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Introducing Dunk Island

The water surrounding Dunk Island, just 4.5 kilometres southeast of Mission Beach proper, seems too blue to be true. It’s the first thing you notice when you step off the ferry and onto the long jetty. As you make your way to terra firma and peer over the edge of the old wooden structure, myriad fish swarm below as if they take it upon themselves to be the island’s unofficial welcoming party (and also offer fantastic fishing). Known to the Djiru Aboriginal people as Coonanglebah (the island of peace and plenty), Dunk is pretty much your ideal tropical island.

Dunk Island was severely battered by Cyclone Yasi in February 2011 and the resort was closed. At the time of writing, no bookings were being taken until at least late August. It’s likely that there will be no regular day trips out to the island until the resort reopens – call ahead or check with the Mission Beach visitor centre for updates.

Walking trails crisscross (and almost circumnavigate) the island. There’s good snorkelling over bommies at Muggy Muggy and great swimming at Coconut Beach.

Day-trippers can utilise a limited number of the resort’s facilities with a day pass, including a two-course lunch at one of the resort’s excellent cafes.

The standard beachfront rooms at family- friendly Dunk Island Resort are just as nice as the more expensive beachfront suites. Permits for the DERM campground need to be organised through the resort.

Air transfers to/from Cairns (adult/child return $390/290, 45 minutes, two daily) can be booked through the resort.

Calypso, departing from Mission Beach’s Clump Point jetty, and Mission Beach Dunk Island Water Taxi, departing from Wongaling Beach, make the 20-minute trip to Dunk Island. Calypso also operates an amphibious marine craft, Sealegs, which can pick up from a dozen departure points along Mission’s beachfront and drop you over on Dunk.

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