Mission Beach is worthy of its reputation as a must-see northern destination. Right on the coast between Townsville and Cairns and east of Tully, the town has the rainforest almost on its doorstep, sparkling blue water of the Coral Sea on its edge and a magnificent view of the Family Group islands.
Mission Beach is actually four beach areas, or villages, linked by 14km of golden sand. From the north, there’s Bingil Bay, Mission Beach, Wongaling Beach and South Mission Beach. The entire Mission Beach area comes under the authority of the Cassowary Coast Regional Council, which has several caravan parks and camping grounds under its wing, including Mission Beach Camping Area and Caravan Park.
Mission Beach Camping Area and Caravan Park is a small camping area when compared to some others in the Mission Beach area. However, it’s right on the beach, has a great aura of charm and, what’s more, can be a bit difficult to get in to unless you book ahead – this is one popular campsite!
Mission Beach is roughly half way between Cardwell and Innisfail with turn-offs from the Bruce Highway at Tully and El Arish. Either turn-off will incur only a very short drive to the coastal strip along Mission Beach Road. Once close to Mission Beach a turn into Cassowary Drive and then Seaview Street will see the vehicle ready to turn left into Porter Promenade where the Council Camping Area is located.
While Mission Beach is fairly spread out, finding the Council-owned camping area and caravan park on Porter Promenade is not difficult. Simply head north out of the main town area on the Promenade to look for the Visitor Information Centre, which has the Council Camping area right beside it. The quite large Hideaway Holiday Village is opposite. To the east is Dunk Island, just a short boat trip away.
The camping area offers powered and un-powered sites for visitors, a children’s playground, a handy camp kitchen with cooking facilities, plus a really interesting atmosphere of total relaxation and informality. And there’s one more thing, too. There’s a boat ramp leading down onto the beach. Although best used at high tide and when the southerly is not blowing too hard, the boat ramp will cater readily enough for small craft.
Owner’s of larger boats are not overly disadvantaged though, as there are very well sheltered launching facilities at Clump Point only a few minute’s drive to the north.
The Mission Beach Caravan Park and Camping area is only a couple of minutes walk from a handy shopping area with a wide range of retail outlets available. It’s also at the doorstep of the local information centre, which offers visitors a thorough grounding on the area’s attractions including tour bookings for trips to the Great Barrier Reef or perhaps an aquatic tour of the seven islands comprising the Family Group located south of Dunk Island.
A stroll along the fabulous wide and very clean beach at the caravan park’s back door kept me busy, especially if the tide was making and I had some fishing tackle with me. Locals catch quite a few flathead from the beach but there’s no doubt the main attraction will be the Family Group of islands within easy sight.
Headlands, snags, mangrove patches, all are there for the fishing pleasure of those with a boat and catches can vary from Spanish mackerel to bream with fish like barra, golden snapper, mangrove jack, tuna, sweetlip and grunter all nicely mixed in. When a bait, lure, or plastic is over the side and being worked back you just never know what will grab it.
Mission Beach boat hire, (0438689555), is quite handy for people wanting to hire a boat for a crack at the fish. Shore based anglers can exercise their skills from the Clump Point rock wall or the jetty located there. Barra and grunter are common catches.
For those who enjoy their out door exercise as pedestrians there are numerous bush walks to be enjoyed within the Mission Beach area, which the Information Centre can high light. Most bush walks offer easy parking, rest room facilities, and there are some fabulous views to be enjoyed as well. And there’s always the possibility of an encounter of one of the elusive cassowaries.
There is no direct contact number for this caravan park although a caretaker is in residence. Best contact is via the Cassowary Coast Regional Council on 1300763903. This is a very popular stop off spot for regulars so early arrangements for any proposed holiday will best avoid disappointment.Reads: 5399