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Mossman Gorge

Mossman Gorge is a 56,000 hectare area within the World Heritage Listed Daintree National Park and is best known for its mesmerizing beauty. The dense tropical rainforest is a sacred place for the Kuku Yalanji Aboriginal tribe as they are said to have inhabited the area for some 4000 years. A deep understanding and respect for the rainforest has been passed down through generations and the Kuku Yalanji people still look after and protect the natural wonder while inviting guests from all over the world to share with them their rainforest experience. A prime location for swimming, walking, or observing some of Australia's unique flora and fauna, the Mossman Gorge is one of the most stunning places in the world.

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Mossman Gorge Visitor Information

Swimming at Mossman Gorge

With its crystal clear rock pools and beautiful tropical surroundings, Mossman Gorge is a favorite place to swim for locals and tourists alike. Huge smooth boulders line the shallow pools that are scattered throughout the rainforest and you will feel instantly refreshed after submerging yourself in the clear crisp water. If you get the chance to take a swim at Mossman Gorge, it will be one that you will find hard to forget.  Explore the range of Day Trips and extended tour options that include a visit to Mossman Gorge.

Mossman Gorge Walking Tracks

There are two walking tracks at Mossman Gorge, one that takes around ten minutes to complete and one that takes around an hour. The shorter walk, the river circuit loop, is roughly 400 meters and begins at the car park. The track follows the Mossman River and returns through the forest. The longer walk, the rainforest circuit loop, is just less than 3km. The advantage of the longer walk is that along the way signs display information about certain rainforest plants and how the people of the Kuku Yalanji tribe use them for food, building material, and medicinal uses. To access the walk, you have to cross the Rex Creek Suspension Bridge which is around 400 meters from the car park. When crossing the bridge, keep an eye out for turtles, fish, and platypus swimming below.

Mossman Gorge Lookout Points

Lookout points are located along both the river circuit loop and rainforest circuit loop walking tracks and provide breathtaking views of the Mossman Gorge and surrounding area. The Mossman River Lookout is located on the river circuit loop and it is easy to spend a good thirty minutes there watching the water cascade down from the mountains and over the giant grey boulders in the gorge. The second lookout, Manjal Dimbi Lookout, is located on the rainforest circuit loop and provides stunning views of the Manjal Dimbi peak. For the Kuku Yalanji people, Manjal Dimbi holds great spiritual significance and is featured in much of their storytelling.

Mossman Gorge's Flora & Fauna

The lush green vegetation of the Mossman Gorge is not only truly stunning, the rainforest is home to some of the world's most primitive plant species. Thirteen out of the nineteen primitive flowering plant families and some of the most primitive cycads, ferns, and mosses are all found in the Daintree National Park. Having survived millions of years in the thick dense rainforests, these plants provide botanists with an insight into how certain species have evolved over time. The overcrowding of plants on the rainforest floor means that they must fight for survival and grow skywards, in search of the sun's rays. Because of this struggle for survival there are some very interesting plants to view in the rainforest such as the strangler fig. The strangler fig often begins its life as a seed deposited by a bird at the top of a tree or in a trees crevice. It then develops roots and grows down the host tree, essentially strangling it all the way down to its base. Once the host plants dies, the strangler fig stands alone. Plenty of strangler figs can be observed along the two walks at Mossman Gorge.

Mossman Accommodation

The township of Mossman is rather quaint and offers limited accommodaton such as resort or motel style if you would like to spend a little more time in this region.  Port Douglas is only 15 minutes away and offers a range of accommodation options.  The township comes alive on a Sunday morning with markets under the raintrees and locals get together for a catch up and a treat at the local cafes. Take Sugar Mill tour or go hiking as Mossman is a great place to use as your Accommodation base. 

If you are looking for a luxury rainforest retreat located on the banks of the Mossman River - Silky Oaks Lodge offers an all-inclusive retreat complete with gourmet dining, day spa and rainforest treehouse style accommodation.  

Port Douglas Accommodation by Cairns Holiday Specialists

Mossman Iconic Symbols

The Ulysses Butterfly is an iconic symbol of the rainforest and is easy to spot against the lush green vegetation. The butterfly has striking vivid blue and black wings and is a commonly spotted along either of the walking tracks.You may have to look a little harder to spot a Boyd's forest dragon as the quiet creature is a chameleon. Changing its colour to blend in, the forest dragon often clings to the bark of trees and will remain still if approached in attempt to remain undetected.

The endangered spotted-tail quolls inhabit the rainforest and are truly a sight to behold. The cat sized animals are reddy-brown with white spots and have long slender tails. The animal is one of Australia's few carnivorous animals and has a distinct piercing scream when threatened. By no means is the Mossman Gorge short of a few feathered friends. Birdwatchers say that they have seen over 430 different species in the region including the Australian Pelican, Little Pied Cormorant, Great Egret, and the Endangered Southern Cassowary.

How to Get to Mossman Gorge

Mossman Gorge is short drive from Port Douglas approximately 20 minutes.  Once you arrive at Mossman Gorge Cultural Centre there is carparking for self drive visitors and then a shuttle bus (fees apply) operates to take you to the Gorge every 15 minutes and operates between 8am and 6pm.  The Mossman Gorge Cultural Centre offers visitors an art gallery, gift shop and coffee shop.  Organised guided tours operate from Port Douglas and Cairns with a range of options including half day, full day trips and extended trips which include a visist to Mossman Gorge.

Please Note that an eco-friendly, low emission shuttle bus is available from the Mossman Gorge Centre to the heart of the Gorge. Departs every 15 minutes, between 8.00am and 6.00pm daily.

A charge by the Aboriginal Cultural Centre applies so please call ahead and check current prices. 07 4099 7000.

Looking for day trips from Port Douglas or Cairns?  Explore the range of Day Trips and extended tour options that include a visit to Mossman Gorge.