Beaches of Mission Beach
Approaching from Cairns the first turn off to Mission Beach is to Garners Beach and Bingil Bay. Garners Beach and Bingil Bay are east of the Bruce Highway and just a little north of Mission Beach. To get to Garners Beach and Bingil Bay turn east off the Bruce Highway at El Arish (between Tully and Innisfail). You will notice the El Arish Golf Club to your right and don't worry the signage is easily identified. Take the El Arish - Bingil Bay Road and turn the second left into Garners Beach Road to visit a beautifully quiet beach cove with the most beautiful views to the Barnard Islands. This will be your introduction to the beaches of Mission Beach.
Just be aware some of the road to Garners Beach is unsealed so your rent car insurance may not allow you to drive down this road. Garners Beach is well known for sightings of Cassowaries so be very careful and keep your speed down whilst visiting this region. Here you will see where the rainforest meets the reef with old rainforest trees providing shade for beach goers.
Just for your information here is a little brief bit of history we found.
Garner's Beach has a close association with the work of the Garner family who were farmers, boat builders and boat operators and who also helped to develop the Clump Point district as a fruit producing region in the early 20th century.
The Garner family was well-known and highly regarded in the local community, and their boat building and boat operating activities made a significant contribution to the development of the area that we see today. They cleared the rainforest land and made is suitable for farming thru all sorts of hardships.
Just a little piece of trivia: When you come to the little Garners Beach cove you will see a resident's home front fence is made of multitudes of thongs. We are guessing these are all left foot thongs that have been washed up on the shore and left to hang on the fence for their owners to come and find them.
The next beach cove is Brooks Beach where housing development has also begun which is the next beach south to Garners Beach just north of Bingil Bay.
Today, what were once separate villages have now grown such that they are considered one town, Mission Beach. The villages are, from north to south, Garners Beach, Brooks Beach, Bingil Bay, Narragon Beach, Mission Beach, Wongaling Beach, South Mission Beach and Lugger Bay.
Bingil Bay is mostly a residential area with holiday houses dotted around the streets with short walks to the beachfront. There are some cute bed and breakfast accommodation houses and some backpacker hostel type of holiday accommodation as well. A palm fringed picnic area is located on the edge of the beach at Bingil Bay and fishing and beach games at this beach are very popular with not only tourists but also locals.
Bingil Bays Historical Point of Interest
Cuttens Lookout and Cuttens Grave, Cutten Street Memorial Bingil Bay. Cutten Street was named after a pioneering family who struggled to turn a rainforest clad region into a farming seaside township. Drive to the top of Cutten Street and follow the signs to the lookout which has views across the Coral Sea to the north and the south. Here you can also visit and pay respect at the graves of these brave pioneers who struggled thru all sorts of trials and tribulations that were thrown at them and still succeeded.
The Cutten brothers came to Mission Beach area in 1882 and settled at Bingil Bay, where they tried their hand at farming mangoes, bananas, pineapples, coffee, citrus fruit, sugar cane, tea and coconuts. They also manufactured their own coffee.
Coming from the Darling Downs they had to learn to come to terms with the rich fertile soils and the sometimes uncompromising weather conditions which did not suit a lot of these crops nor the human body without modern medicines. The local Aboriginal tribes helped them to clear the rainforests and farm these lands as well as teaching them about Aboriginal medicines for fever and the like.
After the Cutten brothers, the Unsworths settled at Narragon Beach, the Garners came and settled at Garners Beach, and the Porter brothers settled at what the locals refer to as Porter's Creek (also called Wongaling Creek) at the south end of North Mission Beach
For more information on the history of Mission Beach call into the Mission Beach Business and Tourism information Centre on Porter Promenade next to the Village Green or give them a call on 07 4068 7099 otherwise you can visit www.wettropics.gov.au
Facilities in Bingil Bay
There is a small general store called Connors Corner Store at Bingil Bay with convenience lines and the owners have a lot of local knowledge so make sure you pop in and ask for information on the things to do and see in Mission Beach and ask about the history of Bingil Bay.
Apart from this you are basically self catering for your beachside holiday with major supermarkets and shopping either at the small supermarket at Mission Beach or at Wongaling Beach Market Place Shopping Centre.
Bingil Bay is home to Clump Mountain National Park and the Bicton Hill walk on Alexander Drive, an absolute must do activity to appreciate the natural beauty of Mission Beach.
Beach or rock fishing can be quite enjoyable at a few spots between Mission Beach and Bingil Bay. A shallow rough reef runs around the headland and under the jetty at Clump Point and another reef runs right past the beach at Bingil Bay attracting Green Sea Turtles, Manta ray and lots of other tropical fish. Some of the best fishing can be had an hour either side of low tide. The Green Season is also a great time to toss a few nets to catch some fresh prawns as well.
Clump Point - Narragon Beach
Clump Point - Narragon Beach is the departure point for the transfer's boats like the water taxis and Quick Cat to Dunk Island and other outlying Islands. It's a very pretty little cove with rainforest trees coming down to the beachfront and the waters under the jetty are alive with action.
Stroll along the jetty and keep your eyes open for the Green Sea Turtles. You can just about be guaranteed to see one or two or many more on mostly a high tide on a calm day or even a low tide like we did today. For some reason they love this shallow reef spot or maybe it has something to do with the refreshing clear waters that come down the rivers and into the ocean here, not sure but keep your eyes open to see these rare and endangered Green Sea Turtles swimming about in the wild.
Clump Point has its own boat ramp for you to launch your trailer boat for a days sailing or a days fishing on the Great Barrier Reef. If fishing just make sure you have a zone map which shows the no go areas and the bag limits and sizes that you are permitted to catch.
The lookout point on Clump Point Road expand your view from the north to the south offering the eyes views over brilliant blue waters of the Great Barrier Reef to the rainforest clad islands beyond. This is the perfect place to be during the whale watching months of May to September as these beautiful creatures come to the safety of the Great Barrier Reef to calve. You will see them breaching and playing in these waters as they make their way north to the Agincourt Ribbon Reefs.
Clump Point is also the beginning of the Ulysses Walking Track which takes you along the beachfront under the shade of the trees. Here you will see tiled pieces of local artworks inlaid into the walking trail that tell stories of the region.
The vertical poles at the beginning of the Ulysses track at the Mission Beach end show the artists love of their craft with beautifully inlaid glass and tiles carefully placed for the eye to admire. Kids just love this walking trail.
Mission Beach has retained its quaint unhurried beach style village atmosphere offering holiday makers the chance to relax and recharge in a family friendly safe environment. Mission Beach is also the main hub of village life and entertainment with bars and cafes, restaurants and business facilities centered around the village green shopping mall. Here you can visit the tourist information centre and find out all the things to do and see in Mission Beach. The volunteers here have lived in the region for a long time so they can advise you on all the tours, sightseeing, attractions and other places of interest to visit whilst on holiday. Drop into the C4 Environmental Centre next door for more information on the world heritage rainforests that surround Mission Beach and the Great Barrier Reef that lies just of the shore.
Just offshore you see the beautiful views to Dunk Island and Bedarra Island which are just a short boat ride away. You can spend a day on Dunk Island and use all the resorts facilities such as horse riding, a round of golf, a spa treatment, a game of tennis, a Jet Ski tour of Dunk Island and much much more. Dunk and Bedarra are part of the Family Group of Islands, and just south is the largest island National Park in the world, Hinchinbrook Island. Just ask the front desk staff at your holiday accommodation house for more information.
Facilities in Mission Beach
The shopping area of Mission Beach has a village atmosphere offering a small Supermarket, Butcher, Baker, Newsagent, Post Office and Bottle Shop, takeaway pizza, delicatessen plus a selection of cafes, bars, restaurants and other business services. You could say this is the city part of Mission Beach as everyone visits here at some stage or another for not only good food and supplies but also nightly entertainment. There are also art galleries and boutiques for you to browse and admire and maybe make a few little momentous purchases.
For the fishermen or just some fun for the kids on the bumper tube ride there is a beachfront boat ramp for you to launch your boat just near the village green. Take the family out for a snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef or for a day trip to a local deserted Island for the day. Just ensure you have all the safety gear and have notified others of your departure and expected time of return. Mission Beach has a swimming enclosure on Pacific Parade down Donkin Lane which is watched over by the Surf Life Savers that are on patrol each day. Here you will find the Mission Beach Adventure Centre hut where you can buy a few refreshments for your day at the beach.
Wongaling Beach is another popular location for holiday accommodation and offers a large range of holiday houses, units, apartments, back packer accommodation and bed and breakfast accommodation, along with exclusive newly built absolute beachfront holiday houses and self contained apartments on the beachfront esplanades of Koda Street, Banfield Parade and Reid Road.
Wongaling has the longest stretch of beach of all the beachside suburbs so there is plenty of space for kite flying, bike riding and beach fishing.
The community beachfront facilities offer several metal artwork pieces by local artisans next to the children's playground that has swings and slides, a half basket ball court, a skate boarding park and BMX park that is extremely popular with the local kids and the holiday makers.
Beach barbeques and toilets and change facilities are here for you to start the day with a Barbeque breakfast and into the evening for a barbeque dinner.
Facilities in Wongaling Beach
The small resort shopping village next door to Mission Beach Resort at Wongaling Beach has a small Supermarket, Butcher, Newsagent, Video/DVD Hire, Chemist, and a few specialty shops and restaurants. Inside the Mission Beach Resort is a restaurant, bottle shop and gaming lounge for the adults to play in.
Another cluster of shops on the entrance to Wongaling Beach offers a fresh bread bakery, library and vet.
Mission Beach Taxis are located here and you can rent a limousine for your wedding, car rentals or charter bus hire. The number to call is 131008
This part of Wongaling also has a caravan park, a medical centre and the bus interchange is here for the backpackers.
Wongaling Beach also has a new Market Place shopping centre that houses Woolworths, Banks, cafes a tourist information booking centre and a few other shops. There is also a fuel station here so you can use your shopping dockets for discounts on fuel.
There is also a selection of Cafés and Restaurants dotted along the beachfront of Wongaling Beach like Millers Beach Bar and Grill, a Thai restaurant, Indian restaurant and two convenience stores for little essentials.
The Dunk Island Water Taxi departs from the beach on Banfield Parade so be prepared to get your toes wet. The trip to Dunk Island takes approximately 10 mins.
There are numerous departures throughout the day from 8.30 am to 4.00 pm and the returns from Dunk Island to the mainland from 9.00 am to 4.30 pm. For bookings as at your accommodation or call Dunk Island Express Water Taxi on 07 40688310.
When you are at the booking office you can also pick up refreshments and snacks for your day at the beach.
South Mission Beach
South Mission Beach is an ideal holiday destination for people looking to relax and enjoy the tropical playground that it is. This beach community offers a long beach with dramatic views to Dunk Island, Bedarra Island and all the Family Islands. South Mission Beach has its own boat ramp making this a popular spot for families and fishermen, as well as couples just looking for a place for a little romance and peace and quiet.
For the adventurous you can hire a hobby cat or a fishing boat for the day from the Mission Beach Water Sports hut opposite the Beachcomber Coconut Caravan Village for a day of snorkeling, sailing or fishing on the Great Barrier Reef. The Caravan Park opposite offers up cute little bungalows for accommodation along with a convenience store and a restaurant. South Mission Beach is also the drop off zone for Beach Skydiving so make sure you keep your eyes out for the flag on the beach that indicates where the skydivers will be landing. These pictures were taken on the last of the afternoon jumps at 3.30 pm. Looks like they had a ton of fun.
Facilities in South Mission Beach
A take-away store offers home made hamburgers, fish and chips, pies and pasties and also sells a small selection of convenience grocery lines. Most visitors pick up the bulk of their food supplies at Wongaling Beach Shopping Village, approx 5.5kms north. For those interested in boating South Mission Beach also has another excellent boat ramp at the Hull River for some estuary fishing and crabbing. Just watch out for the crocodiles and be careful not to fillet your fish on the waters edge.
A swimming enclosure is conveniently located near the caravan park and the Surf Life Saving Club. The surf club is a good place to have a sunset drink on the upstairs balcony over looking the beach on a hot day's afternoon.
Right next door is the Mission Beach Sailing Club where the family gets to learn to sail lasers and hobie cats. The Elandra Resort is also excellent spot for a late afternoon drink taking in the stunning views to Dunk Island, Bedarra Island and the Family Group of Islands from its cliff top vantage point.
South Mission Beach also provides beachfront picnic tables and barbeques, children's swing sets, toilets and change facilities. There is also a telephone box if your mobile has run out of batteries. The Kennedy Walking Track begins at the end of South Mission Beach near the boat ramp and winds its way thru the rainforest and along the beachfront past Tam O'Shanter Point until you reach Hull River National Park. Just be mindful of the tides when you do this walk as on a high tide you will definitely get your feet wet and the waves may be a bit rough at times.
The villages of Mission Beach offer not only an aquatic playground and beautiful rainforests walks but also an excellent choice of accommodation options to suit everyone. From newly refurbished luxury resorts, and beachside holiday homes, to self contained apartments and motels to beachfront cottages and secluded rainforest retreats and hostels to the adventurous backpackers budget style accommodation to quaint bed and breakfasts and of course the beachfront family caravan parks that we all have fond memories of, it's all here at Mission Beach.
Mission Beach the perfect destination for that dream wedding or romantic getaway, a great place for the backpacking adventurer, that annual family getaway, the extreme sports enthusiast, the bushwalkers and the birdwatchers, the grey nomads and the long haul caravanners.
Come and join us in our idyllic tropical hideaway you will be sure glad you got to experience our little piece of heaven on earth. There are so many other things to do and see around Mission Beach so you can be as relaxed and lazy as you desire or you can be adventurous and experience all the sightseeing tours and attractions Mission Beach has to offer within short driving distances.