It rained in Cairns the day I left, so I feel like I obviously was moving in the right direction with the weather. I refused to walk all the way to town with my insanely heavy pack so I got up early enough to catch the first shuttle from my hostel to the marina. It got me to the bus stop an hour early, but I had a decent book that I had traded for at the hostel library so it was fine. When the bus got there I was one of the first people on. Now, my ticket had a seat number on it…it was the front row aisle, which was kind of shit, but I followed the rules and sat down. Then I heard some guy outside ask the bus driver if we were supposed to just sit wherever and the bus driver said ‘yes.’ What!? Okay, so now I had to get over my social anxiety which meant standing up in front of every single person who had gotten on the bus by now, and moving back further in the bus. I watched a few more people get on the bus and finally decided I had built up enough courage. I stood up, turned and looked back, and exactly zero people were looking at me. Why would anyone be? Why would I possibly have thought that everyone would be watching my every move? Calm down Z. I grabbed my stuff and wandered back to a new seat, window, about two thirds of the way back. Gold, I felt great about this seat.
The bus was definitely filling up, and a few girls got on and were confused because someone was sitting in ‘their seat.’ Yeah ladies, I understand your confusion. One person just kind of told them everyone was sitting wherever, so they just grabbed some other seats, no problem. I was stoked, because I still didn’t have anyone next to me, I was comfy in my well-picked out seat. And then…less than five minutes before we were supposed to finally leave, tragedy struck. I had a couple come up to me and tell me I was in their seat. I looked around for help, waiting for someone to save me, the way the guy earlier was saved, no such luck. Abandoned by strangers, I spoke up for myself. I informed them that everyone was just sitting wherever. They didn’t care. They didn’t care that I had been there an hour early and they showed up fifteen minutes late, they didn’t care that all my stuff was already spread out and I had my electronics all plugged in. Nope, they wanted to cuddle for their 2 hour drive to Mission Beach, so they kicked me out of my seat. I sat with a girl behind me, completely dejected. Another guy felt for me and offered to let me put my bags with him because he didn’t have anyone next to him, but I declined, seeing as how I also was only going the two hours to Mission Beach.
Anyway, the drive itself was nothing exciting, I got over my experience with the couple pretty quickly. Until I saw them at the chemist the next day and, like the full grown adult that I am, avoided eye contact and hid behind a shelf from them. Once there I got my bag and stared around looking for my pick up from my hostel.
I was actually beginning to get a little worried when I finally saw a girl with a sign for my hostel and I hobbled my way over to her with my multiple bags. The hostel itself was pretty nice, just very uninhabited.
It was apparently very dead season, because there were really not a lot of people here, other than the people working there for accommodation. It had a nice little kitchen and common area though and a cute little tv room.
My room was practically empty so I managed to get a bottom bunk, score.
There was an en-suite in the room as well, which was super nice and convenient. And a little pool out the front as well.
After unpacking I went out to the common area and did some hard chillin. A few of the employees told me they were going to the beach and invited me, so I decided to head over with two girls who had just checked in as well. We got to the beach and didn’t know where they were though so we ended up just setting up camp.
I threw on sunscreen and proceeded to read and nap. Amazingly, sitting on the beach doing nothing is actually exhausting, so I ended up back at the hostel insanely tired and hungry. The only Woolies supermarket was a ways away so I ate pasta that I had left from Cairns and kind of just hung around the hostel. The WiFi reached my room, which was super nice, because the common area was super open and the mozzies were eating me alive. So I ended up being a total hermit, trolling social media in bed for a while before going to sleep embarrassingly early.
My second day in Mission consisted of grabbing a taxi with some other girls into town to the supermarket, and then back. And that was about it. And my third day was spent on the beach again with a few people who were staying just for one night. Mission Beach is insanely beautiful, but honestly, that’s about all there is when you dont have a car in Mission, the beach. I ended up opting for working out and sitting on the beach. Those were my go to activities for the few days I was there. And I mean, if I’m working out for entertainment, then you gotta figure something must be wrong. Along with the insane fact that I got up early my last day and watched the sunrise, which was actually super beautiful,
but Queensland doesn’t observe daylight savings so the sunrise is getting earlier and earlier so you’ve gotta seriously commit. And, on top off watching sunrise, I did a little jog on the beach and some squats. What is wrong with me, aye?
Honestly, in Mission I had a bit of a downturn as far as meeting people goes. Seeing as how there really weren’t a lot of people around I was basically on my own for the most part. I got a lot of work done while I was there, and I managed to read my whole book, and get started on my base tan so I didn’t burn in the Whitsundays, but otherwise, most of what’s there is stuff that’s a lot more entertaining with a partner in crime by your side.
Mission Beach is actually a group of four ‘villages.’ From north to south they are Bingil Bay, Mission Beach, Wongaling Beach, and South Mission Beach. You can rent a bike for $15 per day, which is actually a really fantastic idea, seeing as how Mission is so spread out, and without a car, there’s not too many options. I never ended up renting a bike, and I regret it a bit, but I didn’t have anyone to ride bikes with, so I’m not too upset about it. That would have made it much easier to travel between the four villages though, especially since my hostel had just a super random shuttle into town which basically only coincided with the greyhound times.
Another thing to do is go to Dunk Island. There is a water taxi in order to get to to the island, which lies just about 4 km off the coast, and there is supposed to be a good amount of wildlife on the island, along with some beautiful scenery. I was confused from seeing “I Got Dunked” bumper stickers everywhere when I first arrived, but now I get it. I know, nothing gets past me. Would have gotten one myself, but I didn’t want to seem like a poser, acting like I had been when I really hadn’t. But look at me hating my life on the beach again!
Next thing to do in Mission would be skydiving. There are a few places up the east coast which are super popular to skydive at, and Mission is one of the most popular due to it’s ‘guaranteed beach landing.’ My first day at the beach, mid nap, I heard people yelling very excitedly, I slowly opened my eyes and saw parachutes right above me, coming in for a landing just about 100 meters down the beach from me. So that comes close to my other experience with parachutes above me, when I was peeing just off a walkway back home and someone floated just above me while my pants were around my ankles. He made sure I knew that he saw me though, so thank god for that. That was fun. Anyway, skydive here costs somewhere around $200 and $300. The more you pay, the higher up you jump from. I don’t know if those prices include the photos and videos, but of course you’ve got to get the proof that you did it, so expect to pay at least $30 for your photos if it’s not included, which it probably isn’t. Most people actually only stay in Mission for a night or two, specifically in order to do the skydive. Which is probably one of the reasons why I had such a hard time finding people to hang with here, since I was staying for three nights. Slap me next time I come up with an idea as stupid as that.
Another expensive, but awesome thing to do while in Mission is rafting! The Tully River is nearby and has some extreme rafting for those whitewater lovers out there. Man did I want to do this, you have no idea, I seriously argued with myself about this one, as many know, I love rafting. It was, however, pretty expensive and I am attempting to not spend all of my money right off the bat. There are three main options for the Tully, the first is the newest option which is a half-day trip priced at $170. There is a pick-up from Mission at 8:30 and a return drop-off at 2:30. It looks like around three hours are spent on the river, and there is a ‘light lunch’ provided before returning to Mission. The second option is the full-day rafting trip, starting around $200. You depart Mission at 7:30 and return at 4:30. I have no idea how much of this time is spent driving and such, but you do have a BBQ lunch placed somewhere in there. No one under the age of 13 is allowed to raft, and if you’re pregnant it sounds like the best idea is to sit it out. The other option is the Xtreme Tully Rafting trip, which has the same times as the full-day, but starts at $230. It sounds as if you’re probably in a smaller boat and taking a more intense line down the river. Trying to surf rapids, stopping to do some cliff jumping, and doing some swimming through the rapids seem to be a few of the ways this trip is supposed to be more ‘extreme’ than the regular full-day trip. This one also provides lunch; there’s a minimum age of 15 though for this one, and it has a restriction on how well you can swim and how well you can speak English. Meaning you’ve got to be able to do both quite well. There seems to be a $30 levy which needs to be paid per person, and I don’t think this is included in prices though, so maybe add that to the price to have a better idea of what you’ll be spending. If you’re into rafting though, this is definitely high up on the list of great extreme rafting in the world. Check it out while you’re there. Here is a stolen photo (two photos) from my Scottish soul twin while she was rafting the Tully doin extreme stuff and being an extreme bad ass.
Little teaser, she may or may not be writing a celeb blog post about her experience doing the rafting as well as skydiving in mission beach. I’m excited about this for many reasons. Number 1) she is hilarious and deserves her own tv show. Number 2) I’m stoked for y’all to be able to hear some actual info about that stuff since I opted out and that’s boring. Number 3) she’s famous (in my heart) but also in real life for her blogging skillz. Number 4) that is all, but only three bullet points felt like too little so here we are. Anyway stay tuned for that.
Other things to do in Mission? Walking tracks and sitting on the beach. The most popular walking track is the Ulysses track, which is about 1.5 K long and is supposed to only take about 30 minutes. I believe it’s a loop, and you’re supposed to see a lot of Ulysses butterflies (hence the name off the track), along with good views of the beach/ocean. I didn’t do any walking tracks while here because they were spread out a little bit and much easier to get to with a car (or a bike, that I never hired). The Ulysses was the closest to my location, I think, but guess who was feeling lazy…this girl.
So yeah, Mission isn’t the most exciting place that I’ve been, but if you’ve got a car and an extra $500 burning a hole in your pocket, you could definitely spend a solid 4 or 5 days here. Or you could donate it to me so I can continue writing these amazingly entertaining blog posts. Oh the hostel had a dog.