South Mission Beach is a coastal settlement about midway between Innisfail and Ingham. It is one of three settlements along a stretch of beach 10 km long, between Clump Point and Tam O'Shanter Point. From north to south the settlements are Mission Beach, Wongaling (see separate entries) and South Mission Beach.

Just south of Tam O'Shanter Point there is the Hull River estuary. In 1914 an Aboriginal Mission was established. Named the Hull River Mission, it was actually near today's South Mission Beach. Although the mission lasted only four years because of cyclonic destruction in 1918, it brought about the naming of Mission Beach. The Aboriginal population was transferred to Palm Island.

South Mission Beach is opposite Dunk Island. It had a scattering of houses at least as far back as 1950, and there are aerial photos dating from the early 1970s. The photos show a retreat of beach sand of between three and seven metres between 1974 and 2002. A weakly constructed rock wall has been of little help, and stormwater discharge has caused slumping in some places.

South Mission Beach has a surf life-saving patrol, a boat ramp and holiday accommodation.

Its census populations have been:

census datepopulation
2006688
2011778