Bingil Bay - Australia's hidden tropical paradise
February 1, 2018
by Lisa Senftleben
The far north tropics
„Mission Beach is a relaxed beachfront town between Cairns and Townsville on the Queensland coast. Here two World Heritage areas, the Great Barrier Reef and Wet Tropics Rainforest collide to form a natural environment unlike anywhere on earth. […] a perfect base for visiting nearby Dunk, Bedarra and Hinchinbrook islands.
Mission Beach is made up of four villages: South Mission Beach, Wongaling Beach, North Mission Beach and Bingil Bay. The palm-fringed beach connects these four small townships, from Kennedy Bay in the south to Garners Beach in the north. […]“. (Stephanie Williams for australia.com)
Reading the information about this paradise-like place in the far North-East Australian tropics I lived in for seven months, envokes the feelings of the hot golden sand underneath my feet again, the salty air in my hair and the constant sweat glistening on golden skin. Now, sitting in a cafe back in cold-winter-Germany, I let my thoughts fly back and my fingers automatically start journaling, taking you to the tropics, another home of my heart.
Let’s go on a trip to Bingil Bay and once we’re there, let’s stay for a while. Too easy. That’s how it all started…
Arriving in paradise
March 2017. By that time I can call myself an experienced Australian backpacker. Fullfilling all the clichées: being broke, lost all my worries about life, living at various beaches for 1 ½ years, a little happy heart within, with nothing left but freedom and love for this world.
A friend and me are hitchhiking up the coast from Byron Bay to Bingil Bay. Days and hours in a truck, sleeping on its roof during the night, eating sugar cane from the fields next to the road, sweating, singing, dreaming.
We are arriving in the pre-dawn at a service station which just opened it’s doors onto the highway in El Arish. Falling asleep on the one existing table, until first morning light and the smell of coffee wakes us up. Walking outside the heat hits us like a warm pillow pressed on your skin. Heavy backpacks, tired eyes, putting out the thumb once again – the last K’s towards the little beachtown we’re aiming.
Around us: a lonely highway, shimmering in the early humid heat, deep green rainforest all around. All we hear is a sirring noise. And a big silence. Finally an old rusty farmer’s car stops, we chuck the backpacks in the back, three people squeezed together in the front. Curvy roads, endless rainforest, gravel road and then we arrive.
The Jackaroo Treehouse
Welcome to the jungle! Welcome to paradise! A huge property surrounded by ancient rainforest with the all wooden treehouse in the middle. It has open terracces, cozy couches under a cooling fan, robust wooden tables and benches with a stunning view over the palmtree surrounded pool, hammocks strained between huge old trees leisurely swinging against the tropical sky.
Rainforest all around and the distant endless blue ocean surrounded by golden coastline (seriously the sand here is golden. Like golden. Golden. It’s so beautiful, I’ll mention it a few more times don’t worry), sprinkled with fresh coconuts on the ground, little wallabies jumping around and huge lizards crawling lazily in slow motion through the hot sun. Combine all this with silence, space and so much time. Your life automatically slows down, relaxes. Your lips start to smile.
Within the first seconds of arriving, I knew I’d stay. You stop making plans. You dive into a wild paradise, locals welcome you with so much love and before you can drink your first fresh coconut water you’re part of this little lifeloving and lovegiving community.
Work for accommodation
Hey, my dear backpacker friends, this sounds awesome right? It gets even better. You can stay here for free. Like free free. No money. ?
This paradise-like super relaxed hostel (www.jackarootreehouse.com) is owned by an even more relaxed Aussie, who hires backpackers, travelers, young and free people from all over the world to keep the hostel going. And it works! It actually creates this easy going atmosphere, which makes guests extend their stay and staff stay like forever. And no commitments. If you wanna leave you can leave whenever, but you won’t anyway. So unpack your backpack, get comfortable in a hammock, buy some local tropical fruit from all the little farmstores around, take your shoes off, put a little dress on and with a smile on your lips take a stroll around the empty curvey roads through the jungle, listening to the almost silence of nature before rolling down the hill to the beach. Its all so wild, so full of nature and so stunning with the most beautiful colours of the world: the deep blue of the endless ocean next to a wild golden beachline adjacent to the deep green rainforest. This is the pure beauty of the world’s untouched face.
Explore the tropics
You live right in a world heritage area, a unique place, where the world’s wonders snuggle next to each other in peaceful harmony, where the magic of the sea meets the secrets of the world‘s oldest rainforest. Grab some snorkelling gear and take flight in the crystal-clear water to explore the reef and the enchanting under water world. Explore the tropical islands around, the ancient tiny villages, talk to sun-kissed old happy locals, jump down waterfalls and be FREE.
Mission Beach itself has a few wonderful organic cafes to spend hours and hours in the shade, a few beachshops, bars & cold beers, beautiful restaurants with delicious local seafood for your summernight-date. It’s a wonderful tiny place right at the beach. After living here for a few weeks you know so many locals you greet every second person on the road while strolling through the shops, slurping coconutwater and hiding from the hot sun. Visit the markets for fresh sugarcane-juice, exotic fruit from the farmers around, coffee and coconuts. Dance around barefeet, chatting with the farmers, smiling to the girls from your favourite café. More then easy to feel at home in this little paradise.
Bingil Bay Café
Finally I recommend with all my heart my second work place, the Bingil Bay Café. During my time in Bingil Bay I had two jobs at a time and still so much time to dance around in the wind of freedom to be in love with life, with the beauty of this earth. Jobs I enjoyed so much I don’t wanna even call them work. Whatever you do, do it with love.
If you read this and your next action is going on a trip to Bingil Bay, enjoy a fridaynight in the Bingil Bay Café: with candles and little lights and stars and lifemusic performed by Australian artists. Make sure to send some love to the owners and to the kitchen. This place is magic. Weather it’s the selfmade bread in the mornings, a light fish for lunch during a hot day or the lifemusic at night. Once you’re there try the selection of german beers they sell. The cooling drop in the tropcial humid heat is priceless. A dizzy head in warm summernights, music wine and beer, no worries and heaps of love in the air..
In the early morning walk down to the beach, grab a coffe from the café on the way, there is a rope-swing underneath a tree, secret spot, watch the sun rising over the sea, behind the little tropical islands around, push your feet up from the sand, swing yourself up in the air, feel the breeze in your hair. With the ending of the day and it’s last golden light, take a seat at the jetty, far out in the ocean, watch your fishing line, stretch your shoulders and enjoy a cold beer, before you meet your friends for a bonfire at the beach. You have to love these warm summer nights of freedom.
Barefeet kids, tropics and love
So here you are, week after week in paradise, living of fresh fruit, coconuts, local seafood, the energy of the sun, the salt of the ocean and exploring the tropics – did you ever realise how beautiful nature makes you? – and then you go to this bar and you meet this black haired bloke, and he plays guitar, and starts singing with this deep voice in this tropical summernight, and opens his eyes and looks right into yours, you feel your cheeks flushing, your heart beating, as the waves keep rolling onto shore. You’re standing there side by side arm in arm with your friends, all together in this paradise, you smile and lift your eyes up to the stars and think how much more perfect could a life be.
And we are young and have all the time of the world.
I’ll be back one day. Kids in Bingil Bay can go to school barefeet! Easy life. A place, to settle down.
For now the waiter brings me be back to reality, wakes me up from my daydreams. It’s okay. There are a few more travels and things to do on my list. I’m young and life is long and I’m a girl and what’s wrong about dreaming and dreams can come true and…yea yea..one day…
Hey fellas follow the jackarootreehouse and jacksjunglebar and of course lisilottisworld on instagram for some paradise in your allday life.
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