A freelance writer currently residing in Melbourne, with a penchant for sugar, spice, and everything nice.
Published October 12th 2012
Everyone loves a holiday. This special time of the year ushers in a period when leisure replaces work as a priority, and you find yourself filled with an enthusiasm to explore and experience new things. It is also the perfect time to indulge in relaxation and laziness. For a post-exam celebration, I decided to escape Melbourne's winter weather and take a trip to Mission Beach, located in tropical north Queensland. I remember looking out of the plane as we flew over clear blue waters, feeling a pinch of excitement growing in the pit of my stomach.
Mission Beach is located 1 ½ hours drive south of Cairns. I had booked a special deal to stay at a beachfront spa resort called Castaways Resort & Spa. If you're flying in to Cairns Airport, the resort is accessible by coach transfers from Cairns CBD via Greyhound Coach Company. Alternatively, car hire is available from Cairns airport, and complimentary car parking is available for guests.
Since my bus wasn't scheduled to leave till 7pm, I spent the day exploring the great city of Cairns. From walking along the Esplanade, to visiting The Pier Shopping Arcade, I soaked up all the sights and sounds around me. The best part was sitting on the grassy plains near Cairns' Esplanade Lagoon in the evening, looking out over the horizon and revelling in the beauty of the sunset. It was both tranquil and breathtaking.
Castaways is a small but classy resort. I was greeted warmly by the receptionist upon arrival, and was pleasantly surprised to find that my room had a beachfront view, which was a real treat. Rooms were neat and clean, and had all the basic amenities for a comfortable holiday.
There is an area for dining guests that is located right next to the pool. The quality of the food is exceptional, prepared by world-class chefs, and is priced reasonably. On Sundays, the resort offers delicious $5 gourmet pizzas and $5 ciders. The best place to be on a warm Sunday afternoon is lounging by the pool with a good book, pizza and a bottle of cider, which you can have delivered to you right by the pool. I can imagine no better way to enjoy a meal.
The beach is one of Tropical North Queensland's best-kept secrets, with secluded and pristine beaches that offer both beauty and privacy, a utopia for a weekend getaway. Mission beach is actually one of only two spots in Australia where two World Heritage areas – the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics rainforest – meet, forming the ideal holiday destination.
There are a myriad of fun-filled activities to do around Mission Beach. Dunk Island jet ski tours are a fun and exhilarating way to enjoy the neighboring islands while gliding over reef sections. This one and a half hour guided tour can be customized to suit your riding style. For those adrenalin junkies, Skydive Mission Beach is a must-try for an unforgettable, once in a lifetime experience. Skydive Australia provide free return transfers from all Mission Beach and Cairns accommodation, and full training and instruction from a team of professional tandem skydive instructors. If you're a nature lover who enjoys taking long walks, then perhaps bushwalking is your cup of tea. There is a comprehensive range of walking experiences ranging from 1.5 – 7 kilometres that will suit the whole family, allowing you to explore the beautiful rainforest and coastline.
We all feel like we need to escape sometimes. Mission Beach is the ideal location if you're looking for a perfect balance between exploring new things while being able to relax and immerse yourself in the beauty surrounding you. The perfect backdrop for a holiday, I am keen to return for more.