CASSOWARY COAST- DUNK ISLAND
Dunk Island was known as 'Coonanglebah' to its first inhabitants... the 'Island of Peace and Plenty'. Over the years, Dunk Island has justifiably gained the title of Australia's most beautiful tropical rainforest island. Exclusive rainforests, extensive golden sand beaches, breathtaking rocky shores and blooming tropical gardens make Dunk Island the perfect getaway for everyone.
DUNK ISLAND RESORT IS CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE DUE TO DAMAGE FROM CYCLOINE YASI, EARLY 2011
Dunk Island, nearly five kilometres east of Mission Beach, is the largest and most northerly of the Family Islands. Dunk Island is accessible by commercial flights from Cairns, commercial ferries from Clump Point, in North Mission Beach, and water taxi from Wongaling Beach. The smaller islands - Wheeler, Coombe, Smith, Bowden, Hudson and Purtaboi - are accessible by sea kayak, private boat or charter vessel from Mission Beach, Cardwell, Hull River or Tully River. Dunk Island Spit, near the jetty, has facilities for day visitors including picnic tables, toilets and a kiosk.

Captain Cook named Dunk Island after the Earl of Halifax, George Montague Dunk, when he sailed up the Queensland coast in 1770. Cook described the island as a 'tolerable high island'. Any of the countless travellers who have visited Dunk Island since then must agree that is one of the greatest understatements of all time.

With steep mountains lathered in lush rainforest climbing from sweeping arcs of golden sand, Dunk Island is far more than 'tolerable'. It is the ideal tropical island paradise, crisscrossed by a network of walking tracks. Its proximity to the Great Barrier Reef and its luxurious resort make Dunk Island the perfect all-round island getaway.

The island's most famous ever resident has been undisputably Edmund James Banfield, who captured the life on the island in his writing, the most acclaimed of which was his 1908 bestseller 'The Confessions of a Beachcomber', a book that established Dunk Island's reputation as an idyllic island paradise. Banfield described the desert-island escape as "removed from the haunts of men". This book granted him the nickname of 'The Beachcomber', although he was also known as 'Rob Krusoe'.

James Banfield died in 1923 and was buried in his own tropical garden on the island. A cairn has been placed above his grave, where some of Thoreau's words, whom Banfield admired, have been carved: 'If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears'... words which Banfield, the Beachcomber, both loved and lived.

Little wonder that Dunk's unspoilt tropical scenery was chosen as the setting for the cinematic version of Norman Lindsay's "The Age of Consent" in 1968, starring James Mason and Helen Mirren. Age of Consent is the story of a jaded but successful artist, played by Mason, who retreats to Dunk Island to paint. But he meets the free-spirited teenage Mirren, who becomes his muse and model. We wouldn't want to give away the storyline, but it doesn't take much imagination to figure out the general plot, given the film's title.

Dunk Island itself plays a starring role, shown gloriously in the aerial shots and in the underwater shots of Mirren swimming naked over the coral reef. The nudity and a sex scene were all pretty coy by today's standards, but lent the film notoriety, and led to extensive cuts by the British censors. In response, Mirren scoffs "If you can't drop your kit on a deserted island and get in tune with nature, where can you?"

A number of scenes, such as when Mason creates a sand sculpture of the sleeping Mirren, were filmed on the beach at Brammo Bay, where the ferries now dock. That beach hasn't changed since 1968, except for the handy waterfront cafe and a small campsite.

ATTRACTIONS AND THINGS TO DO - DUNK ISLAND

Dunk Island offers a wide array of activities, from bushwalking to jet skiing tours, tennis, snorkelling, sunbathing, birdwatching, you name it. The list is endless and we're sure you won't have a minute to spare during your vacation. You only have to decide what you feel like doing, (except snowboarding or skiing) and surely you will find it.

ARTIST'S COLONY
Hidden away in the rainforest of Dunk Island is where Bruce Arthur established the Artist's Colony. Bruce Arthur was an Olympic wrestler who became a weaver. (truth is stranger than fiction!) For 24 years, he lived a bohemian lifestyle in an art studio that hosted over the years a number of artists. The reputation of the colony grew and today, after Arthur's death, it's silversmith Susan Kirk who continues with the tradition. The colony, located just beyond the Resort, is open on Thursdays and Sundays from 10:00am to 1:00pm for a visit.

GOLFING
Golfers are able to swing their way around a challenging and scenic nine hole course located in the Dunk Island Resort. Built ensuring that the island's natural features and surrounding rainforest was not disturbed, this nine hole golf resort is a treat for anybody, golfers and non golfers, who will benefit from beautiful views of the island and the Coral Sea.

BUSHWALKING AND WILDLIFE
Dunk Island features 13 kilometres of walking tracks which provide an introduction to the island's diverse fauna, including more than 100 different species of birds and the beautiful electric blue Ulysses butterfly, which is the island's famous symbol. With a wingspan of up to 10 centimetres, the blue Ulysses is one of the largest butterflies in Australia, and definitely the most beautiful. The longest track, the 'Island Circuit' is nine kilometres long, taking a circuit around half of the island, and it is the best way to explore the island's many different habitats.

Dunk island is loaded with golden beaches, sparkling creeks, lush tropical rainforests, rocky shores, reef flat and mangroves, and these walking tracks are the best way to explore all the wonders the island offers. The southern part of the island is National Park, comprising 730 hectares of nature and wildlife. Other walking tracks, varying from easy to moderate, are Muggy Muggy Beach walk, Banfield's grave walk, Mount Kootaloo walk and Coconut Beach walk. Please, visit our NATIONAL PARKS page for more information about Dunk Island's National Park.

It is worth hiking Mount Kootaloo to take in the spectacular views from its summit. It is simply breathtaking!

WATERSPORTS
In addition to its walking tracks, Dunk Island is a paradise for water based activities. Everybody will certainly find something to suit his or her taste. Sea kayaking, snorkelling, scuba diving, waterskiing, wakeboarding, parasailing... Everything!

Guests of the Dunk Island Resort can make use of the excellent kids' club, and hire a small motor boat to explore further afield to the deserted beaches at the far south of the island.

OTHER ACTIVITIES
But that's not all. How does it sound riding a horse on the beach or in the rainforest? Or enjoying a scenic flight looking down on the beautiful colours of the Great Barrier Reef? Or what about a romantic sparkling wine and cheese sunset cruise? Or even relaxing while expert hands give you a massage? These are just a few activites Dunk Island offers, but why don't you come and discover them all yourself?

TOURS - DUNK ISLAND

DUNK JET SPORTS
Phone (07) 4068 8432
Dunk Jet Sports offer transfers between Mission Beach and Dunk Island and day tours circumnavigating the historical and picturesque award-winning Dunk Island. All the tours and transfers are aboard jet skies.

SKYSAFARI
NO LONGER OPERATING To offer a unique element to your experience, Skysafari have multiple landing locations to pick up and drop off guests for their Air Tours or Scenic Flights.

KESTREL AVIATION SERVICES
Phone / Fax (07) 4045 1372
Departing from Cairns, Kestrel Aviation Services run full day tours to Dunk Island. After a low level scenic flight, you will land on the island for a day of relaxation or adventure, with watersports, walking tracks, snorkelling and many other activities included.

ACCOMMODATION - DUNK ISLAND

DUNK ISLAND RESORT
Phone (02) 8296 8010 / Fax (02) 9299 2103
Dunk Island Resort is the perfect island accommodation, offering you the most complete tropical holiday experience as well as a pleasant and relaxing stay, not to mention a huge variety of activities and services.

The resort offers 160 comfortable rooms divided into 4 different grades: Bayview Suites, with direct access to the beach and unbroken views of Brammo Bay; Beachfront Rooms, with access to the beach through tropical gardens; Garden Cabanas, set amongst tropical gardens and arranged in groups of four; and Banfield Rooms, located in tropical gardens and a short stroll away from the central complex, resort facilities and beach.

The activities Dunk Island Resort offers are numerous. Some of them are complimentary, such as tennis and squash, catamarans, paddle skis, snorkelling lessons, boomeran throwing, archery, coconut de-husking (what the ...??) and much more. There is also a nine hole golf course, tandem skydiving, motorboat hire, wine and cheese sunset cruise, waterskiing, tube rides and wake boarding, mountain bike tours, scenic flights, and horse riding.

If you came to Dunk Island to relax, don't miss the Spa of Peace and Plenty. With a floating boardwalk through spectacular gardens, cascading streams and a large reflection pool, the spa offers an extensive array of treatments to rejuvenate your body, mind and spirit.

And everything without having to worry about your kids. At Dunk Island Resort, they are in good hands. The Kids Club, with its own meal times and activities for the little ones, means you can enjoy time for yourselves.

Dunk Island Resort is a treat for the whole family!

CAMPING
If you're looking for a back-to-nature experience, without the price tag of a resort, no worries, mate! Camping is possible on The Spit, located right next to the jetty and the tourist centre. The campsite is equipped with toilet, shower and barbecue facilities. Permits to camp must be booked and obtained from Dunk Island Resort on (07) 4068 8199. We recommend you request your permit well in advance, as spaces are limited.



DINING - DUNK ISLAND

Even the most demanding foodies will be thrilled with the resort's restaurants, bars and the café. Their premier restaurant, the Beachcomber, specialises in fresh tropical style cuisine and offers themed buffets each night of the week. The Plantation Bar, overlooking the distant islands and set on a superb palm fringed beach, offers a Modern Australian Brasserie style menu, serving a wide selection of gourmet sandwiches, salads, pastas, Asian dishes and ice-creams. The Jetty Cafe serves lunches daily and features fresh seafood cuisine. The Terrace, situated below Cascades Pool, features traditional Italian cuisine. Beach barbecues and picnic lunches are also available.

GETTING TO DUNK ISLAND

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Dunk Island is well connected to Cairns and Mission Beach (please, scroll down to find information on getting to Mission Beach.)

Quick Cat Cruises, the stylish and comfortable way to reach Dunk Island.QUICK CAT CRUISES
Clump Point Jetty, Mission Beach
Phone (07) 4068 7289 / Fax (07) 4068 7185

www.quickcatcruises.com.au

Quick Cat Cruises offers boat transfers to Dunk Island from Clump Point Jetty, in Mission Beach, four times a day. The transfer takes about 20 minutes. Quick Cat Cruises provide coach connections from Cairns Airport, Cairns, Northern Beaches and Port Douglas. One way tickets vary from $24 from Mission Beach to $94 from Port Douglas. Kids pay 50% of adult fares. Private charters are also available upon request.

The Mission Beach Dunk Island Water Taxi connects Mission Beach and Dunk Island, in Far North Queensland.The Mission Beach Dunk Island Water Taxi operates regular trips between Mission Beach and Dunk Island weather permitting. The taxi service departs from Banfield Parade, at Wongaling Beach, five times a day and gets to Dunk Island only ten minutes later. Boat charters are also available.

Mission Beach Dunk Island Connections connects Port Douglas and Dunk Island, picking up passengers in Cairns, Innisfail and Mission Beach.Mission Beach Dunk Island Connections provides daily transfers from Port Douglas to Dunk Island, picking up or dropping passengers in Cairns, Innisfail and Mission Beach.

Mission Beach Dunk Island Connections operate a service connecting the Northern Beaches, Cairns airport, Cairns city, Innisfail and Mission Beach with the Quick Cat Clump Point jetty, located in Mission Beach, to Dunk Island three times a day. If you are travelling from or to Port Douglas or Silky Oaks, the service is available on request. The trip to Dunk Island from Cairns takes approximately two and a half hours, and around four and a half hours from Silky Oaks

HINTERLAND AVIATION
Phone (07) 4035 9323 / Fax (07) 4034 9472
Hinterland Aviation flies from Cairns to Dunk Island three times a day. Alternatively you can also book a private transfer. The trip takes around 45 minutes each way. Hinterland Aviation also connects Dunk Island with Cow Bay and Lizard Island through charter flights.

GETTING TO MISSION BEACH

Find the best deal on a rental car in Tropical North Queensland with Cairns Unlimited.Of course if you've got a desire for the freedom and flexibility that can only be had at the wheels of your own vehicle, please visit our CAR HIRE page. We may be called Cairns Unlimited, but we can get you a great deal on a rental car or campervan anywhere! Simply fill out our obligation free enquiry form, and we will get back to you - usually the next working day - with the best deal on a vehicle to suit your needs.
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Premier / Pioneer Motor Service run buses from Cairns to Brisbane, stopping at Proserpine, Airlie Beach, Bowen, Home Hill, Ayr, Townsville, Ingham, Cardwell, Tully, Mission Beach, Innisfail and Gordonvale.Premier / Pioneer Motor Service also run a bus service from Brisbane to Cairns and viceversa. The buses stop at Proserpine, Airlie Beach, Bowen, Home Hill, Ayr, Townsville, Ingham, Cardwell, Tully, Mission Beach, Innisfail and Gordonvale.

Mission Beach is a scheduled stop on the regular Cairns to Brisbane Greyhound bus route.Mission Beach is a scheduled stop on the regular Cairns to Brisbane Greyhound bus route, with up to five departures every day. A Greyhound 'bus pass' will give you the flexibilty to stop off at interesting destinations along the way.

Oz Experience stops at many of the interesting towns of Tropical North Queensland, including Mission Beach and Tully.Mission Beach and Tully are two of the essential stops on all of the Oz Experience East Coast routes. Oz Experience has a range of passes and itineraries around the country.

The Tilt Train stops at Cardwell, Innisfail, Babinda and Gordonvale on its route from Cairns to Brisbane and viceversa.The Tilt Train stops at the cities of Cardwell, Tully, Innisfail, Babinda and Gordonvale on its way to Cairns from Brisbane. Allow around 12 hours to make the whole trip.
The Sunlander Train doesn't stop at Mission Beach, but has a stopover in Townsville and finishes its way in Cairns.The Queenslander and the Sunlander trains stop at Cairns and Townsville, and from there it is easy to travel to Mission Beach.The Queenslander and the Sunlander travel from Cairns to Brisbane and return. Although the train line does not extend to the Mission Beach area, trains do stop at Cairns and Townsville. It is then easy to travel to Mission Beach from any of these destinations.

Trans North Bus & Coach connects Mission Beach and Bingil Bay, in Tropical North Queensland.Trans North Bus & Coach offers a service from Mission Beach to Bingil Bay and return. The buses run a number of times each day, from Monday to Saturday, except Public Holidays, stopping at different spots on their way (Bingil Bay and Clump Point amongst others).

One of most popular attractions in Cairns is the Great Barrier Reef.


Dunk Island jetty, located in Far North Queensland. Click for larger photograph.
The alluring Family Islands National Park, in Tropical North Queensland. Click for larger photograph.


EMERGENCY SERVICES

In case of emergency only, dial 000. In all other cases, phone the local service :

Ambulance (07) or 131233
Hospital (07) 4068 1144
Police (07) 4068 1200