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Mission Reef Resort

Home > Cairns > Weekend Escapes | Travel | Escape the City | Beaches | Accommodation
by T. A. Rose (subscribe)
Enjoying challenging myself to add to the WeekendNotes vast library.
Published May 19th 2023
Resort with pretty and compact grounds near Dunk Island
Mission Reef Resort reception signage
Mission Reef Resort reception signage.

Virtually beachfront, the Mission Reef Resort is a sumptuous feast for the bargain-seeking traveller. Silky-watered pools, tasteful rooms and quick staff responses all at a reasonable price make it a choice stay especially if seeking a bargain in this isolable yet high-quality location. Located in Wongaling Beach, Mission Reef Resort has many room choices and is suitably out of the way of clubs and bars making it quiet and spacious, calm and healing.

Resort grounds are within 20-minute stroll to a large Woolworths Supermarket for essentials at Mission Beach Marketplace. Yet also within three to five minute walk to the nearest corner store. That aside it's also a five-minute taxi ride from the transit centre. The resort is near a quiet skatepark, is in a flat location with rare car access so it's a dream spot for bike riders of all levels and ages. On the Cassowary Coast , there's the novelty of hoping to see a distant cassowary during your stay.

Grounds at Mission Reef Resort.
Clockwise from top left: brochures near reception, car park accessible from Holland Street, swimming pool on a perfect day and path joining carpark with reception on Dunlop Street.

Rooms have a good effect, it's frustrating when they don't as I spent my time and energy to travel yet it's a great relief to walk through the door of my motel unit here at Mission Reef Resort. The room had nice calming darker shades/colours and made me feel like getting the most out of my stay.

The grounds are picturesque yet compact and are virtually exactly opposite Dunk Island just near South Mission Beach. The reception is on Dunlop Street while around the corner is Holland Street which has access to a spacious car park, the resort has an official address of Holland Street despite the office on Dunlop Street side.

Beach and pool, Mission Reef Resort.
Beach and pool, Mission Reef Resort.

Staff are super-responsive by SMS but don't personally greet you, it's like a laid-back self check-in especially if after hours. There were plenty of visitors to the resort grounds and overall it's easy to mingle, for example, straight from my coach the good people at Mission Beach Taxis assisted me to go halves in a taxi fare as by coincidence other guests were on the same Greyhound coach. Socialise and save money was a good win-win concept I really appreciated, but had I somehow refused, my impression is the taxi service was professional and experienced enough to send two taxis instead.

Keep in mind, while you get a lot for what you invest in tariffs (on all levels), there's some things that you just learn to be a bit gracious about. I read reviews for the resort that were a bit weak yet unlike other places, the clients gave them four stars but seemed supportive and impressed rather than upset. My response to reading is fair comment but ultimately I'd think positive but everyone is different. For example, the ceiling fan looked like it needed attention, and I'll certainly text the owner about this issue at an appropriate point to help do my bit, but the air conditioning works like a treat, hence reinforcing my point that the resort performed well overall hence the customers sound supportive in online reviews I read.

Street view in Dunlop Street facing Reid Road. While front sign on Dunlop Street faces Holland Street.
Street view in Dunlop Street facing Reid Road, while the photo of front sign is facing Holland Street, on Dunlop Street.

According to my supplied fact sheet, there is a spa pool on site and resort wifi gets the job done saving much data. Rooms are not serviced daily, resort managers are Leanne and Mark. The accompanying fact sheet on the room table is not complicated but shows a resort with a laid-back ambience yet delivered with useful simplicity where it seems important not to overcomplicate a stay like this. Parking is less compact and seems quite adequate.

Rooms are different, in the motel room it had a reduced yet resort-room feel so microwave and kettle, cutlery and crockery, proper corkscrews and bar fridge. An 80-centimetre television is provided as well. Bed is comfy, smoke alarm system looks effective and spare blankets, frameless shower doors and lots of big towels provided, tea and coffee were both Aurora brand at time of writing. For two days or three to four maximum, the motel room suffices but it's around 100-120 dollars a night off-peak tariff. That's stunning value for the effect it had, for what I paid and for getting to see Dunk Island and that lush shade of Wet-Tropics-inspired green that makes the beach and fields look distinctly aesthetic.

I think the pros outweigh the cons in this beaut and compact resort virtually the distance of a few football fields opposite Dunk Island. If you want the Wet Tropics but want plausible savings for luxury, Mission Reef Resort is a great choice for a memorable stay.

All photos used in this review by the author in 2023.
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Why? A relaxing Wet Tropics experience and base for a vacation
When: All year round.
Phone: Use the website: for phone numbers associated with resort, the manager's mobile is highly recommended.
Where: 58-62 Holland Street Wongaling Beach Q 4852
Cost: 100-200 dollars a night depending on room choice, deal and season.
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