The Hungry Wanderers

Eating and exploring our way through the world

Mission Beach

Posted by Amanda @ The Hungry Wanderers on March 20, 2010

After an enjoyable morning in Airlie Beach, we set out for our next destination: Mission Beach.  The drive was quite similar to the drives over the past week so I took less pictures than before 🙂 We mostly noted those items that stood out to us compared to the other drives.  We found this van to be interesting…

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A handful of times, there was construction on the road.  This stop in particular was interesting – instead of men holding Stop/Slow signs, there was an actual stop light at both ends of the single lane.  I had to get out to take a picture.IMG_5662 At one point, weaving through the beautiful mountains, we found a scenic overlook to stop at.  We pulled out the tripod and the Husband took a handful of photos of the beautiful scenery.

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In Australia, the big rigs can carry more than one trailer – often two, three, or even four behind them! We’ve learned that on the east coast, it’s usually limited to two but in the outback, since the roads are long, straight, and flat, there will often be multiple trailers.  The Husband’s been on a mission to see some of these trucks with multiple trailers.  In the meantime, we were amused to see three red trucks hauling nothing.

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Later in our drive, we were quite confused to see a parade of truck cabs.  Unfortunately, we didn’t get a picture, but it was like a funeral procession of twenty or so truck cabs with their lights blinking and a police support at the stop light.  We have no idea what was going on!

Something we’ve noticed in Australia is the “monolithic idol to the frivolous” (the Husband’s words as I’m not creative).  Essentially, in front of restaurants and farms, we’ve seen all sorts of creatures, larger than life size, at the top of sign poles.  These have included animated bananas and mangoes, crabs (as seen below), cassowaries (wait till we tell you about those!), and other animals and produce.  We’ll try to get more pictures for you as we drive along 🙂

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After six long hours, we were finally in the Mission Beach area! A few days ago when we stopped at an information center along the side of the road, we were told that there’s really nothing in Mission Beach.  Well, that person was right! Once we got into the Mission Beach area, aside from trees, there were a small handful of cars and an insane number of these signs…

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You would think that with all of these warnings, we’d see a cassowary (an emu like creature with a blue neck we later learned) or two, right? Wrong.  We drove slowly as pleaded by the signs and saw nothing but trees.  We’re beginning to wonder if cassowaries are like the drop bears we were told about – a big ole practical joke to play on the tourists… the animal parks in Cairns claim to have some so we’ll see if we actually get to see one in person.

When we booked the trip, we were originally scheduled to stay at the Castaways Resort & Spa.

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Upon arrival in Australia, however, we were contacted by our travel agency, Goway, to advise that Castaways was undergoing renovations and that they had rebooked us at The Elandra Resort.  Based on the letter, it sounded like it would be an upgrade of sorts so we were interested to see what the resort was like.  Looking at their website quickly on the drive to Mission Beach, they were described as a boutique resort with only 55 rooms.

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After continuing to be on the lookout for cassowaries for a handful of kilometers, we found our way up a windy driveway to a secluded and quiet resort area.   IMG_5740

We parked the car, checked in, and headed to our room to drop off our bags. Unfortunately for us (we have some relatively heavy bags since we’re gone for so long even though we packed less with plans of doing laundry along the way) the walk to the room included a handful of steps.   IMG_5761

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Our room wasn’t far, though – it was the first one to the right of the lobby/restaurant/bar/pool area.

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We descended a few more stairs and arrived at our room.  Just like all the others, this one was quite nice.

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An extensive mini bar (which would come in handy later!)IMG_5768

Bean bag chairs which were clearly meant for the balcony, if the rain would ever stop 🙂

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And a relatively nice view if it weren’t for the rain (not that we’re complaining – I prefer periodic rain over intense heat and humidity). IMG_5770 After we were settled, we headed back to the bar area to receive our “welcome drink” and to get a late lunch.  The welcome drink was Moroccan Tea.  It was very light and refreshing!

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As late as it was (3 or 4 o’clock), only a small bar menu was available – which was fine since we planned to have dinner in a few hours.   IMG_5749

We ordered the Sourdough and dips and french fries with tomato sauce and aioli. IMG_5757

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As we ate “lunch,” another tropical rain came through over the pool.

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The Elandra was actually located in South Mission Beach and driving through we noted no potential restaurants.  (The next morning we drove through Mission Beach and it does have a number of restaurants if you find yourself there.) So, we decided to lounge in the lobby (open air next to the pool and bar), use the free wi-fi to blog, and then get a later dinner at the restaurant.

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As we blogged, the sun went down and the Husband got a phone call from his brother.  As he roamed the grounds on the phone, he saw lots of wildlife including toads and geckos (or similar lizards).  I, on the other hand, had a gecko crawl on me and scare the crap out of me! He was on my foot and as I waved it around to get whatever it was off me, he went flying 😦 I felt bad when I realized what had been on me…. As I got hungry, I grabbed the Husband and we headed toward the restaurant.  On our way, though, we ran into a very nice British couple and ended up chatting with them for a half hour or so.  By the time we got to the restaurant just 10 feet away, it was closed 😦  So, we headed back to the room where I made my choice from the options at the mini bar… it actually worked out as a much cheaper dinner 😉  We had Twisties (cheetos like) and Tim Tam Fingers (a mini form of Tim Tams) and two bottles of water… Not the most satisfying of dinners but it would have to do.

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We slept well.  Even though I was nervous about more geckos crawling on me, we were free and clear of any creatures in or around the bed 😉 We enjoyed sleeping in and watched one of the Australian morning shows – Sunrise.  One thing we’ve noticed about these morning shows, that’s different than the American versions, are these segments that are essentially infomercials.  It’s so bizarre! They’ll tell the news and provide weather for the whole country and then go into these bits about products we see in American infomercials.  We tried to get proof for you – the pics below were the best we could do.

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We packed up after getting our fill of morning show, and headed north on our short drive to Cairns 🙂

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