Mission Beach is a small village along the Coral Sea in Queensland, Australia. The popular tourist destination of Dunk Island lies 4km offshore.
The community straddles the border between the Johnstone and Cardwell Shires, with Wongaling Beach and South Mission Beach in Cardwell. There is occasional talk of merging the two shires, similar to what happened with the Cairns and Mulgrave shires in 1995. Bureacracy has occasionally hampered development in the area, such as the long delay in installation of a sewerage system which is now proceeding in South Mission Beach, Wongaling Beach and Mission Beach.
Mission Beach is now a thriving tourist town that has been able to maintain its small town feel. One reason for this is that the town is spread out along a thin strip of land between the ocean and the hills and farmland behind. This has spread out a large tourism market, and the village doesn’t feel as busy as one may expect.
The beach is flanked by green mountains rising just a short distance inland, and provides views out to the Family Islands. Close to shore at Mission Beach lies a shallow reef which runs from the mouth of Porter’s Creek at the south end of North Mission Beach almost to Clump Point, the rocky point at the north end of Mission Beach. During very low tides portions of this reef are exposed.
Surrounded by World Heritage rainforest on one side and the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef on the other, Mission Beach is home to many wildlife species, most notable is the cassowary. This large flightless bird can be found in the rainforest surrounding the area but is facing extinction due to land clearing, traffic and predators such as wild dogs and feral pigs.
Mission Beach is also the mainland gateway to Dunk Island, with water taxis and ferries shuttling guests and day-trippers out to the island and its resort.
Like many other small Australian towns, Mission Beach has built a monument to its most famous characteristic. The big cassowary, standing 5 metres high, can be found at the Wongaling Beach shopping complex.