If you’re totally jack of winter and ready to dust off those boardies, snorkel, and flippers and get those tyres rolling to somewhere incredible — this month we’re hitting the road from Townsville for some time out at magnificent Mission Beach! It’s a road trip that takes you through some of Far North Queensland’s always spectacular landscape, with many amazing detour opportunities that will have you seeing stunning wonders that you may not have known were there!
A few directions
Jump onto the Bruce Highway (A1) and you’ll find making your way to Mission Beach is easy as! If you’re keen to get there without a stop, the direct drive from Townsville is 235km (about a three-hour journey). We’ll be taking a couple of detours along the way to check out some of the awesome sights off the main drag — so if you’re coming along for the ride, make sure you plan to take a bit of extra time to fit these in.
Best tyres for the ride
What could be better than cruising down the highway on a set of Maxxis tyres towards one of the best gateways to the Great Barrier Reef?
If yours is a passenger vehicle or SUV, you can’t go wrong with the impeccable Maxxis VS5 which offers everything you could want from an exceptional performance tyre, combined with ultimate traction and a comfortable, quiet ride.
As we are in Far North Queensland, Maxxis RAZRS are another formidable option, offering the best of both worlds for your on-and off-road needs. The RAZR AT811 all-terrain has great puncture resistance, off-road traction and handling, along with superb on-road comfort – making it an all-round, all-terrain contender. Meantime, if you’re a serious off-roader, the award-winning RAZR MT722 muddy has all your bases covered while also being a solid on-road tyre. With so many great options to choose from, finding the best Maxxis tyres for your vehicle is a breeze. If you need some advice, check in with one of our friendly and conveniently located dealers.
Unbeatable detours to get you started
“Little” and “Big” Crystal Creek… A 25 minute or so detour on Mt Spec Rd will get you to this beautiful spot in the Paluma Range National Park, which is more than worth the effort. A majestic waterfall, freshwater swimming hole, camping area, picnic site and an historic stone bridge along with wondrous bushwalking opportunities and abundant birdlife are all part of the ride.
Wallaman Falls…Set in the Girringun National Park, the Wallaman Falls have the famous reputation for being the highest single-drop waterfall in Australia – and the views are nothing short of spectacular! You don’t need a 4×4 to get there, but the road is narrow and windy so lots of special care is needed. Once you’ve parked, give yourself plenty of time to make the steep hike down to the base (it’s about a 2km walk each way). The reward is breathtaking, and you can even plan for a dip and cool-off in the pool under the falls when you get there. Make sure you have good walking shoes and drinking water before setting off!
Cardwell Spa Pools… About two hours into your trip (but off the main road) towards Mission Beach will get you to this geological wonder, a seasonal creek that changes colour from brilliant blue to a range of greens and other hues with sunlight, rains and other variables. Whatever its colour when you find it, this is a hidden gem that you won’t want to miss.
Golden Gumboot… This is the gumboot of all giant gumboots situated at Tully (turn-off to Mission Beach before the final 25-minute stretch of the drive). Awarded to the town for being the wettest town in the surrounding area, the ginormous gumboot (which you can climb) is a landmark with great views from the summit!
When in Mission Beach
One of FNQ’s most idyllic spots, Mission Beach is a handy launching pad for “all things” Great Barrier Reef. Known for its 14 kilometres of golden, palm-lined beaches set along four villages (including South Mission Beach, Wongaling Beach, Mission Beach and Bingil Bay) you can kick back and relax, go on a snorkelling or diving tour of the reef, or explore the walking trails on nearby Dunk Island complete with its rainforests and exceptional views.
Where to stay…From motels and apartments to a secluded rainforest retreat and caravan and camping sites with amazing views, you’ll find there’s accommodation at Mission Beach to suit just what you’re after.
Water safety 101… If you’re planning to swim at Mission Beach (outside of a motel or camping site pool!), it’s important to know that there are stingers in these waters which are particularly prevalent at certain times of year (usually November to May). So, keep to the beach netted enclosures and read any signs on the beach alerting you to dangers. As always, remember to swim between the flags in the area patrolled by lifeguards and avoid swimming in the lagoons and creeks around Mission Creek (taking heed of warning signs) as crocs may be in residence!
Before you set off…Get your Spotify playlist sorted, pack your sunscreen and don’t forget to check those tyre pressures while your tyres are cool (including your spare if you’re not on runflats)! The correct pressure for your vehicle should be easy to locate on the inside panel of the driver’s door.