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Pack your trunk for Dunk
  |  First Published: March 2014



I recently had a great stay at the Dunk Island View Caravan Park on Wongaling Beach. Where is Wongaling Beach? I hear you ask. I didn’t know either. Turns out it’s one of several suburbs that make up the picturesque Mission Beach area east of Tully in Far North Queensland. That’s settled: we’ll move on.

The Dunk Island View Caravan Park is located at 21-35 Webb Road, Wongaling Beach. This is one big holiday park. It’s set up on 3 hectares of land with the beach to the east and bright green forest to the rear. Ah yes, and Dunk island is clearly in view. Personally, I took one look at this caravan park and resolved there and then to tow a boat up and enjoy a northern holiday. Roll on winter!

The Park has an interesting history. Like so much of the surrounding area it took an awful hiding from Cyclone Yasi back in January 2011. The wind gauge at Tully Heads seized at over 200km/h.

Under new ownership, however, the Park has had some major and very impressive refurbishment with new trees planted, free wi-fi installed, the amenities block repainted and modernised, a new bank of clothes dryers installed, camp kitchen full renovated and modernised, plus major renovations to the existing one and two bedroom units including new furniture, modern appliances and air conditioning units.

Room for the boat

There’s plenty of room for all in Dunk Island View Caravan Park. And I mean all. There’s no need to leave Fido or Felix at home, as this is a pet-friendly caravan park. How many other camp ground offices do you know of that have a packet of dog biscuits on the counter for man’s best friend?

You and I will also enjoy the really great meals from the takeaway food outlet (you can opt to dine in if you wish) adjoining the camp office. The store there also has a large selection of groceries, ice, petrol, gas refills, newspapers and other useful items for the traveller. There’s also bait in the freezer.

I liked the set-up on the eating area outside the café. Seated on clean and comfortable tables and chairs, tucking into a bowl of very hot chips while watching lucky devils in their boats going to and from Dunk Island was a real treat.

Within the large grounds there’s all the room necessary for a spacious camp set-up. There’s no problem at all in parking the boat beside the living area, whether it’s set up with a motor home, tent, camper trailer or caravan. Within the grounds there are ample shaded sites both powered and unpowered, around 50 slabs for caravans and in general a lot of room to stretch out, relax, and thoroughly enjoy a holiday.

Occupants can enjoy a very well kept swimming pool, barbecues, a laundry area with lots of dryers plus a big camp kitchen with its own fridge-freezer, stove with oven plus a TV.

UNITS AND APARTMENTS

Visitors can also enjoy on-site units. There are single units with a car port, air con, double bed plus bunk beds, TV, self contained kitchen and a private bathroom. The larger two bedroom family apartments offer sleeping areas for over six folk, TV and split system air conditioning, both a lounge and dining room, a private bathroom and a fully self contained kitchen along with a car port.

Local Attractions

There are some great walking tracks in this area, and other popular activities in the area include rafting on the Tully River and skydiving at Tully. Personally, I found it hard to leave that palm-fringed beach; it was a lovely place to walk of an evening with a light sea breeze coming ashore. However, a lot of folk will enjoy the fact that the Caravan Park is right next to Miller’s Bar and Grill while Scotty’s Bar and Grill is just across the road. Nana’s Thai Restaurant is also very handy. Dining out, enjoying some refreshment and walking home – what could be easier!

The youngsters can also enjoy the playground next to the beach opposite the caravan park while Mum and Dad sit on a handy seat and relax.

There are ample retail outlets and restaurants in the main centre of Mission Beach which is about 10 minutes’ drive to the north, while the sugar towns of Tully and Innisfail are both within easy travelling distance. The city of Cairns is around two hours’ drive to the north, and Townsville City about 2.5 hours’ drive south.

The Fishing

To get the best from the local fishing, whether it be offshore, around the islands or in one of the local rivers, a boat is essential. There are boat ramps at South Mission Beach five minutes from the campgrounds, and on the northern outskirts of Mission Beach there’s a well sheltered ramp at Clump Point in a boat harbour.

Live baiting is the most popular method in this neck of the woods but anglers skilled in the use of plastics will score their share of fish as well. Beach fishing can be enjoyable but the species will be mainly bream with the odd flathead thrown in. The local rivers (the Murray, Hull and Tully) all have their fish, it just comes down to the angler’s experience to extract them.

For light tackle aficionados the upper reaches of the Tully in the Gorge have some very feisty sooty grunter and jungle perch in their pools. There’s also the odd hefty, unexpected, there-goes-my-$20-lure barramundi waiting for a snack to come their way.

If you want some help to get started, a good option is to do a trip with Mission Beach Charters. You can reach them on 07 4068 7009.

In all, this area and its attractions are virtually a must-see if you’re heading north for a holiday. If you’re coming from Cairns, turn off at El Arish and follow the signs to Mission Beach proper. From there the roads leading down to Wongaling Beach will be Porter Promenade, Seaview Street, Wongaling Beach Road turning right into Banfield Parade with the caravan park and Webb Road shortly on the right.

If you’re coming east from Tully on the Tully Mission Beach Road, you’ll see Webb Road on the right after passing the South Mission Beach Road.

Dunk Island View Caravan Park can be contacted on (07) 4068 8248 or you can check out their website at www.dunkislandviewcaravanpark.com.

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