What to see and do in Mission Beach

If you’re planning to take the whole tribe for a summer holiday to Cairns and Great Barrier Reef then good news! You’ll be spoiled for beachside options.

Mission Beach is one of them. It’s about two hours’ drive south of Cairns and it is an unspoiled paradise with 14 kilometres of beach and oodles of open spaces, where you can set the kids loose.

Castaway Resort & Spa at Mission Beach is the perfect example.  Its massive manicured lawn is all that separates the rooms and pool area from golden sands and the blue of the Coral Sea.

It has plenty of family-friendly room options and in-house dining. The restaurant, Buko, is the Thai name for the first shoot of a germinating coconut. It’s appropriate because a line of coconut trees is certainly a feature of the property.

General Manager Steve O’Malley says that Buko is also his chefs’ acronym for the menu: bold, unique flavours in a knockout location.  When you see the summer seafood share platter, you’ll know exactly what they mean.

For a casual breakfast, lunch or dinner in another beautiful setting, then visit Bingil Bay, which is only 10 minutes up the coast. The Bingil Bay Café is delightfully quirky and welcoming. The steaks, pizzas and other menu choices are all top-notch, AND their Bingil Bay Burger has been voted in the Urban List’s 25 best in Australia.

Tuesday is trivia night, and it’s always a fun family occasion. The café also serves live music on a Friday.

So what else can the family do in the summer in Mission Beach? How about a three-hour cruise to the appropriately named Family group of islands?

Nancy Lowe’s Mission Beach Dunk Island Water Taxi runs the short tours so that visitors can familiarise themselves with the history and potential of Mission Beach’s near neighbours. Nancy grew up on Dunk Island and her knowledge of the area is second to none.

A highlight of the trip is when the water taxi pulls into a private beach on a protected side of Bedarra Island. It’s an opportunity to beachcomb, swim, or enjoy a BYO picnic.

Make the most of tropical locations, where you’ll be made to feel very welcome and explore Cairns and Great Barrier Reef this summer. Check out cairnsgreatbarrierreef.com for more inspiration.

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