Introducing Mission Beach
Less than 30km east of the Bruce Hwy’s rolling sugar-cane and banana plantations, the hamlets that make up greater Mission Beach are hidden amongst World Heritage rainforest. The rainforest extends right to the Coral Sea, giving this 14km-long palm-fringed stretch of secluded inlets and wide, empty beaches the castaway feel of a tropical island.
Cyclone Yasi made landfall at Mission Beach, stripping much of the rainforest and vegetation bare. However, the communities here certainly recovered quickly – within two weeks, water and power was restored and most businesses and tourist operators were running normally.
Although collectively referred to as Mission Beach or just ‘Mission’, the area comprises a sequence of individual hamlets strung along the coast. Bingil Bay lies 4.8km north of Mission Beach proper (sometimes called North Mission). Wongaling Beach is 5km south; from here it’s a further 5.5 kilometres south to South Mission Beach. Most amenities are in Mission proper and Wongaling Beach; South Mission Beach and Bingil Bay are mainly residential.
One of the closest access points to the Great Barrier Reef, and the gateway to Dunk Island, walking tracks fan out around Mission Beach, with Australia’s highest density of cassowaries (around 40) roaming the rainforest.