From Charters Towers we made our way out to Townsville and headed north to our next destination, Mission Beach. The road in has several roadsigns unique to this area warning drivers to be wary of cassowaries.
Formerly a very quiet village, Mission Beach is now a spread out centre over about 15 kilometres of beautiful coast with views out to Dunk Island.
Where to stay in Mission Beach
On our arrival at Mission Beach Hideaway Holiday Village we set up our caravan and took a short look at the many facilities. We also went and had a chat with former colleagues who stay at this caravan park every year and had recommended staying there to us. Several afternoons we joined them and several others for ‘sundowners drinks.’ But late afternoon on this day we crossed the main road and headed to the beach for a walk with our dog Mel. We followed a main path leading down to the beach. It is a bit touristy but here’s a photo of Karen with Dunk Island in the background, highlighting the large frame featuring a cassowary, taken just before we made our way on to the expansive beach.
Mel was very happy to explore things as we walked along. Here’s a well camouflaged crab. I had to be quick to take a snap before Mel approached and it went scurrying off out of her leash range.
What to do in Mission Beach
Our first full day we took a walk along the main street checking out the cafes, shops and the Tourist Information Centre. The staff there were able to give us maps of local walks and information about tours, the Sunday markets, Dunk Island water taxis and dog friendly cafes. A couple of the shops had attractive, colourful murals of local native birdlife painted on their walls we noted.
Most days Karen was up early taking Mel for a walk along the beach. After she came back on the first morning with this sensational sunrise photo I was motivated to join them.
Here’s my favourite of the sunrise photos I took.We usually took another walk during the afternoon along the beach. This quite often corresponded with low tide.
Two days we did quite lengthy walks along the Kennedy Track in Mission Beach South and the Cutten Track to the north. I will write separate posts about these lovely walks.
On our last evening we dined out at the local Thai restaurant, Thai Chill. As we had Mel with us we sat outside. The food was delicious.Even Mel had some delivered to her in a small glass bowl.However the one drawback was the fact that due to its popularity there were many takeaway customers which meant service in the actual restaurant was slow. All in all though it was a good night out.
Back home there is a local market every weekend somewhere on the Mornington Peninsula. So we were pleased to find out there is a fortnightly market in Mission Beach right opposite the Hideaway Holiday Village. From local produce to clothing and jewellery to plants, books, food and hot drinks, it had just about everything you’d expect at a local market. Best of all it was situated in a lovely shady area adjacent to the beach. We purchased some fruit and veggies at very reasonable prices from a couple of stalls. We also had a good chat with one of the coffee stall operators and his wife, not that we drink coffee. However he did make a lovely hot chocolate which we indulged in.On our last full day in Mission Beach we arranged for a dog-sitter for Mel so we could take a trip out to Dunk Island (which is National Park – no dogs permitted.) Our intention was to do a hike to the highest point on the island, Mt Kootaloo and return back down to the beach for a swim and picnic lunch. However on our arrival at the water taxi’s base we discovered the motor on their boat had broken down so that was the end of that idea. In the end we took another walk along the beach and had a quiet afternoon.
From Mission Beach we were going to start our journey back southwards and our next stop would be Cardwell. Here’s a couple more sunrise photos at Mission Beach to finish this post.