Left Airlie Beach about 10am after e-mailing and stocking up with coffee and cake! Driving through sugar cane country and stopped to pick up locally grown pineapple, grapes, bananas and pears for picnic lunch on route. The temperature hit 31C around Townsville as we really got up to the tropics, but still in sugar cane country. Clouded up over the Cardwell mountain range but we turned towards the coast again at Tully and clearer skies over Mission Beach. The rainforest in this area is one of the conservation areas for the Southern Cassowary and we were fortunate to see a mother and three chicks as we drove along Cassowary Drive in Mission Beach . We also saw our first live, wild kangaroo on this trip. Arrived at the Sanctuary eco-lodge just after 5pm, and were picked up at the car park for the short but very steep 4WD drive to the long house and our cabins in the rainforest. Evening mealin the long house was excellent, as was breakfast on the verandah looking through the trees to the sea. Walked down through the rainforest tothe aptly namedBrooks Beach, for a paddle and stroll in the sun. Later explored Mission Beach centre which consists of a few cafes etc strung alongside the beach. Jon made friends with the bottle shop owner who kindly presented him with a broom to sweep up the sand he'd brought into his shop! Explored another beach, Garners Beach, half a mile of sand to ourselves.Supper again in the colourful ambience of the long house, but no time to take advantage of the yoga and massage on offer before we got ready to leave for the Atherton Tablelands the next morning.