Recovering from Cyclone Yasi
21.09.2012 - 23.09.2012 30 °C
From Wooroonooran National Park we travelled down to the coast to Mission Beach and camped at the Beachcomber Caravan Village on the beachfront at South Mission Beach.
Mission Beach suffered a direct hit from category 5 Cyclone Yasi on 2 February 2011. Cyclone Yasi left a trail of destruction from Cairns to Townsville but the worst affected areas were around Mission Beach. Now, a year and a half later, some of the damage is still visable and many people are struggling to rebuild their lives and local businesses say they've been crippled by the loss of tourist infrastructure that hasn't been replaced, for example on Dunk Island. We saw many houses with shipping containers in the garden or in the garage, the only secure way to sit out a tropical storm of that magnitude. The storm caused an estimated 3.6 billion dollars in damage, making it the costliest tropical cyclone to hit Australia on record.
Mission Beach is a tourist town that has been able to maintain its small town feel. One reason for this is that the town is spread out along a thin strip of land between the ocean and the hills and farmland behind. This has spread out a large tourism market, and the village doesn't feel as busy as one might expect. We had a nice beachfront site 50 meters from the beach with views of the Coral Sea, Dunk Island and Bedarra Island.
I did a half-day dive trip to Alison Reef on the outer Great Barrier Reef with Calypso Adventures. It was not as spectacular as the Ribbon Reefs or Osprey Reef but there were lots of small creatures to observe. The Great Barrier Reef is only 38 kilometres from Mission Beach, thus making it the closest mainland point to the Great Barrier Reef at just over an hour away. The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef system. Stretching for over 2300 kilometres along the Queensland coast, it is comprised of approximately 2900 individual reefs and over 900 sand cays and islands.
Tomorrow we will travel down to Townsville.