The Mossman Gorge, a world Heritage site, is one place you should not miss on your visit to North Queensland. It is approximately 80k north of Cairns along the Captain cook Highway or just a 20-minute drive from Port Douglas.
I have been visiting this place since I was a young girl. In fact I actually learnt to swim here. When I was in High School, we spent our Sports afternoons here as there was no town pool at the time. It was “boys at the top pool, girls at the bottom” and vice versa the following week. I’m not even sure the teachers kept a close eye on us. Oh, how times have changed.
Part of the Daintree National Park, it is the traditional homeland of the indigenous Kaku Yalanji people.
The Mossman Gorge Centre opened in 2012. Here you can board a shuttle bus for around $12 return to visit the Gorge or you can take a guided Dreamtime Walking tour that gives an understanding of the traditional culture of these people and to learn more about the ancient flora and fauna of the rainforest.
All the information about this centre can be viewed here https://www.mossmangorge.com.au/the-centre/the-centre
For this blog post, my niece came with us for a photoshoot of the Gorge and circuit walk.
The shuttle bus winds its way through the rainforest for around 2 kilometres. One memory I have from previously driving there was going around this large boulder. However it is difficult to capture through the window of the bus, so I have included an older photo.
Arriving at the drop-off point, there are both welcome signs and information boards to follow.
The walkways and lookout spots are so well constructed and a credit to those who worked with the difficult terrain to build them.
We headed down to the “bottom pool” for a look and discovered there is now a new boardwalk along the river.
There were many signs showing life on and in the river.
Finally reached the main “beach” of the gorge – time for some spectacular photos and perhaps dip our toes into the freezing cold water. It was early in the morning so very few people were braving the water for a swim.
Moving up to the Mossman River Lookout for more photos and to see all those familiar rocks we used to sit on.
Next to brave the Rex Creek suspension bridge. This was the first time I had been on the new bridge. What an amazing construction.
Read the story of the original bridge here.
Take photos of the views from both sides of the bridge.
On the other side of the bridge, you will get a glimpse of the majestic Mt Demi, one of my favourite mountains. This can be viewed from several spots in the Mossman region. It is also famous for its cliff-face rock known as “The Good Shepherd”.
Some people return after crossing the bridge while others head on to the full rainforest circuit. Although it is only 2.4km (the sign says 2km), take the time for a leisurely walk up and down many steps.
Be aware of the many trip hazards with trees growing across the paths.
Taking people in photos is a great idea for perspective.
More than 500 species of Australian native plants grow in this area – trees, shrubs, vines and ferns.
Stop and take photos, look up through the tall trees and marvel at the way nature has “designed” those tree roots.
There are several little detour spots where you get more views of the river and large boulders.
Don’t miss this magnificent fig tree.
Look for other features of the forest.
We came across this red-bellied black snake on the path. These snakes are dangerous, so never approach them. We just waited till it went on its merry way.
One of the more famous spots along the circuit is Wurrmbu Creek, a gorgeous little spot with a tiny waterfall and an elkhorn fern attached to the rock.
It started to rain while we were taking a break, then the sun shone through at the right moment to give that iconic photo.
Then it was back to the bridge and a few more photos of the river before catching the bus back to the Centre.
Time for a coffee break and a spot of shopping or a visit to the Indigenous Art Gallery
Just one amazing photo opportunity (and for me so many memories). Please add this place to your bucket list. You won’t be disappointed.
If you enjoyed this blogpost, see also: Mossman – A town amongst the canefields