Mission Beach Hiking and Walking Trails
A walk in the sunshine every now and then does you some good and it's especially fun when you have the beautiful surroundings that the Mission Beach National Parks have to offer.
These National and State forests have been protected and reserved for not only human life but also for the rainforests inhabitants and the rare plant species that thrive here.
Scientists, Botanists, Bird watchers, Nature lovers and tourists from all over the world have the opportunity to walk into the rainforest on well marked walking trails and see the natural beauty that Mother Nature creates when she is undisturbed and unpolluted.
The Mission Beach area offers visitors a fantastic array of walking and hiking experiences.
They have even created special walking tracks for little kids to have fun and learn from.
The Mission Beach Visitor Information Centre and Cassowary Information Centre offer historical, cultural, and environmental perspectives on the area along with all the maps and local information you need.
Please drop in and see them before you embark on any hiking around the Mission Beach Rainforests and State Forest region.
Mission Beach Walking Tracks
Ulysses Link walking trail and the Cutten Brothers walk
An easy but informative walking trail for the whole family is the Ulysses Link which is around 1.5 kilometers long and takes around 30 minutes to complete.
This walk was constructed by the Mission Beach Rotary Club in 1988 with funding from the Queensland Heritage Trails Network and features a lot of the regions history shown in cultural art works by local artisans.
Named after the brilliant blue Ulysses butterflies that you frequently see in Mission Beach, the 1.5 kilometer walking track winds its way along the beachfront taking in the breathtaking views of the outlying Family of Islands, the closest and one of the best known Islands being Dunk Island.
This walking trail commences from Alexander Drive at Clump Point approximately 1 kilometer north of the Mission Beach village and finishes near the jetty at Tarragon Beach.
The Ulysses Link connects with the southern end of the Cutten brothers Walk and goes south through Mission Beach.
For all Tours and Enquiries at Mision Beach please visit The Tour Specialists www.thetourspecialists.com or phone 1300 761 612
Licuala Rainforest Circuit Walk
In the Licuala State Forest there are several walking tracks. The walks here take the visitor through the rare fan palm forests of Mission Beach which make up about one half of the total Fan Palm Forests in all of Australia.
Head towards the Tully - Mission beach Road and then drive 1 kilometer along the unsealed road until you reach the car park.
This walk is another nice easy one for all the family as it will take you around 30 minutes to walk along the 1.25 kilometer track.
There are numerous educational markers indicating different plant species as well as information about nutrient cycles and the diet of the Cassowary Bird. Here you will see spectacular 10-15 meter high canopy of Licuala Fan Palms.
Their fleshy orange fruit is a favorite treat for the endangered Cassowary Bird that inhabits these rainforests.
If you spot a Cassowary just ensure you do not disturb it and do not approach it as they can become quite aggressive if they are provoked.
Admire this ancient creature from distance thru the lenses of your camera only.
The Children's Walk
A short continuation of the Licuala Rainforest Circuit and is designed especially for kids.
It's only about 350 meters long and takes around ten minutes Brochures are available for children to learn about cassowaries and their habitat in a fun way.
Follow the Cassowaries foot print along the trail to find a surprise nest of Cassowary eggs for the kids.
The Musgrave Link Track - Licuala Walking Track
This Licuala State Forest Park hiking trail forms part of the above walking tracks and can be accessed from either Tully-Mission Beach Road or at two other points on the El Arish-Mission Beach Road.
Much of the Musgrave Link Track is along an old forestry track running alongside the Hull River and Jurs Creek.
This mainly flat track follows an old forestry road used in the 1960s and 1970s to haul timber from South Mission Beach to the El Arish timber mill.
There are numerous bridges over small tributaries and you will pass through a wide variety of lowland rainforest types, including stunning licuala palm forests.
Bridges are closed for safety reasons and hikers are to follow the marked detours. A short link track joins the Musgrave Link Track to the Dreaming trail shortly before the road exit.
The Dreaming Trail goes to Lacey Creek Walk and the car park and toilets.
Bicton Hill Track
This is a hiking trail where you may need a bit more stamina and sense of adventure as it's a four kilometer round trip that is definitely worth the hike to the summit. Located only 4.6 kilometers north of the main Mission Beach shopping centre travel along the road to Bingil Bay until you see the car park signage at Bicton Hill.
The park entrance and car park are approximately 500 meters south of Bingil Bay. It's a shady rainforest track that winds its way up Bicton Hill thru Clump Mountain National Park. When you reach the top not only will the views impress you but also the primitive Cycads here that are living fossils and sometimes considered a 'missing link' as they exhibit characteristics intermediate between vascular non-seed plants and the more derived seed plants. Bicton Hill used to be the lookout spot for passing ships, but nowadays hikers just come here to enjoy the expansive views.
The Kennedy Track
Well if you are up for it then this is the one for you its 7 kilometers long and will take you around four hours to complete if you don't drag your feet. This definitely is not a flora and fauna outing you would want to take the kids on.
From the Mission Beach Visitor Centre, take the road to Tully and, not far out of town; turn off to South Mission Beach. The trailhead for the Kennedy Track is located at the southern end of the beach, where Kennedy Esplanade terminates just past the boat ramp.
This hiking trail was named after Edmund Kennedy who began his ill-fated expedition to Cape York from Tam O'Shanteer Point in 1848.
The first part of the hiking trail is through shady pandanus and eucalypt forest, undulating up and down the coastal hills with beautiful views of the Coral Sea, the Barnard Islands, Dunk Island, Bedarra Island and Tam O'Shanter Point. After a little more than a kilometer there is a set of steps down to the long curved beach of Lugger Bay. Be aware that sometimes this beach and the mangroves beyond can sometimes be flooded by the high tide which I discovered early one morning after getting all set for the big walk.
After leaving the sandy beach and crossing the creek and mangroves, there is a short climb up Tam O'Shanter Point to a lookout with superb ocean views.
If you choose to keep walking, the track winds its way around the rocky point to Kennedy Bay where there are toilet and picnic facilities, where you can stop for a rest and freshen up.
For the even more adventurous, there is a rougher track along the coast to the mouth of the Hull River from here - about 4 kilometers return.
As mentioned earlier these Mission Beach hiking trails and walking tracks are just a few that are on offer for you and your family and friends to enjoy. Just make sure you do not go off the trails as you may cause erosion or damage to the undergrowth or even get lost.
Please ensure you are well prepared when going hiking and ensure you have enough food and water and insect repellant should it be required for some unexpected overnight stay.
Be sure that you only take away photographs of these rainforests and do not leave any of your litter behind. Take a pencil and paper to write down the most memorable parts of your journey and then you can match these to your photographs.
Always tell someone in your Mission Beach hotel or resort accommodation where you are going and when you are expected to return.
Make sure you pick up walking trail maps and local information from the lovely people at the Mission Beach Visitors Information Centre and just ensure you have fun!