Take the round-trip ferry from Mission Beach to Dunk Island for an independent day excursion to this beautiful tropical island. Located between Townsville and Cairns, Dunk Island has excellent snorkelling and fishing, walking trails that lead through the rainforest, and sandy beaches perfect for lounging. Ride in a fully-enclosed 33-foot (10-meter) ferry that transports you over the blue waters of the Coral Sea to the island in just ten minutes. You can choose to spend the morning, afternoon or full day on the island.
Once you arrive, you can enjoy your island time however you like. Pack an esky with drinks and food for a picnic on the beach (there are no shops or restaurants on the island). Bring or hire snorkel equipment and stinger suits so that you can explore the reef. Surf the waves on a boogie board, throw a line in to see what you can catch fishing from the beach, or enjoy a competitive game of beach cricket. Of course, you're also welcome to just soak in the sun and relax on the beach, cooling off with a dip in the crystal clear waters.
If you feel like getting active and closer to nature, choose from three different walks. First, there's the easy 3-kilometre Muggy Muggy Beach walk, which winds through the rainforest, coastal woodland, and mangroves before arriving at Muggy Muggy Beach. At this picturesque sandy cove, sheltered behind a rainforest-clad headland, enjoy a swim and snorkel before returning along the same track.
Next, there's the 7-kilometre return hike to Mt Kootaloo. This more strenuous walk winds up a steep track to the 271-meter summit. Cyclone-damaged rainforest on the lower slopes allows glimpses over the island and reefs as the path ascends. On the upper slopes, the forest opens out, and eucalypts emerge through the canopy. Near the summit, a short branching track leads to a lookout, which offers spectacular views over the Family Islands and nearby mainland. Near the lookout, the remains of No. 27 Radar Station, built during World War II, are slowly being reclaimed by the rainforest. The track continues around the summit, rejoining the main trail and returning to the beach.
Finally, the 9.2-kilometre Dunk Island Circuit Track is a moderate grade and takes around 4 hrs to complete. Not for the faint-hearted, this challenging walk will introduce you to Dunk Island’s lush green rainforest, where you are likely to encounter the many different species of birdlife. From Mt Kootaloo, you’ll pass through the magical Palm Valley and then onto Coconut Beach.
The island supports many species of birds, insects, reptiles and mammals, while the brilliant blue Ulysses butterfly has become a symbol for Dunk Island. The fringing reefs surrounding each of the islands are home to a diversity of reef life. Extensive seagrass beds also lie between the islands providing important feeding grounds for sea turtles and dugongs. It's a nature lover's paradise!
When your time on the island is up, board the ferry for the quick trip back to the mainland, where the crew will hose the sand off your feet before saying goodbye.