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  • Writer's pictureKatie D

Roadtrip: head north to the Cassowary Coast

The Cassowary Coast, which spans from Cardwell and Hinchinbrook Island in the south to Innisfail in the north, is for many campers the epitome of the perfect tropical escape. Hidden between Cairns and Townsville, the area doesn't attract the crowds that you get elsewhere along the Far North Queensland coast. The pace is slower, the vibe is relaxed, and the people are welcoming.

But don't let that fool you into thinking there's nothing to do. With immaculate stretches of tropical beaches, the Cassowary Coast is boarded by the Wet Tropics Rainforest inland and the Great Barrier Reef offshore making the Cassowary Coast truly #wheretherainforestmeetsthereef.

A fascinating hinterland with waterfalls, national parks, swimming holes, walking tracks, mountain bike trails, white water rafting and camping grounds, the Cassowary Coast is dotted with small villages never far from the water. Two of the best are Mission Beach and Etty Bay. These two also happen to be the best place to spot the iconic southern cassowary, a throwback to the dinosaurs.

Given the tropical location, the Cassowary Coast boats bumper crops of tropical fruits and vegetables year round. And, there's plenty of reef and beef options too, with grazing farms and fresh seafood aplenty. Get a taste for adventure exploring the region’s food bowl on a drive around the Atherton Tablelands and Cassowary Coast.

Stay a while

If you're looking for a base to #exploretnq you can't go past Mission Beach and Etty Bay.

Mission Beach Camping & Caravan Park

The only campground to offer an absolute beach front location, this Park is pet-friendly and perfect for extended stays (particularly during the winter months) and short-term stays.

With views out to Dunk Island​ and access to 14km stretch of white sandy Beaches Mission Beach Camping and Caravan Park delivers a quiet, laid-back vibe with easy access to a long list of activities. A short walk to town, there are plenty of nearby cafe's to choose from and its easy to stock up on supplies at the local Woolworths.

The amenities on site are simple so if you're looking for all the mod-cons this Park may not be for you. But, if you're ready to relax and enjoy a slower pace Mission Beach has that in spades.

Etty Bay Cabins and Caravan Park

A hidden gem in Queensland's Tropical North, this magical cove is a unique destination to relax and rejuvenate. You can stop in for a coffee at the general store, a meal at Etty Bay Kitchen or, stay for a while in a comfortable cabin, camp or caravan site.

Etty Bay is known as one of the region’s most scenic beaches, but what really makes this little cove so special is its inhabitants… home to the magnificent Southern Cassowary, you’re very likely to see these notoriously hard to spot birds roaming the beachfront in the late afternoon or early morning. An overnight stay just about guarantees a sighting.

Located 15mins from the town of Innisfail, Etty Bay provides great access to attractions like Josephine Falls, Mamu Tropical Skywalk, Paronella Park and Snapping Tours just to name a few.

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