Visit the breathtaking Mossman Gorge!
Where is Mossman Gorge?
Visiting Mossman is a great way to enjoy the Daintree Rainforest, within a short drive of Port Douglas. We recently holidayed in Palm Cove and Port Douglas, and visited Mossman Gorge and surrounding areas for the day.
Mossman Gorge lies 20km north of Port Douglas and approximately 2km from the township of Mossman.
Nestled in the World Heritage listed Daintree Rainforest, the gorge promises breathtaking scenery, lush rainforest and amazing wildlife. The gorge contains the oldest, continually surviving rainforest on earth where you can take guided walks or take a map and experience the wonder of the rainforest on your own.
How to get there?
There are several options when planning your Mossman Gorge experience.
You can book a return bus transfer from Port Douglas to Mossman Gorge with several different companies operating out of Port Douglas. These transfers will drop you at the visitor’s centre and pick you up again for the return journey to Port Douglas.
The average cost is around $29 adult, $17 child and $85 family.
This does not include the entry into the Gorge which can be paid at the centre reception.
There are a number of different tours available from Port Douglas. There are half day tours including transfers from Port Douglas including a Ngadiku Dreamtime Walk with an experienced indigenous guide, or you can get a full day tour from Palm Cove.
You can also package together more than one attraction – Mossman Gorge and Hartleys Crocodile Adventures.
There are walking tours available that can be pre booked or booked when you arrive at the visitor’s centre.
Check out the websites or grab some brochures when you arrive in Port Douglas.
When travelling we usually like to make our own way around so, during our stay in North Queensland, we hired a car. We picked it up at the Cairns airport when we arrived and headed north to Palm Cove, where we stayed for 5 nights, before heading to Port Douglas.
The road from Palm Cove to Port Douglas is one of the best drives in Australia, one minute you're driving through the rainforest and the next coming out to the most magnificent views of the coastline. There are many little beaches to explore, lunches and refreshments to be had along the way.
Once you reach Port Douglas, it’s great to have a car to explore the surrounding areas, including Mossman Gorge.
Driving to Mossman will take around 20 minutes, then follow the signs to the gorge which will add another few minutes, and make use of the abundance of parking available at the front of the visitor’s centre.
What to do in Mossman Gorge
What to bring:
Hat and sunscreen
Comfortable walking shoes
Light cotton clothing
Mossman Gorge Visitors Centre
Open 8am – 6pm, 7 days a week (closed Christmas Day)
Providing access to Mossman Gorge, the visitors centre, a world-class eco-tourism project, offers an art gallery, gift shop, café & restaurant, together with interpretive information about the gorge and an iconic Aboriginal experience.
Car and Coach parking
Restrooms and showers
As this area is a World Heritage listed Rainforest, cars are no longer allowed to drive right into the gorge. A shuttle bus operates between the Visitors Centre and the gorge, departing every 15 minutes, at a cost of $11.80 adult and $5.90 child (5-15yrs).
There is no pedestrian access from the visitor’s centre to the gorge. The road is narrow and dangerous so, it’s advised to use the shuttle service.
There is an amazing opportunity to gain an insight into the culture and beliefs of Australia’s Indigenous population, here at Mossman Gorge. Intimate group tours are led by experienced indigenous guides, who share stories, culture, traditions and ceremonies throughout walk.
There are four different walks that you can do in Mossman Gorge and all are free.
The Baral Marrjanga Walk is the shortest at 270 Metres long and will take you along boardwalks, to the lookout over the river. The boardwalks make the walk suitable for prams and wheelchairs, so all the family can experience the beautiful scenery.
The next is a 300 metre walk which runs along the Mossman River with several lookouts.
The Rex Creek Bridge Walk is 460 metres long and takes around 10 minutes. This leads up into the rainforest and to the Rex Creek Suspension Bridge. I’m a little scared of walking across bridges and anything where I can see through to the water below, however a big breath and eyes ahead…and I made it across!
Across the bridge on the left, is a small lookout, again with breathtaking views of the river.
Just past the bridge the track divides, and this takes you onto the circuit track. This track takes around 45 minutes and is easy to moderate. It will take you through the rainforest and back to where you started from by the bridge.
Along the circuit track we found a sign indicating that a small creek, Wurrmbu Creek, was 120 metres along another track. We investigated and found the most beautiful creek and waterhole where people had been swimming and walking barefoot in the cool, clear water. Such a tranquil spot, listening to the trickle of the water while gazing at the green hues of the rainforest.
Whilst walking around the circuit track a couple of things to remember: wear appropriate walking shoes. Although the walking is easy to moderate, there are tree roots, rocks to climb over and at times the track can be slippery due to the wet conditions.
Also, if you are doing the walk with older people or kids, stop occasionally to let people who are a little quicker than you, to pass.
Access to the water in the Mossman River is easy in a few spots along the river, however swimming can be dangerous as the water conditions can change rapidly and are not monitored or supervised. Therefore, swimming is at your own risk and you are advised to check the water conditions and exercise extreme caution.
Always walk on the tracks and boardwalks to protect the rainforest
Take home rubbish including fruit scraps
Watch out for stinging plants
Check for ticks and leeches if you have been walking through the rainforest
Never eat or touch plants – they may be poisonous
Never take domestic animals into the park, like dogs
Never remove any plants or animals from the park
Feed the animals
What else to do in the area
When we left Mossman Gorge we headed north to the little township of Daintree, located around 50 minutes from Port Douglas, on the banks of the Daintree River.
Here you can take a tour on the river for a close-up view of crocodiles, snakes, beautiful birds and the estuary. There is also a hotel, caravan park, cafes and gift shop.
We did not venture any further north, across the Daintree River as you really need to know where you’re going and have the right car and equipment for this journey.
There are many companies that offer full and half day tours into this part of the world, visiting Mossman Gorge, Daintree River Cruises, Cape Tribulation, 4WD trips, zip line through the canopy of the rainforest, and waterfalls to name a few.
Another great place to visit is Sweet Farm Tours, where you can learn about sugar can farming, learn where does chocolate come from, see and smell vanilla beans growing, delicious tastings and visitors centre and gift shop.
We spent 10 days touring around Palm Cove and Port Douglas in late June. The weather was beautiful and we spent our time dressed in shorts and T-shirts everyday. It was the low season and the tourist numbers were low, however, this also meant some restaurants weren't open. We found some great places to explore, eat and drink throughout this region and will share my pics in an upcoming post!