Mission Beach is absolutely paradise in the winter months. Long beaches, with white sand, coconuts dropping onto the beach and your tent is showered by mango trees. Just stunning. The community is small, with a very hippie vibe which we loved! We enjoyed Mission Beach so much we visited it twice! The first time we stayed here, at Dunk Views and the second time at Jackaroo. Which did we prefer? Read on to find out.
Address: 21-35 Webb Road, Wongaling Beach, Mission Beach
Location: Across the road from the beach at Wollangali, walking distance (or a short drive) to the Woolworths supermarket.
Cost for an unpowered campsite: website says from $28 for two people per night. However we paid $38 per night in September.
Nights we stayed for: 2 nights in September 2015.
Lets start this review out by saying that we had originally wanted to stay at the Council run campsite at Mission Beach, however due to the less than brilliant administration, the less than tent-friendly layout of the Council campsite, plus a bit of bad luck, we missed out on a site there and ended up staying in Dunk Island Views Caravan Park as it is the only other park in town that is both close to the beach and does not cost an arm and a leg to stay the night. It is more expensive that what we generally pay for a campsite, however this is Mission Beach, so it is to be expected.
For more info on Mission Beach and the amazingness, spectacular, relaxing wonderland that this place is, head over to our full write up on the town (still in the making – sorry). Surely by that introduction you can tell that we’re quite smitten by the place. Be sure to swing by here on your way up/down the coast.
The Dunk Island Views campsite is directly across the road from the beach, and has it’s own small pool for those times of the year when swimming in the ocean is not possible without a stinger suit. This is one caravan park where you will want to select your own site. The camping sites are very varied in size, shape, privacy and shade, so be sure to get out of your car and go for a walk around before booking into the park. You will not have this luxury at peak times (winter) however we found that during the September school holidays we were able to choose our own site. We selected a large site, which was lined with baby palm trees and backed onto a vacant bock of land. It was quiet and big enough for us to feel like we were not staying in a cramped caravan park.
Facilities and amenities
The caravan park has an on-site shop serving fried foods, pies and snacks. It also has a small camp kitchen with a stovetop that would take you three years to cook a piece of bacon, a BBQ (that everyone ended up using because the stovetop was so shit), a microwave, kettle and toaster. There are also two fridges for your cold food storage, however only one was operating when we first got to the park. After the first night the fridge was overflowing so management turned on the second fridge and a bunch of us moved our food into there, only to find that in the morning all our fresh fruit and veg had been frozen and we had to throw out a bunch of food (cucumbers, lettuce and other freshies that would turn to mush once defrosted). The other annoyance we had was that park management cleaned the kitchen at 8am each day. That is breakfast time fools! So you were constantly walking on a wet floor or stepping over furniture that had been moved for cleaning when trying to make your breakfast. Why not wait until the cleaning was done then use the kitchen? Because the kitchen cleaning somehow took close to 2 hours each day. On the first morning we waited patiently for one hour after the furniture was moved out of the way and the floor had been sprayed, but after an hour nothing more had happened in the kitchen, the mop bucket was in the same place it was and no more cleaning had occurred. So we just let ourselves in and made breakfast. I have no idea why they decided to clean the kitchen before 10am or why it took so long each day, but teamed with the fact that we lost a bunch of fresh food it made the stay a lot less pleasurable.
The other amenities onsite were clean and well kept, if a little old. The bathroom had ample toilets and showers, plus there was a small toilet bock near the tent sites, which was very convenient. You have access to a laundry with coin operated machines and washing lines for drying.
Dunk Island Views is a standard caravan park, which could be a great park with only a few small tweaks. You certainly do no not get the impression that the administration really care about the guest experience, but are just there to get their paycheck and go home. However that is the whole vibe of Mission Beach. It is a small town that accidentally became a tourist mecca. The locals do not invite or welcome the tourists (but they are happy to take their money) and they do not go out of their way to make your stay more pleasurable. It’s really a take it or leave it kinda place. That attitude is well reflected by the Dunk Island Views Caravan Park.
Other options for cheap accomm at Mission Beach
If you want to be close to the supermarket and the beach then this is not a bad place to stay, if you have the option get to Mission Beach early and try to get a beachfront site at the Council run camping grounds. You cannot pre-book these sites and there are only about 8 beach-front sites, all other sites are concrete slabs.
A great option is the Bali Hai camping grounds in Wongaling (just down the road from Dunk Island Views) which is cheaper than Dunk Island Views at $20 per night for an unpowered site, much bigger but lacks the pool and has only 2 showers for a large campsite. Like I said though, it is cheap, the cheapest in town for what we can see, and well worth checking out. No need to make a booking here (unless you’re after a powered site or a cabin) just rock up and talk to reception.
If you do not mind being a little further out of the Mission Beach commercial township and are after a magical rainforest experience, then head to Jackaroo Hostel which also has camping sites for $15 per night. It is cheaper and better value for money for campers as breakfast is included in the fee and the kitchen is bigger and cleaner. They run activities at night and you get access to computers with free internet also. Jackaroo is not on the beach, but only a short drive or 15-20 minute walk from Bingil Bay beach, which is a lot more spectacular than the beach in-front of Dunk Island Views caravan park.
There are also a LOT of Work for Accommodation opportunities in Mission Beach – keep an eye out for out Mission Beach article, coming soon we promise, for all deets on that.