Tourism

4 Great Ways to Soak Up Mission Beach

It’s the gateway to the world-famous Great Barrier Reef, yet remarkably, Mission Beach remains an inch off the tourist trail. Boasting glistening waters and some of the lushest rainforests in the world, there’s coconuts to collect, trails to trek and an abundance of natural glory. Mission Beach cloaks four sleepy villages along 14km of tropical beach bliss, making it the perfect place to soak up peace and reconnect back to nature. Here are our top five ways to get your dose of tropical paradise in Mission Beach.

 

Go cassowary spotting

If your idea of fun is gawking at the whacky and majestic creatures of Australia, then you’re going to love Mission Beach. The flightless, bright birds are a distant relative of the emu, and happily roam through rainforests and local’s backyards. It’s the only place in Australia you can spot the cassowary, so keep your eyes peeled. 
One of the best places to spot a cassowary is at Lacey’s Creek in Djiru National Park. Take a picnic, a camera and keep quiet – sooner or later, one will pop in for a visit. Remember, there’s only around 4000 left in the wild, so keep your distance, don’t feed them and give them your humble respect.

Eat chocolate (almost) straight from the tree

Want to see a magic trick where a tree turns into a chocolate bar? Head to Charley’s Chocolate Factory, Mission Beach’s beloved cocoa plantation. It’s the closest you can get to eating nature at it’s purest: watch the freshly harvested cocoa beans cream into the chocolate bar of your dreams right before your eyes. Tours run every Thursday and Sunday, with passionate guides feeding your curiosity before feeding your appetite. You’ll take a glimpse into cocoa’s 3800 years of history before heading down to the tree nursery for a hands-on chocolate experience. Pick a ripe cocoa pod, see the fermentation process and help Charley make (and eat) the chocolate! You can book a tour here.

 

White water raft in Australia’s best rapids 

If you’re an adrenaline junkie, Raging Thunder will welcome you with open arms. Take a short drive inland from Mission Beach to Tully, where you’ll find some of the world’s wildest white water rapids. It’s one of the best places in the north to jump out of your comfort zone, with over 30 years of experience and dedication to safety, team work and adventure. There are an abundance of packages to choose from, catering to solo travellers, larger groups and extreme adrenaline-junkies. For more information, take a look at their website here.

Island hop and explore the Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef boasts a myriad of bewitchingly beautiful islands, so while in Mission Beach, don’t miss your chance to spend a day hopping between them. The best known islands are Dunk and Bedarra, but for a more peaceful experience, opt for the lesser-known Family Islands (try out Timana, Wheeler or Coombe). As for the hopping, you have an abundance of options: take the Dunk Island Water Taxi and join their island-hopping tour, hire your own boat or if you’re in the mood for a bit of luxury, book a room at Bedarra Island Resort. You can also opt for a kayaking trip to Dunk Island with Coral Sea Kayaking.
There’s also a whole world under the water to explore. Mission Beach is home to some of the world’s best diving sites, so take advantage and book a snorkelling or scuba-diving tour with Mission Beach Dive. You’ll be delighted by the bold colours, coral gardens and reef sharks who come out to play.