... and we thought Rainbow Beach was small...
Fri 11 May 12 - Mon 14 May 12
Mission Beach is tiny!! It doesn't even have a main road; it just has one road. There is, however, a small bar/restaurant, which we've been to every night for food and drinks – it's a nice atmosphere and serves delicious food!
Considering the short amount of time we've been here, it's been quite eventful... Justine found a cockroach in her bag and we had to enlist the help of the lovely hostel owners to find and kill it, because neither of us wanted to go near it! We also had a power cut at the hostel one night which meant our ceiling fan didn't work, which is far from ideal in tropical temperatures!
We were staying at North Mission Beach, and the beach itself was all of a two-minute walk from the hostel. Although it's a lovely beach, the weather wasn't always good enough for sunbathing and it's also still stinger season. They have a stinger net on the beach but when we did go down to check it out the tide was too low and the netted area too small to bother.
Instead we took a walk North along the coast to Bingil Bay. Admittedly, it wasn't a very exciting walk – along the road rather than a coastal walk – but it was a pleasant 90 minute walk with intermittant views of little bays. The area supposedly has lots of wild cassowaries, so much so that road signs warn you of the risk. That said, we didn't see any, apart from on the road sign...
Once we got to Bingil Bay, we followed a sign to the 'Shop' (yup, just the one!) and found Bingil Bay Cafe – a lovely spot for lunch. There was little else to see so we ambled our way back slowly and found some enormous spiders hanging in the trees. Had to get pretty close to get these pics, and they didn't look like very friendly spiders either!!
The highlight of Mission Beach, and our main reason for stopping here, was to check out the White Water Rafting on the Tully River. The rafting itself was excellent and there were several opportunities to get out of the boat and slide down some mini-waterfalls in the rapids. One of the waterfalls was about a 6ft drop which sucked you under as soon as you hit the water and only spat you out a few seconds later about 10 metres away from the rapid! There were also a couple of points where we climbed up some rocks and got to jump off into the water about 8 metres below. As you'd probably expect, I did it once then went back for more
There was a barbeque lunch and our instructor told me that you could sit out on a rock and feed the fish. I started throwing bits of my burger bun in, and hundreds of fish flocked towards the shallows. There were also two little turtles that were so cute (although I don't think they got any food) and a huge eel that must've been about a metre long and easily 10cm in diameter!
More rafting ensued after lunch, including our instructor making us flip the boat, because (apparently) you haven't ben rafting properly until you've flipped the boat! An excellent experience, and worth the stop in Mission Beach, even if there was little else to see.