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.
Dunk | Family Islands | Gould Island | Brook Island | Hinchinbrook
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
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
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
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
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
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
Information on the Islands was obtained from the Queensland Department