People have beencoming to Mission Beach to top up their tans since the 1920s, when the firstholiday homes were built along its shores. Development increased in the 1960sand today this is a thriving, affluent oceanfront suburb. Thankfully, though,it hasn’t lost its old-fashioned charm. Stroll along the boardwalk that runsthe length of the beach and enjoy the relaxed, carnival atmosphere courtesy ofstreet performers, roller bladers and skateboarders, and the occasional artistselling jewelry or other crafts.
People-watching is asport in itself at Mission Beach. Venture into the breakers with a boogieboard, rent a bike or blades and weave amongst the crowds, or join in animpromptu volleyball game. Just half a mile (805 meters) off-shore lies theremains of shipwrecks, and a number of dive companies will take you down for alook. If you prefer to see your fish on the end of a line, then cast away fromthe jetty at the south end of the beach.
Belmont Park is the maincommercial attraction, featuring the Giant Dipper, an old-fashioned woodenroller coaster. On the Octotron, you control the speed and direction of yourride, while Vertical Plunge will take you straight up and down on a thrillingthree-story ride. Kids love the gentler pace of Tilt-A-Whirl, and all thefamily will enjoy bumper cars and the Liberty Carousel. Admission to the parkis free purchase unlimited ride wristbands at the ticket desk.
There’sno need to dress up for a night out at Mission Beach, as the bars andrestaurants all have a relaxed vibe, in keeping with the area’s origins as avacation destination. The beach is well-serviced with toilets and showers, butparking fills up early in the day. It would be wise to make your way here viabike or public transport.