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  Mission Beach Visitor Information
 

Mission Beach
View our accommodation section on Mission Beach. 
Approx 2 hours drive south of Cairns you'll find a stepping stone to the great islands of the Hinchinbrook Channel. 
Mission Beach is comprised of communities stretching north from the Tam O'Shanter Point through South Mission, Wongaling, Mission Beach, Clump Point to Bingil Bay. Mission Beach takes its name from the Aboriginal Mission established in the early 1900's. 
Local residents boast that visitors can still find their own secluded coves with their own pristine beaches for the day. Beach & rainforest walks in World Heritage Wet Tropics, White Water Rafting, Tandem Skydiving, Horse Riding, Fishing, Sailing and Sea Kayaking are some popular Mission Beach activities. Water based activities include visiting the Great Barrier Reef, Game Fishing, Sailing and Kayaking scuba diving and snorkeling.
A small community, the area is both friendly and accommodating.
 
The Islands
Dunk | Family Islands | Gould Island | Brook Island | Hinchinbrook Island
DUNK ISLAND
Dunk Island is probably one of the best known of Australia's tropical islands. Dunk Island is about 4.5 km offshore from Mission Beach and 36 km north of Cardwell. The National Park covers 730 ha. An airstrip, resort & farm cover the remaining 240ha in the north-west.
From the sea, a mosaic of shades of green is visible. Over much of the island, a relatively open forest of eucalypts is accompanied by an under-storey of rainforest plants including many palms and thick, looping, coiled lianas.
Thirteen kilometres of walking track encourage exploration of most of the island's many habitats and provide an introduction to some of its diversity of animal life including more than 100 species of birds. Proximity of creeks, rainforests, eucalypt forest, rocky shore, reef flat and mangroves provides an ideal situation for nature watching and allows an insight into the importance of these island national parks as wildlife refuges.
An air service connects Dunk Island and the mainland, and a regular ferry service leaves from Clump Point jetty. Taxi boats are available from Wongaling Beach. A boat ramp is located at Mission Beach. Brammo Bay, on the northern end of Dunk, offers a protected anchorage in south easterly winds. 
FAMILY ISLANDS  back up
The Family Group are a chain of islands extending approximately 14km in length and are located offshore of Tully Heads and Mission Beach. Dunk Island is the most northerly lying island and the largest of the Family Group. The southern islands include Wheeler, Coombe, Smith, Bowden and Hudson Islands and are all national parks covering 11 9ha. Thorpe and Bedarra (Richards) Islands to the north are privately owned.
The prevailing southeasterly wind and swell have also formed sand spits on the northwestern landing points. Living coral and rubble demand care when anchoring.
Permits are required for camping on Dunk, Wheeler and Coombe Islands. Camping is not permitted on Smith, Bowden or Hudson Islands. Tables are provided on camping islands but there are no toilets or walking tracks. Drinking water should be carried.
BROOK ISLANDS back up
This cluster of four small, densely vegetated national park islands lies 30km north east from Cardwell. An extensive fringing coral reef, linking the three northernmost islands provides excellent snorkelling. Care should be taken to prevent damage to coral when anchoring. Good fair-weather anchorage is found off the northwestern end of North Island. Camping is not permitted on the Brook Islands and no facilities are provided.
The Brook Islands are extremely important as the nesting place for a colony of more than 20000 Torresian imperial-pigeons. Arriving in September to breed, they colonize the islands till about February when parents and offspring return to Papua New Guinea for the winter. Care should be taken not to disturbed the nesting grounds. Simply walking through a nesting colony can cause young birds to leave the nest prematurely, only to fall and perish on the ground.
Summer is also the breeding season for black-naped terns which lay their well-camouflaged eggs on sand and shingle where they can be crushed underfoot, even by careful walkers. To protect these vulnerable birds, visitors during the breeding season should avoid landing on the island. The marine park area surrounding Brook Islands 5OOm from shore is zoned Marine National Park B. This means 'look but do not take'.
GOULD ISLAND back up
This 830ha national park lies 4.5km northwest of Cape Richards and 17km northeast of Cardwell. Most vegetation on this mainly granite island is eucalypt woodland but patches of rainforest occur in gullies. Gould Island is noted for its flocks of noisy sulfur-crested cockatoos, their gleaming white plumage conspicuous against the dark green vegetation. Turtles and dugong may be seen surfacing as they feed on the extensive sea grass beds in the shallow waters to the south and west.
A camping and picnic area on the western beach has pit toilets and tables. Water can be obtained from a small creek at the northern end of this beach. This creek is usually dry between August and December when water must be brought to the island.
HINCHINBROOK ISLAND back up
Hinchinbrook is Australia's largest island national park and is separated from the mainland by the narrow Hinchinbrook Channel.
Mangroves fringe the shores of this deep channel which is scoured from sand and mud by strong tidal currents. Rising 1142m from the centre of the island is Mt Bowen, largest in the chain of rugged granite mountains. 
The spectacular north face of Mt Bowen drops 1121m in cliffs and forested rocky slopes almost to sea level. From here a narrow, 8km long strip of sand, stretches north to connect with Cape Sandwich and Cape Richards. This is backed on the protected western side by extensive mangrove forests.
Information on the Islands was obtained from the Queensland Department of Environment.