort.
If seeing a cassowary is a precedence for you, think about Licuala Lodge, a B&B within the rainforest between Mission Seashore and Wongaling Seashore.
You’ll need to drive in all places, however we met a pair staying there who had seen cassowaries a number of instances within the backyard whereas consuming breakfast on the deck. There’s a beautiful pool too.
Learn how to Get to Mission Seashore
As Mission Seashore is unfold out throughout a number of villages, it’s greatest visited with your personal automobile. We rented a automotive from Apex at Cairns Airport or you may test Rental Vehicles to match the choices.
The 2-hour drive from Cairns to Mission Seashore is scenic with a number of attention-grabbing stops on the best way together with Babinda Boulders and Josephine Falls for swims, Etty Bay for a reasonably seashore and probability to see cassowaries, and Paronella Park.
In case you are heading south, Mission Seashore to Townsville is a three-hour journey by automotive. There’s a Greyhound bus service that runs 3 times a day and takes about 4 hours.
One of the best stops on the best way to Townsville are a detour off the freeway and embody Murray Falls, Cardwell Spa Pool, and the gorgeous Wallaman Falls (the tallest single-drop waterfall in Australia).
Map of Mission Seashore Queensland
Is Mission Seashore Qld Value Visiting?
For those who like sleepy coastal villages and lengthy empty seashores, Mission Seashore is nicely price visiting.
It’s not as action-packed as Cairns and even Port Douglas, however there are a number of worthwhile actions together with visiting Dunk Island and the outer reef. Largely it’s the place to return for lengthy seashore walks, rainforest exploration, and the possibility to see cassowaries.
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