Mission Beach: ships that pass in the night

Enzo with giant tree with buttress roots

In Mission Beach the Enzotraveldog team explore dog friendly walking tracks and cafes, and a not so dog friendly National Park. Nearby they visit historic Paronella Park, a place with a beautiful waterfall and a fascinating history.

Mission Beach

Checked into Hideaway Holiday Village with the folks on a beautiful sunny day. Nothing says Far North Queensland more than warm winters, palm trees, island views and signs warning about crocodiles.  Mission Beach has all of these in spades! The park was just at the north end of the little cluster of restaurants and shops. We were opposite the pool, but the water was still too cool for the folks. Maybe when were further north?

Dunk Island seen from Ulysses Link Walking Track, Mission Beach
Dunk Island seen from Ulysses Link Walking Track, Mission Beach

I met a nice black Labrador from the caravan next door, we got along famously, getting our leads tangled. Sadly, she took off early the next morning. ‘Like ships that pass in the night’!

At the tourist information office, across the road, a friendly lady gave the folks excellent advice on how to spend three days in mission beach.

Ulysses Link Walking Track

First on her list was the Ulysses Link Walking Track, named after the Ulysses butterfly. Heading south along the foreshore from the holiday village it had spectacular views of the Coral Sea Islands, especially nearby Dunk Island; about 90 minutes return. Though we saw a crocodile warning sign, the lady at the information kiosk had told us that most of the local crocs are in the estuaries north and south of town and they are very rarely seen on the main beach. We saw some locals swimming their horses in the sea, suggesting her opinion may be widely held. This little working dog wasn’t totally convinced. I kept the folks firmly attached to the other end of the lead! Their training has come too far for me to even contemplate breaking in a new support crew!

Enzo and Silverback walking the Ulysses Link Walking Track, Mission Beach
Ulysses Link Walking Track
horses swimming in the ocean
The horses don’t seem worried about crocodiles
Beautiful mosaic statue of a spotted ray, along the Ulysses Link Walk
Mosaic statue of a spotted ray, along the Ulysses Link Walk

Cutten Brothers Walking Track

The next day we walked north on the Cutten Brothers Walking Track to the Perry Harvey Jetty at Clump Point. This was a two-hour return trip but totally different. Mostly a narrow track through shady tropical rainforest, with only occasional ocean glimpses. Nice!  On the way we passed a very impressive scrub turkey mound. No sign of the turkey, probably off tipping up a rubbish bin somewhere!

Harvey Jetty
Perry Harvey Jetty seen from the Cutten Brothers Walking Track


This large mound with the hole in the top is probably a bush turkey nest. It was about 1.5m across and 1m high.
This large mound with the hole in the top is probably a bush turkey nest. It was about 1.5m across and 1m high.

We ventured to the end of the pier at the turnaround point. I am happy to report there were no sightings of large toothy reptiles! After the big walk I took the folks to dinner at Peppervine Restaurant. Happily, the pizzas were bigger than expected. I do love pizza crust!

Lacey Creek

Lacey Creek, Djiru National Park
Lacey Creek, Djiru National Park

Lacey Creek information board

On the last day we drove the hinterland tourist loop recommended by the excellent lady at the information office. I guarded the van whilst the folks did a short walk to Lacey Creek in the Djiru National Park. Afterwards we all walked the Kennedy Track Boardwalk, South Mission Beach, turning around just before the National Park. Pleasant strolls after the big walks of the previous days.

boardwalk along side the beach, part of the Kennedy Track, South Mission Beach
Kennedy Track boardwalk


On our way out of Mission Beach we drove through sugar cane and banana plantations, stopping at Paronella Park. This was a very cool place. Dogs not allowed in the visitor area, but free dog minding provided. I spent a bit of time on the verandah with a couple of French poodles. Without being too immodest, I think one of them took a shine to me. She was straining at her lead to get closer. We had a brief meet and sniff when the folks came back, but then she too was gone. Another ship that passed in the night!

banana plantation

The folks apparently really enjoyed Paronella Park too. It’s a ruined, historic pleasure gardens and reception centre that was built in the 1930’s by a Spanish fella [Jose Paronella]. It has waterfalls, its own hydroelectric scheme, native parkland and decaying ruins like in an Indiana Jones movie! In its day it also had dining rooms, a ballroom, a movie theatre and tennis courts. Back then, the little road outside was the main highway north.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We'd love to hear what you think