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Mission Seaside is a blissfully relaxed seaside city in Tropical North Queensland removed from the hustle and bustle of Cairns and Port Douglas.
It’s made up of 4 coastal villages linked by 14 kilometres of idyllic (largely empty) golden seaside fringed by palm timber—a quintessential tropical paradise.
Whereas most individuals come right here for leisure, there are sufficient issues to do in Mission Seaside to maintain you busy together with rainforest walks, wildlife recognizing (it’s top-of-the-line locations to see the distinctive cassowary hen), and snorkelling journeys to a quiet part of the outer Nice Barrier Reef.
On this publish, I share our picks for what to do in Mission Seaside after spending two weeks there. Plus the place to remain, the best way to get there, and a map with all our suggestions.
The place is Mission Seaside Queensland?
Mission Seaside is situated on the Cassowary Coast in North Queensland, Australia. It’s 140km or a two-hour drive south of Cairns and 235km or three hours north of Townsville.
Cairns (CNS) is the closest airport with home and worldwide flights.
Under you’ll discover a map and particulars on the best way to get there.
Greatest Issues to Do in Mission Seaside Qld
1) Calm down on the Seashores
The lengthy golden seaside is the spotlight of Mission Seaside. Even within the winter excessive season, the seaside was often empty, particularly away from the primary hub, Mission Seaside Village (typically known as North Mission Seaside).
The palm timber that line the sand are splendidly picturesque and the views of Dunk Island offshore and the mountains within the distance add to the scenic view.
Don’t look forward to finding any sunbed leases—deliver your personal towel. Within the afternoon there’s loads of shade from the timber.
The intense tides imply that the ocean is commonly fairly far out leaving a large agency seaside that’s ultimate for strolling, operating, and even biking.
Mission Seaside does have some downsides, although. In the summertime months (November to Could), it’s stinger season with a excessive threat of jellyfish together with the venomous field jellyfish.
You’ll be able to nonetheless swim however you could put on protecting clothes and swim inside the stinger nets at North Mission and South Mission seashores.
From June to October, it’s protected to swim, though I did really feel a light tingle within the water typically.
The opposite potential hazard is crocodiles! There’s not a zero per cent probability of crocodiles within the water at Mission Seaside (or anyplace within the Far North), nevertheless it’s extraordinarily unlikely you’ll encounter one. Locals we met hadn’t seen one in many years. I did keep away from swimming at night time, although, which is a better threat time.
One last situation is that the ocean usually turns brown after rain or wind. This was the case once we arrived, nevertheless it cleared up a number of days later.
Swimming on the offshore islands is extra fulfilling because the water is clearer and doesn’t have the chance of jellyfish or crocs.
Dunk Island (see under) is the simplest to go to or we stayed on the luxurious Bedarra Island Resort after Mission Seaside (25 minutes away) and liked it. See our Bedarra Island Resort assessment for particulars.
2) Go to the 4 Coastal Villages
The 4 coastal villages that make up Mission Seaside are (from north to south): Bingil Bay, North Mission (or Mission Seaside Village), Wongaling Seaside, and South Mission.
They’re all low-rise with minimal improvement between the rainforest and seaside.
Bingil Bay is a sleepy village with a fairly seaside. There’s not a lot right here besides a campsite and the favored Bingil Bay Cafe with its quirky, vibrant decor.
It’s near Garners Seaside (see under) and the Bicton Hill Stroll.
North Mission Seaside
Mission Seaside Village or North Mission is the customer hub. It has probably the most eating places and cafes, and on weekend evenings is sort of full of life with a number of bars internet hosting stay music.
It’s residence to the Sunday Market and some outlets together with Leny’s for tropical fruit, The Bowerbird’s Pantry for espresso and native foodie merchandise, and Helen Wiltshire Gallery for artwork and presents.
On the seaside entry on David St (by Loads Restaurant), there’s a cute cassowary signal the place you may take your picture. Subsequent to it’s a very scenic swing hanging from a palm tree.
Wongaling Seaside is extra of a residential space with plenty of seaside homes (together with one we stayed in) on a quiet stretch of sand. There are a couple of eating places and the one grocery store (Woolworths).
South Mission Seaside
3) Pattern Native Tropical Fruit
The Cassowary Coast is a significant rising space for bananas and different tropical fruit.
Leny’s Tropical Fruit and Veg in the primary village is an efficient spot to choose up contemporary produce and there’s a smoothie store subsequent door. They usually have seasonal fruit for $10 a bucket—we purchased scrumptious passionfruit and fortunately made our manner by all of them.
Subsequent to Leny’s is an honesty field the place you may choose up cheap bananas.
You can too attempt the Sunday Market, however there are just a few stalls with contemporary produce.
4) Spot a Cassowary
Cassowaries are massive, flightless birds that descend from dinosaurs. They’re splendidly unusual trying with shaggy black our bodies, blue heads topped with a big knob (known as a casque), and big three-toed clawed ft.
These dagger-like claws are what give the cassowary its repute as probably the most harmful hen as they’ll kill people with them. The chance is overstated and it’s unlikely to assault you, nevertheless it’s greatest to maintain your distance in case you are fortunate sufficient to see one.
So the place are you able to see a cassowary in Mission Seaside? Any of the rainforest walks are a superb place to begin. We noticed their droppings on the Lacey Creek Stroll however didn’t see the hen itself.
We’d virtually given up hope after practically two weeks on the town earlier than we noticed a mom and chick in a area by the street simply previous Lacey Creek.
We additionally met individuals who’d seen them within the backyard whereas staying at Licuala Lodge and the caravan park at South Mission Seaside apparently has a daily customer.
Etty Bay (40 minutes north) is understood for them however we didn’t see any. We did see two whereas tenting at Murray Falls, although (50 minutes south).
If all hope is misplaced, there’s all the time the Huge Cassowary statue within the buying centre in Wongaling Seaside.
5) Snorkel on the Nice Barrier Reef
A snorkelling journey is among the greatest issues to do in Mission Seaside because it’s one of many closest cities to the outer reef and is far quieter than Cairns.
We did a full-day snorkel journey with Mission Seaside Dive, at present the one firm that provides group journeys. You’ll be able to dive or snorkel at two spots on the reef.
On our journey, we went to Beaver Cay, which includes a picturesque sand bar, and there have been no different tour boats round.
We snorkelled over vibrant coral and dramatic drop-offs with 1000’s of fish together with parrotfish, angelfish, butterflyfish, trumpetfish, and lots of extra. Swimming by huge faculties of fish was particularly magical.
It’s an extended day trip, although, with a 90-minute journey to the outer reef. This is identical for journeys from Cairns and Port Douglas too. Seeing whales and dolphins on the best way did make the journey extra fulfilling.
A snorkel journey with Mission Seaside Dive consists of lunch and snorkel gear. You’ll be able to hire wetsuits for $5 (positively really helpful) and purchase drinks onboard. Excursions don’t run each day so ensure that to e book forward.
Though we actually loved the journey (and you’ll’t spend an excessive amount of time on the reef), in case you are additionally visiting Port Douglas, we most well-liked our small-group snorkel journey with ABC. Excursions are run by a marine biologist so we discovered quite a bit in regards to the fish, and so they take a most of 12 folks.
6) Get pleasure from Coastal Views on the Kennedy Strolling Observe
Kennedy Strolling Observe is among the hottest hikes in Mission Seaside however usually for the realm, we solely noticed a couple of others round.
The entire path from South Mission to Kennedy Bay is 8km return and takes round two hours. You don’t must stroll the entire path to take pleasure in beautiful views although (we didn’t).
Keep away from cover tide for this coastal stroll.
The path begins on boardwalk previous the small rocky Lover’s Seaside after which heads up into the rainforest previous a lookout throughout to Dunk Island.
You then take steps all the way down to the lengthy sandy seaside at Lugger Bay the place you stroll on the seaside earlier than reaching the headland and lookout.
Cassowaries have been seen on the path however we didn’t see any.
There’s a small automobile park with a rest room firstly of the path (Kennedy Strolling Observe on Google Maps) on the southern finish of South Mission Seaside.
7) Stroll at Lacey Creek in Djiru Nationwide Park
The 1.1km loop by the rainforest took us 20 minutes. We went anticlockwise and noticed some cassowary droppings (with massive partially digested fruit seeds) on the primary a part of the path however no signal of the birds.
Even with no cassowary sighting, it’s a pleasing, tranquil stroll (though insect repellent is advisable). You move the creek at a number of factors (we noticed fish and turtles) and on the finish, there’s a small swimming gap and picnic desk.
For an extended stroll, the steeper Dreaming and Musgravia Trails begin throughout the street.
8) Discover Solitude on Garners Seaside
If the primary seashores aren’t quiet sufficient for you, head north of Bingil Seaside down a distant gravel street by the rainforest to the small bay at Garners Seaside.
On our go to, there was nobody else on this beautiful seaside besides a yacht. It was shady within the late afternoon—morning could be higher if you wish to benefit from the solar.
9) Store on the Mission Seaside Sunday Market
A few instances a month the primary Mission Seaside village hosts a market subsequent to the seaside.
The main target is extra on garments and crafts than meals, however there are a few locations to choose up breakfast and produce.
Our favorite stall was Mad Baker for sourdough loaves and scrumptious toasties.
There are two markets on the identical spot in Mission Seaside, however they’re very comparable and each run from round 8am – 1pm:
Mission Seaside Markets
Held on the first and third Sunday of the month all yr spherical.
Mission Seaside Monster Markets
Held on the final Sunday of every month from Easter Sunday till the tip of November.
10) Eat by the Seaside at Loads
Our favorite meal in Mission Seaside was at Loads. Their menu is extra inventive than the pub grub at a lot of the different locations on the town, and so they have the most effective location proper subsequent to the seaside.
There are a couple of vegetarian choices and we loved the tonkatsu eggplant and the vegetarian poke bowl (though it wasn’t a typical poke bowl).
It was quiet on a weekday however reserving is a good suggestion on weekends so you will get a front-row seat to benefit from the ocean view by the palms.
Different extra informal spots the place we ate dinner in Mission Seaside Village had been Mad Pizza (good sourdough bases however an excessive amount of cheese for us) and Lansis (a burger place with a superb veggie burger). Each of those do takeout so you may take pleasure in your meal on the seaside simply minutes away.
11) Have a Leisurely Brunch
There are a couple of good cafes in Mission Seaside to take pleasure in a relaxed brunch earlier than hitting the seaside.
We appreciated that Cafe Johalia on the primary avenue has a vegan massive breakfast with hash browns, toast, beans, veggie sausages, mushrooms, and roast tomatoes. It was big however you may order a half portion.
Shanti Cafe simply down the street has a pleasing backyard setting and a cupboard stuffed with tempting desserts.
Bingil Bay Cafe is one other in style choice.
12) Attempt a Really feel Good Banana
A Really feel Good Banana is a regionally made, natural, frozen banana dipped in chocolate.
They’re tasty and filling and also you’ll discover them in outlets and eating places throughout city (such because the Mission Seaside Mini Mart).
13) Play Pétanque
There’s a free pétanque courtroom by the seaside in Mission Seaside Village. Sadly, you want boules and there’s nowhere to hire them.
The Pétanque membership meets on Sunday from 3pm and Wednesday from 5pm and guests are welcome to play with them and borrow their boules.
Extra Mission Seaside Actions
Regardless of having two weeks on the town, we didn’t get round to every little thing on our record, partly as a result of climate and partly on account of not wanting to go away our beautiful seaside home.
When you’ve got extra vitality than us, listed below are another Mission Seaside actions to contemplate:
14) Go to Dunk Island
It’s a disgrace we didn’t go to Dunk Island as we spent our complete journey admiring it from the seaside.
The island is residence to a now-defunct resort and nationwide park. One of the simplest ways to discover is on the 10km Dunk Island Circuit Observe, which takes you to the highest of Mount Kootaloo, down Palm Valley, and throughout to Coconut Seaside.
You’ll be able to attain Dunk Island on the FastCat ferry service by QuickCoast. It departs from Clump Level Marina at 9am 4 days every week and returns at 3pm, so that you get about six hours on the island.
15) Go White Water Rafting
One of the crucial enjoyable issues to do from Mission Seaside is to go white water rafting on the Tully Gorge which has grade 3 and 4 rapids.
The assembly level for the tour is about 20 minutes from Mission Seaside, so that is a lot nearer than going from Cairns.
16) Stroll Up Bicton Hill
The three.2km circuit takes about 1 hour quarter-hour with 188 metres of elevation acquire. It takes you thru the rainforest as much as a lookout with ocean views.
17) See the Rainforest at Licuala Day Use Space
Licuala is one other space in Djiru Nationwide Park with simple walks by the forest. Do the 2km stroll on the Fan Palm and Household walks for an opportunity to see cassowaries.
18) Take a Bean to Bar Chocolate Tour
Charley’s Chocolate Manufacturing facility is a 10-minute drive inland from Mission Seaside Village. They develop their very own cocoa beans and make chocolate onsite.
They provide bean-to-bar excursions twice every week (bookings important) and the onsite store is open 10am – 2pm from Tuesday to Friday.
We purchased their chocolate from The Bowerbird’s Pantry within the village and it was the most effective darkish chocolate I’ve ever had—so fruity and clean. I want we’d carried out their tour or at the very least stocked up within the store.
19) Leap out of a Aircraft
Surprisingly, sleepy Mission Seaside is among the greatest locations in Queensland to skydive.
The location has Australia’s highest soar (as much as 15,000 ft) with as much as 60 seconds of freefall. Plus you’ll take pleasure in attractive views of the city from above and land on the seaside.
20) Swim at Alligators Nest Swimming Gap
25 minutes from Mission Seaside close to Tully is among the greatest swimming holes within the space.
Alligators Nest Swimming Gap appears to be like stunning, has no crocs, and is simple to entry. Good for a picnic and refreshing dip.
21) See the Fortress at Paronella Park
Paronella Park is a singular vacationer vacation spot a 45-minute drive north of Mission Seaside (we stopped right here on our manner down from Cairns).
Within the early twentieth century, Spanish immigrant José Paronella dreamt of constructing a citadel. He began out as a farm employee and ended up making his fortune by clearing land, planting sugar cane, after which promoting the farm.
Finally, he was capable of realise his dream and created his household residence at Paronella Park. It was additionally open to locals who attended balls and movie screenings and got here to swim and eat on the cafe.
A lot of the buildings are in ruins now because it was hit by many cyclones, nevertheless it’s an atmospheric place to wander and see the crumbling citadel coated in moss, being taken again by the jungle.
There are additionally some beautiful quick walks by the rainforest together with down the scenic Kauri avenue and to a pond stuffed with turtles.
Entrance to Paronella Park is A$55 nevertheless it features a free tour and is legitimate for 2 years. You even get a free keep within the caravan park subsequent door.
The place to Keep in Mission Seaside
We stayed at this Airbnb beachfront home in Wongaling Seaside and liked the views and placement on a quiet stretch of sand. You do should drive in every single place, although (10 minutes to the eating places in Mission Seaside).
Should you’d relatively have the ability to stroll to eating places and cafes, select a lodge in Mission Seaside Village such because the beachfront Castaways Resort.
If seeing a cassowary is a precedence for you, contemplate Licuala Lodge, a B&B within the rainforest between Mission Seaside and Wongaling Seaside.
You’ll should drive in every single place, however we met a pair staying there who had seen cassowaries a number of instances within the backyard whereas consuming breakfast on the deck. There’s a beautiful pool too.
The best way to Get to Mission Seaside
As Mission Seaside is unfold out throughout a number of villages, it’s greatest visited with your personal car. We rented a automobile from Apex at Cairns Airport or you may examine Rental Automobiles to match the choices.
The 2-hour drive from Cairns to Mission Seaside is scenic with a number of attention-grabbing stops on the best way together with Babinda Boulders and Josephine Falls for swims, Etty Bay for a fairly seaside and probability to see cassowaries, and Paronella Park.
In case you are heading south, Mission Seaside to Townsville is a three-hour journey by automobile. There’s a Greyhound bus service that runs thrice a day and takes about 4 hours.
The perfect stops on the best way to Townsville are a detour off the freeway and embrace Murray Falls, Cardwell Spa Pool, and the beautiful Wallaman Falls (the tallest single-drop waterfall in Australia).
Map of Mission Seaside Queensland
Is Mission Seaside Qld Price Visiting?
Should you like sleepy coastal villages and lengthy empty seashores, Mission Seaside is properly value visiting.
It’s not as action-packed as Cairns and even Port Douglas, however there are a number of worthwhile actions together with visiting Dunk Island and the outer reef. Principally it’s the place to come back for lengthy seaside walks, rainforest exploration, and the possibility to see cassowaries.
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