A pleasant fifteen minutes drive from Port Douglas brings you to Mossman Gorge, a very accessible and scenic section of the World Heritage listed Daintree National Park. Here the Mossman River tumbles its way over and around huge granite boulders that line the gorge creating cool clear freshwater swimming holes. Awe inspiring tree-clad mountains rise sharply up from the river banks.
Mossman Gorge is a magical place which will leave you spellbound. The air here is so clean you will not be able to stop yourself from inhaling deeply and often. Estimated at 60 000 years old, this lush tropical rainforest surroundings and creek scenery is an ideal spot for a day swimming, exploring walking tracks, watching bird and wildlife and enjoying the dedicated picnic areas. It is a site of Aboriginal heritage significance, with guided walks from the native Kuku Yalanji Mossman Gorge Community.
Over time great granite boulders have been flushed down from the natural cathedral of inaccessible slopes, into the subsequent valley and have been made smooth by the constant flow of the sparkling cool water.
The dense canopy is made up of Strangler Fig trees and flourishing epiphytes. There are also huge Mahoganies and even the odd Red Cedar which was referred to as “red gold”. More than 100 species of trees, shrubs and vines have been identified at Mossman Gorge, with fig trees and their flying buttresses being one of the most popular attractions.
We visited Mossman Gorge as a Day Trip from Port Douglas. See my earlier post on Port Douglas here – Port Douglas – Evolving Backpacker
The visitor center (8.00am until 6.00pm 7 days per week (excluding Christmas Day)) is the start point for all activities within the environs. You can take the shuttle service ($9.10 p.p) which runs every fifteen minutes from the visitor centre to the start of the walking trails. The trail leads through some mesmerizing lush rain forests. The experience is ethereal and it feels as if you are walking on a thickly padded ground and the very next step would transport you back to some medieval time. The sight of the streams and the smoothed boulders will fill your heart with a song. Indeed, when we arrived at the first of these swimming holes we immediately hop skipped and jumped away from the main banks, like many others and found our own personal spot to just sit and take in the tranquility of the surroundings.
We later walked to the Rex Creek suspension Bridge and spend some time walking around the rainforest.
I would rate this experience as one of the best in North Queensland because of the immense natural beauty and the cultural significance of the place.
Things to do at the Mossman Gorge:
- Walk upstream as far as the suspension bridge across the river or explore the 2km rainforest loop trail.
- Swim in the natural rock pools. The ice cold waters are sure to rejuvenate you.
- Ngadiku Dreamtime Walks – conducted by the local Indigenous people. The walks take visitors on a journey along private, gentle tracks, visiting special places and culturally significant sites, past traditional bark shelters and over meandering cool rainforest streams.
Mossman Gorge lies 77km north of Cairns, 20km north of Port Douglas and approx 2 km from the township of Mossman. To get to the Gorge from Cairns self drive is a great option, the Captain Cook Highway is part of the Great Tropical Drive and is one of the most famous drives in the Southern Hemisphere renowned for its stunning scenery as it winds along the coast of the tropical seaside rainforest.
A daily transfer is available between Port Douglas and Mossman Gorge:
Depart Port Douglas from BTS Port Douglas Office (49 Macrossan St) 9.00am and 12.00 noon
Depart Mossman Gorge Centre 12.45pm and 2.45pm
Alternatively organized tours depart Cairns and Port Douglas daily, enquire at your local Visitor Information Centre or Hotel Tour Desk.
Shuttle Bus Service
A shuttle bus is available from the Mossman Gorge Centre to the heart of the Gorge. Departs every 15 minutes, between 8.00am and 5.30pm daily
Further Research :
For further reading and travel Inspirations to this region buy one of the recommended books on Amazon. LINKS BELOW
THE EVOLVING BACKPACKER
Sailor, Adventurer, Thrill seeker. I am an avid traveler who seeks every opportunity to travel and evolve . Join me on my numerous adventures and voyages of discovery of the Outside World as well as the Inner Self.