Leave the crowds behind on this long and uninterrupted curve of palm- and rainforest-fringed golden sand that stretches south from the black basalt outcrop of Clump Point to the residential enclave of South Mission at Kennedy Bay.
Discover four quiet hamlets that lie scattered along the 14km-long beach, collectively known as Mission Beach: Bingil Bay, North Mission Beach, Wongaling Beach and South Mission Beach.
Walk up to Clump Point for magnificent views southward along the beach, stroll or ride a bike along the beach as far as you like and take a detour through the muddy creeks and stands of licuala palm in Tam O'Shanter State Forest to spot wallabies and the shy blue-headed southern cassowaries.
Along the way, admire beautiful views across the turquoise water to tropical islands that dot the horizon. Dunk Island is one of those – and makes a perfect day trip for you to explore its idyllic beaches and rainforest trails.
The area around Mission Beach offers a range of outdoor pursuits for a active couples, including white-water rafting on the nearby Tully River, hiking Mission’s native rainforest, skydiving over and kayaking around Dunk Island and diving, coral viewing and snorkelling around Beaver Cay on the Great Barrier Reef.
Note: To avoid coming face-to-face with a croc, it’s best to swim in the enclosures provided. Even better, go on a croc-spotting tour.
To the north lies Bingil Bay and beautiful rainforest-fringed Garners Beach where you can stroll along the 4km-long Bicton Hill track through a wet tropics rainforest and see shy cassowaries amid native palms.
To the south, the Edmund Kennedy track offers walks along the beach and through mangroves and rainforest.
Must-see attractions near Mission Beach, include…
Explore on foot one of the largest remaining areas of coastal lowland rainforest in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.
Hike the 6km-long walking trail that weaves through a thousand different species of trees, including groves of 20-high arenga palms and 15m-high licuala fan palms (identified by their clustered crowns of circular, pleated leaves).
Along the way lookout for wildlife such as the giant petalurid dragonfly, swamp wallabies and the endangered southern cassowary – a large emu-like flightless bird that can stand up to 2m tall and may attack if disturbed. If you see a cassowary, remain quiet and keep at a safe distance.
This gorgeous 10km² island is home to a national park and ritzy resort – Voyages Dunk Island – where you get to be pampered with a range of creature comforts.
Dunk is just 5km offshore from Mission Beach and offers a choice of stunning white-sand beaches that shelve into clear waters ideal for swimming, snorkelling and kayaking.
Choose from a network of bushwalks that weave through tropical rainforest and enjoy panoramic views from Mount Kootaloo, the island’s highest point at 271m.
Lying just south of Dunk Island is this private island hideaway where you can be indulgent at the exclusive Voyages Bedarra Island Resort.
The region between Bingil Bay and South Mission offers a good range of resort accommodation to suit all budgets, with many lodges, hotels and resorts nestled in rainforest and nutmeg groves or located just metres away from the beach.
Here's a selection of the top accommodation options…
Taihoa Holiday Units
Location: South Mission Beach
Prices: from AUD160 per room
Description: Located in South Mission Beach, the 4-star Taihoa Holiday Units boast a saltwater swimming pool, BBQ facilities and a sunny terrace with views of Dunk Island, Bedarra Island and the Coral Sea. Free WiFi and free guest boat parking are included. The property is 15 minutes' drive from both Mission Beach and a variety of restaurants. Taihoa Holiday Units are just 2 hours south of Cairns and approximately 3 hours north of Townsville. The wedding venue at Elandra Resort is a 4-minute drive away. This adults-only resort offers luxury air-conditioned suites with ocean views, a kitchenette, a dining setting and a flat-screen TV. The tour desk can book reef cruises and sky diving adventures. The property also offers a guest laundry and free parking.
Eco Village Mission Beach
Location: Mission Beach
Prices: from AUD175 per room
Description: Situated just 20 metres from the white sands of Australia's Mission Beach, Eco Village beachfront resort offers 17 bungalows set in tropical rainforest gardens. Free WiFi is available in most areas of the resort. The self-contained bungalows at Mission Beach Eco Village surround the swimming pool area. The deluxe rooms are situated in their own secluded area overlooking private water features. Each air-conditioned bungalow features ceiling fans, a 32-inch LCD TV and a front patio with outdoor furniture overlooking the pool area, gardens or coastal rainforest. The restaurant and bar overlook the ocean towards Dunk Island and are open for dinner from Tuesday to Saturday in peak season, and from Thursday to Saturday in low season. The tour desk can arrange local activities, with cruises to Dunk Island departing from the front door. Eco Village Mission Beach Australia is a leisurely 10-minute stroll along the beach from shops, restaurants and bars.
Castaways Resort & Spa Mission Beach
Location: Mission Beach
Prices: from AUD115 per room
Description: Ideally located to explore the Great Barrier Reef and World Heritage Wet Tropics Rainforest, Castaways Resort & Spa is a luxurious beachfront escape on Mission Beach. Castaways Resort & Spa On Mission Beach is comprised of two centrally located properties. The absolute beachfront property features rooms and apartments with unrivalled ocean views and direct access to a 14 km long beautiful, white sandy beach. Located 100 metres up the road, the rainforest property features economy rooms nestled amongst lush internal rainforest gardens. Both properties provide access to 3 swimming pools, Drift Day Spa, Bibesia Cocktail Bar & Restaurant and an in-house fitness centre. The property is located in Mission Beach, a 90-minute drive south of Cairns. Mission Beach boasts a great variety of activities with over 20 nearby islands, white-water rafting, snorkelling and scuba-diving reef trips, skydiving over the beach, crocodile spotting, whale tours, chocolate tours and more. Castaways Resort offers wedding facilities, corporate event facilities, function and event facilities. There is also a Wedding and Events coordinator to help you if you are organising your special day.
It’s probably best to holiday at Mission Beach during the dry season from May to November when you can expect sunny skies, fresh sea breezes, low humidity and average daytime temperatures of 27°C (80°F).
The wet season lasts from December to April, with January and February receiving the most rain.
Read more about weather in Mission Beach…
Mission Beach is a coastal beach community located midway between Townsville and Cairns on the Cassowary Coast Region of Queensland, Australia.
Bounded on the east by the Coral Sea and rainforest-covered mountains to the west, Mission Beach stretches for 13km (8mi) from Clump Point at the northern end of the beach to Tam O'Shanter Point at the southern end.
The most convenient route to Mission Beach, from overseas or interstate, is by air to Cairns International Airport (CNS), located about 144km (89mi) north of Mission Beach, followed by bus (2 hours 5 minutes, once daily) or car (around 2 hours).
Alternatively, you can fly into Townsville Airport (TSV), which lies about 235km (146 mi) south of Mission Beach, about 2 hours 30 minutes by bus or car.
Read more about how to get to Mission Beach…
Latest update: Mission Beach, Queensland: 6 October, 2022