You’re more likely to spot cassowaries than a crowd at Mission Beach in Tropical North Queensland.

When people talk about Mission Beach in Queensland, they’re usually referring to the area that takes in the village of Mission Beach plus three other nearby towns - South Mission Beach, Bingil Beach, and Wongaling Beach. The latter is the largest town with a population of just over 1,000 people. There are plenty of activities to enjoy at Mission Beach such as white water rafting, swimming in the sparkling ocean, strolling along 14 kilometres of unspoiled coastline and taking a day trip to nearby Dunk Island. Mission Beach is the perfect spot to disconnect with the pressures of modern life and reconnect with nature.

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Highlights of Mission Beach

Cassowary

Spot cassowaries in the wild

Drive carefully if you’re visiting the area as those ‘Cassowary Crossing’ signs are no joke. It’s not unusual for these huge 60kg birds to saunter across the roads whenever they feel like it. Mission Beach is one of the best spots in the world to see cassowaries in the wild. However, if they’re proving elusive on your visit to Mission Beach, get up early and stake out a spot near a natural fresh water source with your camera at the ready.

White water rafting

Raft the Tully River

Prefer not to go hiking in the Far North’s tropical heat? White water rafting in Mission Beach on the Tully River is a much more comfortable way to experience the lush landscape and natural beauty of Tropical North Queensland. The Tully River has more than 40 rapids and winds its way through stunning Tully Gorge National Park which is filled lush rainforest and the sweet song of the native birds which call this region home.

Mission Beach

Surround yourself with nature

Mission Beach is the perfect base for walking. Grab a sturdy pair of shoes and hit the trails in and around Mission Beach such as the Kennedy Walking Track, an eight kilometre return walk that takes in lush tropical landscapes and spectacular coastal views. Add 14 kilometres of beaches to explore, many of them fringed with swaying palm trees, and you’ve got the perfect trip. Wherever you turn at Mission Beach, it seems there is another scenic spot to explore.

Reading in a hammock

Kick back and relax

Mission Beach is a chilled out destination where kicking back and soaking up the vibe makes for a great afternoon. Simple pleasures are what make Mission Beach great. Grab something to eat at Mission Beach or rub shoulders with the locals at nearby Wongaling Beach. An afternoon stroll along the beach is instantly relaxing. Or you could wind down with a yoga class or go for a swim in the pool on Intrepid’s Brisbane to Cairns Adventure.

Fish and coral

Go snorkelling at Mission Beach

Mission Beach is a great jumping off point for exploring the Great Barrier Reef. With plenty of colourful coral and an amazing array of tropical fish, the best way to witness its magnificence is on a snorkelling or diving adventure through this underwater paradise. Cruise out to the reef, put on your snorkelling gear and dive into the dazzling waters where you can explore a wonderfully rich ecosystem of coral and marine animals, including plenty of turtles.

Charley's Chocolate

Explore the local food scene

Take your tastebuds on a delicious self-guided adventure and discover fresh local produce and authentic food experiences. Highlights include grabbing some fresh bananas from a roadside stall and seeing Mission Beach’s cocoa plantation at Charley’s Chocolate Factory where you can surround yourself with the scent of delicious chocolate and taste what’s on offer. If you want to learn more about how chocolate is made, don’t miss the guided tour of the farm and the factory.

Mission Beach Tour Reviews

Mission Beach FAQs

Everyone travelling on an Intrepid trip must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of carriage. 

All travellers are required to produce:  

  • Proof of COVID-19 vaccination

  • All children aged 5 to 17 years old must provide proof of vaccination (if eligible), proof of recovery or a negative COVID-19 test.

  • If you are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons, you may apply for an exemption. Exemptions will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. To apply, you must provide a medical certificate from a medical professional. 

In all cases, you must be fully inoculated. This means you must receive the full dosage of the COVID-19 vaccine and allow enough time for immunity to take effect. Each COVID-19 vaccine has different dosages and timeframes for inoculation, so please check the relevant medical advice associated with your vaccine.

Learn more about Intrepid's COVID-19 proof of vaccination policy

Cairns is the closest airport to Mission Beach with domestic flights flying to and from most major Australian cities. There are regular long distance buses which travel up and down the coast to Cairns which is the closest major town to Mission Beach. From here, you can drive to Mission Beach or join a group tour which visits Mission Beach. 

There isn't much public transport around the Mission Beach region but the four major towns are within a 30 minute walk of each other. You need to join a tour or get a hire car to make the most of your time here. 

Summer in Mission Beach is hot and humid and perfect for swimming. Spring and Autumn are cooler and the region tends to be quieter. Winter is ideal for those who don't enjoy humid temperatures and the weather is typically good. If you are visiting between October and May and swimming in the ocean, it is advisable to wear a 'stinger suit' to protect yourself from possible jellyfish stings. 

Mission Beach is an off-the-beaten-track destination that is so laid back it's almost horizontal. Wearing jeans and a t-shirt to dinner is considered 'dressy' so leave your fancy clothes at home. Pack sunscreen, sunglasses, swimmers and a hat and remember to bring any essentials as there are no major stores at Mission Beach. 

Clothes that breathe are a good idea as Mission Beach can be humid, even in winter. Pretty much anything goes when it comes to dressing for dinner at this laid back destination, provided it's (reasonably) clean. 

In short, pretty much non-existent unless you're with Telstra, but that's a good thing. With nothing to distract you, it's easy to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of this special place. Some accommodation providers offer Wi-Fi but it can be easier to treat your trip to Mission Beach as a chance to disconnect and de-stress. 

If you only want use it to take photos - sure - but it's unlikely you'll have a signal unless you're with Telstra (and even then your phone may or may not work). Think of your time at Mission Beach as an opportunity to disconnect and de-stress. 

Intrepid is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have. Some of the walking trails and remote beaches at Mission Beach can make walking difficult for travellers who are less mobile on foot. However, we’re always happy to talk to travellers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them towards the most suitable itinerary for their needs and where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.

Learn more about Accessible Travel with Intrepid

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