With its palm-fringed beaches, lush tropical rainforests and glistening waters, Mission Beach is one of Queensland’s most gorgeous coastal destinations. And when the ocean is this inviting, you’re gonna want to go for a swim to cool down. If you’re wondering whether it’s safe to swim at Mission Beach, the short answer is yes – as long as you're aware of the risks, follow safety warnings and only swim in the lifeguard-patrolled stinger nets.
Is it safe to swim at Mission Beach?
Currents and riptides are common along Mission Beach so you should always swim between the red and yellow flags. The safest spots to swim are Wongaling Beach (near the surf lifesaving club) and the patrolled stinger nets at North and South Mission Beach. We wouldn't recommend swimming outside of the stinger nets, or swimming at the beach when it’s closed (not being patrolled by lifeguards).
Saltwater crocodiles live in the tropical waters of northern Queensland and you’ll see yellow warning signs at the access points to all rivers, freshwater lakes, lagoons, creeks and billabongs around Mission Beach. Sightings are more common during the mating season between September and November. If you’re not sure whether a lagoon, creek or natural pool is croc-free, it’s best to assume it isn’t and head to a swimming spot that you know is safe. As a general rule of thumb, and this goes for anywhere in northern Queensland, avoid swimming between dusk and dawn as this is when crocs are out and about.
Stinger season in Mission Beach usually runs from November to May. There are five types of dangerous stingers to be aware of including the Irukandji and the lethal box jellyfish. It’s best to swim in the marine stinger net enclosures at North and South Mission Beach during these months. It’s also recommended to wear a stinger suit to protect yourself while swimming in the ocean, even when you’re in a protected zone, as Irukandji are sometimes small enough to slip through the holes in the net. It will also protect you from the sun, bonus.
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