Easter is made for eating chocolate..lots of chocolate…and spending time with your family, so we did both while soaking up the mojo of South Mission Beach. This little town on the Cassowary Coast is sprawled across palm tree lined beaches with island views and rainforest backdrops. It is a natural Queensland paradise completely unspoilt with limited development and loads of charm. Our path led us to Mission Beach in 1999 BC (before children that is) when travelling around OZ in our camper van and it was love at first sight. Nowadays its only a 3.5 hours drive from home or 2 hours south of Cairns through the banana plantations of Innisfail and past Queensland’s highest mountain peak – can you name it? It stumps us every time we pass the road sign trivia question..thank goodness for Google!
With varied accomodation available depending on your budget, our favourite base when in our little house on wheels is parked up at the Mission Beachcomber Coconut Big4 Holiday Park. Positioned on the South Mission beachfront with Dunk Island and a Cassowary conservation area as its neighbours, this park is not only in a prime location but packed with Big 4 family fun. Its kid central with a tropical resort pool, thatched cabanas, a shallow play area for the littlies to splash about and a fun twisty waterslide that we must have swished down at least a hundred times. Plus a fenced playground, games room, tennis/basketball court and even a pop up outdoor movie cinema for family flicks under the stars. The friendly staff are always on hand around the park and welcome a little hitch hiker or two on their buggy drives around the tropical gardens. And don’t be surprised if a Cassowary comes cruising past your camp site or cabin. We had Daddy Cassowary pop in with his chicks to join the Easter egg hunt which was an amazing experience although a little scary to be up close with such a unique endangered aussie animal.
At the main entrance to the park is Beachcomber’s Coconut Cafe that opens with bacon and egg rolls and locally roasted espresso coffee in the morning right through to pizza and oh so delicious fish n chippies in the evening. You can stock up on essentials too with the newspaper, fresh milk and bread deliveries daily. If seafood is your thing then you will love that it comes to you when Shell Pocket Seafood truck parks up on the beachfront…there is nothing better than peeling fresh prawns in the salt air. Peddling north along the esplanade we spied the Mission Beach Surf Club and stopped for a early dinner at Blue Water Cafe. Super family friendly space with tables spread out on a grassy area and buckets of toys for the kids to play with. We opted for a table up on the verandah with beautiful beach views and twinkling fairy lights. Our meals were packed with fresh flavours and we hear the weekend breakfast menu is mighty tasty too!
A few steps from the holiday park is a wide stretch of sandy heaven where we played, walked and biked along. It has a patrolled swimming zone with protected stinger net so is perfect for families to enjoy safely thanks to the volunteers at Mission Beach SLC. A favourite site that is not to be missed is when the parachutes fill the sky with thrill seeking tandem skydivers that land on the beach.
Peddling south on a afternoon beach ride we connected to the Kennedy Walking track which takes you along a 10 minute boardwalk to Lovers Beach, a beautiful spot for a picnic then continued on a easy 30 minute trek through coastal rainforest to Lugger Bay. A tropical storm set in so we didn’t walk any further but another 30 minutes and you will find yourself at Mije Creek or Morgans Lookout with views of the Family Islands group including the exclusive Bedarra Island. When we caravan our bikes or scooters are always loaded in but if you don’t have room The Beachcomber Coconut BIG4 rent super cool fat tyre bikes perfect for beach cruising…we had bike envy!
Directly across the waters sits Dunk Island longing you to explore. The resort is still under renovations from the devastating impacts of Cyclone Larry and Yasi but there is areas now open for day-trippers during weekends and school holidays to enjoy. You can reach Dunk Island via the Mission Beach Water Taxi daily services departing Wongaling Beach, from you own watercraft or like us straight off the beach onboard a hire self drive tinny available from the guys at Mission Beach Boat Hire.
It was only a quick 4km cruise across to the sandy spit of Dunk Island and its protected northern cove welcomed us with aqua water and instant island vibes. The rustic Sunset Bar cooked up amazing food accompanied by a great kids menu, delicious ice cream, cold drinks and of course island inspired cocktails for us mamas. Local artists set the scene with mellow acoustic music from midday to sunset. The pier was great for snorkeling, fish feeding and the mandatory jetty jump. You can even swing in the ocean under the boardwalk…our little one was in heaven! If your feeling energetic and packed your hiking shoes then you can circuit the island or head up to Mt Kutaloo for 360 degree views. That’s on our list for next time.. “you always have to save something” I said to Flinny thanking my lucky lazy stars that we were all only in flip flops! Also on top of the list for our next visit is an island sleepover once we spotted the shady beachside campsites, with a BBQ and basic amenities including hot water close to all the action of the beach bar…how fun would that be!!!
Back on the mainland as the sunset we kicked back at the beach, chatted to other families and watched our girls play about without a care in the world. Most of the BIG4’s we have stayed at along the Queensland coast have similar facilities for families to enjoy but The Beachcomber Coconuts Holiday Park experience is unique. It’s a peaceful pocket in paradise moving at a slow pace and packed with smiling faces. We left South Mission Beach once again touched by its magic. With newly formed family memories plus more adventures added to our bucket list for our next visit on the Cassowary Coast.
PH: 07 4068 8129
Become a BIG4 Loyalty Club to receive 10% discount on the nightly rate plus great deals on their self contained cabins and villas across Australia
The Purse Strings:
Powered Campsite are $69per night for up to 6 people
Self contained cabins and villas are also available
Boat Hire from $135 for 4 hours
What to pack:
All the usual camping gear.. there is a fully equiped camp kitchen onsite
Swimmers for the pool and beach
Your beach bag including sand toys and boogie boards
Bikes or scooters – bikes are available to hire from the Big4
Beach fishing rods
What to explore further:
Mission Beach Township
Map it out:
122-132 Kennedy Esplanade, South Mission Beach QLD 4852
Have you been to South Mission Beach? What was your favourite thing to do? Leave your suggestions in the comments box to inspire others to visit.