The camper has landed

Mission Beach Travel Blog

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The beast at Mission Beach

Picked the campervan up eventually this morning after a bit of messing about trying to get the cash out of a bank to avoid excessive credit card charges.


Imagine our surprise to be informed that the 3 berth euro campervan that we'd booked had now grown into a 6 berth campervan. It's pretty much the same vehicle but with an extra 5 foot attached to the back. I was pleased to begin with until the realisation sank in that parking this monster would be a nightmare. Something which hit home when we visited the nearest supermarket only to find that all the car parks are covered and there was no way the 3.2m camper was gonna fit in one. Also the first uncovered parking bay I tried left the back hanging dangerously out covering a cycle lane. Having run out of options I decided to just park it in the street across 3 bays, there were plenty of spares and it wasn't exactly busy, sod 'em.

That's Dunk Island that is.


The plan for the first day was to head to a beach resort at Mission Beach which was about 145km's from Cairns. The drive itself passed without incident, but we did chuckle at the thought of trying to get the camper around the tight hilly bends that we'd experienced the day before up in the tablelands. In the little Hyundai Getz it was tricky, so this would have been an accident waiting to happen, especially with me trying to look at the scenery as well.


On arriving at the camper site I delegated the responsibility of going in and purchasing the ‘powered site’ to Wendy, which she proceeded to do but with an “I’m British don’t you know’ type accent. Speaking to Wendy afterwards apparently the lady behind the counter was very amused at the amateurs rolling up and it must have been galvanised when she asked what type of campervan we had, to which Wendy replied “a big one”, which means I’ve had an impact on her because previously she would have said “a white one”


After a bit of messing about the power was hooked up to the van and everything that needed mucho power sprang to life. I wasn’t that impressed initially as the telly didn’t seem to have the channel that showed all the premier league games (that’s the EPL for you JC). Wendy was over the moon.


The camper van park we stayed at in South Mission Beach had an excellent view of Dunk Island, which we took in almost straight away by walking miles up and down the beach. We didn’t realise how far away the shops/restaurants were until we walked about 2km’s down the beach and on the map it the distance looked really small, whereas Mission Beach was a lot further away. Civilization back at Mission Beach was over 10km’s away and it wasn’t even possible to walk directly there up the beach due to crocodile infested creeks. After getting showered and changed, Wendy proceeded to ring for a cab from the pay phone, things soon went pear-shaped when the dispatcher asked whether we wanted the ‘main’ bit of Mission Beach or the ‘main main’ bit of Mission Beach. Not really knowing and saved by the money running out, the phone went dead. We quickly shuffled back to the camper and checked out Lonely Planet, they usually know where to eat. With the confidence that knowing where you want to go brings we rang them back and told them exactly which road we wanted dropping of on. The food was excellent and the beer was cold, job done.


In the taxi back I proceeded to make an arse of myself by asking the driver to point out any Cassowary’s (indigenous bird…apparently) we may pass, only to be told that other than the Owl and Kiwi birds tend not to come out at night. I quickly shut up. He did say that you could usually see wallaby’s, roo’s, possum’s and some kind of large snake hanging around at night. We didn’t see any but took note.

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The beast at Mission Beach
The beast at Mission Beach
Thats Dunk Island that is.
That's Dunk Island that is.
Mission Beach
photo by: rolimeier