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Mission Beach - North Queensland

  • Submitted by: Ian Wright, United Kingdom
  • Submission Date: 11th May 2006

We arrived in Mission Beach in Jan 2006, having landed at Cairns airport - a shade under two hours by car. We had already booked our accommodation at a place called Licuala Lodge, which turned out to be the best place that we stayed during our 4 week visit to Oz.
When we arrived we headed for the swimming pool, and on the gate there is a notice saying 'No swimming - crocodile infested waters'. Well that just about summed up the humour of the hosts Sue and Mick. The thing that we liked most was the informality of the Lodge, and the ease with which you met and chatted with other guests. Breakfast - which is fantastic, try the Full Monty - is served on a big wide open verandah on a long table. Really good to eat outside. The rooms are all timber, and perhaps the thing that would appeal to most people is that the guest lounge has a fridge that is always full of soft drinks and beer. All free !! You just help yourself - kinda weird at first, but you get used to it. Anyone visiting North Queensland should have the Lodge on thier list. And if you fancy seeing a large bird called a cassowary then you'll see one at the Lodge - don't get too close though.
In contrast to Cairns, Mission Beach is a very quiet place but beneath the quiet exterior lurks a beast. White water rafting at the Tully river is a fantastic day out. We went via the Xtreme Team - so much better than the other trips. We also went out to the Reef on a boat called Calypso. Very friendly crew, great lunch on board and very helpful with snorkelling. It was a glorious day and we spent so much time in the water that the backs of my legs got sunburnt.
Mission Beach has some great restaurants. We ate at Scotty's, the Shrubbery and at the Mission Beach resort hot buffet. The buffet is amazing value at $17 for all you can eat. And no Macdonanld's, KFC's, Pizza Hut etc... What a refreshing change that is.
All in all Mission Beach was a great way to spend 4 days. If you don't want the hustle and bustle of places like Cairns then try Mission beach.

Ian Wright, UK