After doing lots of research on places to skydive in East Coast Australia, I decided that Mission Beach would be the perfect place to do it. There are two main operators in Mission Beach and I talked to a few locals, and they all recommended Pauls Parachuting because of its friendly staff and good videos, and a more personal experience, and I really loved it! For more info and pics, please check out my Queensland pages.
Crocodari does crocodile spotting night cruises from Mission Beach. They guarantee you'll see a crocodile in its natural habitat, so our expectations were high. Well they didn't guarantee the size of the crocodiles, so we ended up seeing only babies. A little dissapointing, but the mangrove everglades were at least beatiful, for more info and pics, please check out my Queensland pages
My husband and I took the full-day Tully River trip in 2005. Raging Thunder and R&R charge the same price and are the only 2 operators. We went with R&R. It was awesome! They provide round-trip transprotation to/from your lodging from Port Douglas to MIssion Beach. The guides were true professionals. Ours was actually on the Austrailian National Rafting team. They'll rent Teva-like shoes for $5. You can keep one bag of stuff dry on the bus while you raft. You will get drenched! Lunch was provided at a nice picnic spot. Afterwards they took us back to the meeting spot where they gave us french fries, and sold pitchers of beer. That's where they sell you pics of your trip (way overpriced of course - and you have to pick them up in Cairns a couple days later) Most the day was really fast. I took a disposable waterproof camera, but on the way home I forgot about the airport x-ray machines so my pics came out grainy.
I spent quite a while in this place, there's loads of books you can read through and displays about the local wildlife, the women who work in there will tell you everything there is to know about it too. Some of us were shown a video about the Casowarys. A fountain of information, thay will also give you maps and information about what to do and what to see in the local area.
I borrowed a bike from my hostel and cycled here, I got a free map from the Information Centre in Mission Beach, hid my bike in the bushes and took a small hike up Bicton Hill. I saw huge spiders, heard casowaries, just being in the rainforest on my own was so special I had to text a friend back home even though it was 3am for her!
The trees were getting pretty high but you could still see magnificant views of the bay and surrounding rainforests.
If you're lucky you will see Casowary on this walk, and on many other walks in the region.
We weren't lucky to see one, but Mission beach and Daintree rainforest areas are the only places in the world that you even have a chance of spotting one, so keep your eyes open and take some time walkin the rainforest to catch a glimpse of on.
There is a good path through the rainforest in Mission Beach. The hostel we stayed dropped us off at the far end of the trail and then we walked back thorugh the rainforest. We were told that there wasn't many cassowaries left so we shouldn't expect to see one. So imagine our surprise when we spotted this huge black bird behind the trees.
Before going to Australia this time I had spent many hours watching Animal Planet - in particular the Crocodile Hunter and all that was going through my mind now was the things Steve had said. Didn't he say the cassowaries had huge claws and that they would kick you and possibly split your belly open and disembowel you if you scared them??
So I just made sure to get my photo and moved away as quietly as possible in order not to upset the bird. And ta-daa; I'm still here today. -No big scars across my stomach..
Apart from the cassowary the only other animals we saw were leeches. Both my cousin Louise and this guy Brad we had met suddenly had leeches everywhere on their feet and legs. I was the most hysterical one jumping around like someone out of a circus - I even managed to kick my sandal far into the bushes in panic. But in the end I was the only one the leeches didn't get to. They were SO disgusting!!
The beach is so beautiful, lined with coconut trees. Real paradise. The sand has a sort of orangy colour and is great for building sandcastles. First time I was there it was so hot we couldn't walk on the sand with our bare feet without getting them burnt.
Second time the rain was lashing down and the sand had a completely different colour. More greyish...
Australia has tons of birds, and mission beach is a good place too see many. But what does it make special??? This is one of the places where you can see a Casowarie, an endangered walking bird. Only about 50 live in this region, so if you see one you are lucky. But 2 things to remember: 1 it is endangered, so need I say more??? and 2, they can get big (up to 2 meters) and have a hard horn on their head, so if they get mad at ya, get the hell out, or you will end up in hell.