Hiking on Dunk Island with Mission Beach Water Taxis

Dunk island is the largest of the Family Islands, with the majority of it being National Park. From Mission Beach Dunk Island beckons you to visit, located just 4km off the mainland. The beaches sparkle and Mt Kootaloo stands tall around crystal blue waters. img_1739The Indigenous people called this place Coonanglebah,“the island of peace and plenty” which sums it up beautifully.

The resort is still closed after cyclone Yasi in 2011, which has transfered this Island back in time. There isn’t any luxury and glitz, just an amazing ramshackled laid back beach cafe bar. Make sure you come before all that changes again as the resort is slowly being re-built.

There are a few different hiking options, but we did the 11km Island Circuit with a side trip to Muggy Muggy beach.


To get to the island you need to jump aboard with  Mission Beach Water Taxis, they are a superb family run company and love this area and island. As soon as we checked in we were looked after with snorkelling equipment, advice on crocodiles and stingers [in June we were out of the high risk season and for advice on jellyfish checkout this resource ]. You conveniently board right across the road from reception, it’s a beach boarding so make sure you’re prepared to get your wet feet. Once onboard its only a 10/15 minute trip and you’re given tips about all the best places to snorkel, where to explore on the island, as well as lots of information around the history and ecology. If you’re lucky you might get to see a Dugong. img_1690

Check the crossing times before you travel and its advisable to book in advance. We headed over on the 9.30am crossing and returned on the 3pm, which gave us just enough time to explore the Island. if you want to stay longer then camping is also available and locals tell us the sunsets are amazing.

After disembarking on the jetty we headed straight to Muggy Muggy beach, where there is excellent snorkelling.

As we were hiking we decided not to head into the water and after exploring the coal beach, we continued up to walk the Mt Kootaloo circuit. Its such a good hike heading through rainforest, mangroves and walking along golden beaches. The views from the top are stunning and we loved the fact it was a circular walk.

As the tides were low we decided to walk through the mangroves and along the mud flats to the beach. We had lunch overlooking the ocean and other smaller islands which make up the Family Islands. We saw a shipwreck, lots of birds and interesting rock formations as well as huge shells.

The total hike was 12km and you can check out all our stats here.

It was a beautiful hot day and so once on the spit, we both jumped into the perfectly clear water for a cool off and a bit of a snorkel. We rounded off the day in the Sunset Cafe  which is open at the weekend, public and school holidays. It’s a fully licenced cafe that serves lunch and ice creams.

Mission Beach Water Taxi’s also offer Bedarra Island transfers and a 3 hour 3 Island Tour as well as Island Charters.


For hiking gear checkout our Partner Wild Earth where we get most of our gear from.  Great prices and exceptional customer support as well as 5% off your first order if you enter the coupon ‘subscribe5’.  Click on the banner below…

Sarah x

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