What to do
Running from Cairns to Cardwell, the Cassowary Coast is one of the undiscovered gems of Queensland, a quiet stretch of coastline bordered by the Wet Tropics Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef. Mission Beach (actually four separate towns spread along a 14km stretch of palm-fringed beach) is at its heart. Despite its popularity, the town has retained a dreamy, laid-back vibe and the welcoming locals are never outnumbered by tourists.
The area is home to one of the highest concentrations of the endangered cassowary in Australia. These large flightless birds can be spotted walking through fields and gardens, and even occasionally swimming across rivers.