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.