Mission Beach

Nature takes centre stage at Mission Beach with its long unspoilt beaches, deserted islands and white-water rivers fringed by rainforest. There are no crowds at this seductive and easy going destination which is perfect for relaxation or discovering adrenalin pumping outdoor activities.

This is the birthplace of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, so exploring the reef is a must. Reef boats leave from the Clump Point jetty, join a kayaking tour or hire a dinghy and take a picnic to a deserted Great Barrier Reef island.

Mission Beach has 14 kilometres of sandy beaches, so it is easy to find a quiet place to relax with a book or indulge by checking into the couple's room at a day spa and relaxing with the fabulous beach views. There are four villages that are collectively known as Mission Beach: South Mission Beach, Wongaling Beach, North Mission Beach and Bingil Bay.

Lush rainforest touches the shores of Mission Beach, hiding the elusive southern cassowary. Look for these majestic creatures on an easy rainforest walks and keep an eye out for the brilliant blue Ulysses butterfly, another local icon.

Nearby is the spectacular Misty Mountains Trail, a series of long-distance walking tracks through high-altitude rainforest. Several follow the ridgelines used by the area's traditional owners, the Jirrbal and Mamu Aboriginal people.

The serene beauty of Mission Beach hides another side to this friendly beachside retreat - adrenalin-pumping adventure. Skydive from a plane on to the beach, head into the heart of the rainforest for white water rafting or explore the area on a jet ski or mountain bike.

Luxurious resorts, elegant hill-top apartments and beach houses are favourites for those wanting to escape from their busy lives, or choose from family-friendly motels, beach caravan parks and popular backpacker hostels. Mission Beach is about a two hour drive south of Cairns.

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Gooseponds, North Mackay

Mackay, Mackay Area
Free Entry
The Gooseponds in North Mackay are a combination of popular walking tracks around a large central wetland lagoon, an initiative of Mackay Regional Council's 10,000 steps program. There are also a number of exercise stations along the walk giving fitness fanatics a varied workout.

Lamberts Lookout

Mackay, Mackay Area
Free Entry
Overlooking Lamberts Beach, the Cumberland Islands and Slade Point, Lamberts lookout offers stunning views especially at sunset. This is also a popular viewing platform to see the migrating whales as they breach and play off the coast of Mackay.

Far Beach

Mackay, Mackay Area
Free Entry
Far Beach is a popular walking beach with locals, recognised for its tranquillity and soft white sand. At low tide an expansive sand flat is exposed giving walkers kilometres of beach to meander. The beach provides expansive views, from Hay Point to the south and toward Flat and Round Top Islands.

Lamberts Beach

Mackay, Mackay Area
Free Entry
Lamberts Beach is seasonally patrolled and the nearby Lambert's Lookout offers fabulous sea views out to the Cumberland Islands. It's also a popular spot for surfers when the swell is right, and a great whale watching platform during the winter months.

Slade Point

Mackay, Mackay Area
Free Entry
Slade Point is a short five minute drive from Mackay Harbour, and is one of the few locations in the region where you can enjoy both a stunning sunrise and sublime sunset. Slade Point Reserve lies at Lamberts Beach, stretching 73 hectares and conserving one of the last remaining areas of coastal dunes and paperbark wetlands in the Mackay region.

Shoal Point

Shoal Point, Mackay Area
Free Entry
Shoal Point is the northern-most community of the Northern Beaches group, with a visually spectacular coastal beach. At low tide, the beach can almost be mistaken as a small sweeping desert. The sand stretches for hundreds of metres, allowing a close-up view of Green Reef Island.

Illawong Beach

Mackay, Mackay Area
Free Entry
A serene and peaceful coastline awaits at Illawong Beach. Kilometres of sandy shoreline as well as off and on dog leash areas make Illawong Beach a popular choice for sunrise strolls. At low tide, the ripples in the sand stretch for kilometres, where small blue soldier crabs can be seen scuttling across the surface.

Eimeo Beach

Eimeo, Mackay Area
Free Entry
In a sheltered bay with powder soft sand, Eimeo Beach is a favourite destination of visitors and locals for fun in the sun. The beach is seasonally patrolled during the summer months by volunteer lifeguards.

Dolphin Heads

Dolphin Heads, Mackay Area
Free Entry
A beautiful part of Mackay's Northern Beaches, Dolphin Heads is a rocky and sandy headland, popular with photography enthusiasts. It can be reached by car within 15 minutes from Mackay's Central Business District.

Harbour Beach

Mackay, Mackay Area
Free Entry
Adjacent to Mackay's multimillion dollar Reef Marina development, popular Harbour Beach is a favourite beach with locals and visitors alike. Only a five minute drive from Mackay's Central Business District, it is home to the Mackay Surf Lifesaver Club and is seasonally patrolled.
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