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Mossman and the Mossman Gorge

mossman gorge in the daintree national park
The Mossman Gorge in the Daintree National Park

Mossman is a small town of 1700 people in Tropical Far North Queensland, about 75 km. north of Cairns, on the banks of the Mossman River.
On the west side of the town where the river cuts through the rainforest lies the very scenic Mossman Gorge which combines crystal clear running water, huge granite boulders and rainforest, this is the southern end of the world famous Daintree National Park.
This is a beautiful place but just a quick visit here does not qualify as having seen the Daintree, make sure you continue further north across the Daintree river up to Cape Tribulation to see it all.
The Mossman Gorge is the main tourist attraction of Mossman, which makes most of its money from the sugarcane which you can see for miles around the area.
The local Kuku Yalanji Aborigines are establishing a visitor centre at the entrance to the gorge and offer guided rainforest walks where you can learn about Aboriginal culture and bush foods.

The Mossman Gorge is a very scenic part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area which always has a good flow of pure clean water running through it. This is the water supply for Mossman and Port Douglas and up to a couple of years ago was not even treated and piped straight to consumers.
A great place for a refreshing swim in summer time, but be aware, the water is quite cool, or cold, depending on your opinion, and it can also flow very fast after heavy rains. The local paper has regular reports of people that had to be rescued, and people have drowned here too, so heed the warnings.
There are some facilities such as toilets and a picnic area where brush turkeys scavenge for food.

There are two rainforest walks leading from the carpark and both tracks connect up to each other.
The one on the right leads to the river, and is slightly longer.
The track on the left leads more directly through the jungle. After both tracks join up they lead past several small detours down to the Mossman River with views. One short track leads to a nice sand beach. The track then heads to a small suspension bridge built by the Australian army. Past the bridge, there is a much longer circuit walk that takes about an hour at a reasonable place. There are several viewing platforms to enjoy the river views.
You may be lucky to spot some animals such as the Boyd's Forest Dragons, the brilliant blue Ulysses butterflies, or turtles and jungle perch in the river.
The Mossman Gorge is best experienced first thing in the morning, while the birds are calling, and before too many people arrive. Tour groups begin to arrive as early as 8.30am. It is busiest on hot summer afternoons, especially on weekends when all the locals have time off and come to cool down too.

mossman in north queensland
Main street of Mossman

Mossman is a thriving little town with several schools, shops and businesses serving the regional district, people from as far as Cape Tribulation travel the three hour return trip to do their shopping here at supermarket and hardware shop, and to see the doctor or dentist.
If you are heading further north to stay in the Daintree make use of the services available here, this is the last bank, post office, doctor, pharmacy, hospital and big supermarket you will see for a while.

The economy of Mossman heavily relies on the sugar cane, and in times when world prices were down banks and government kept having to put up more money to keep the industry from going under or the whole district would have gone in to recession.
There is a sugarmill in Mossman that processes the sugarcane and sends it on to Cairns from where it is shipped to buyers. An extensive network of railway lines runs around the district on which cane trains transport the harvest to the mill, during harvesting season you need to watch out for these cane trains crossing the roads, and also for trucks and farming machinery driving slow on the highway or pulling out of little side roads.
The sugarmill offers guided tours through the mill, more info here. It is not hard to find the mill, when it is in operation you can see a big smoke stack rising up in to the sky and on some days you can smell it all over town.

sugar at the mossman sugar mill

Mossman was once the seat of power of the former Shire of Douglas but is now amalgamated Cairns Regional Council. The old Douglas Shire Council under the leadership of Mike Berwick had been on the brink of being sacked several times and was labelled as "dysfunctional" by the State Government Minister. After several Crime and Misconduct inquiries the council's CEO was sacked, and in August 2007 Local Government Minister Andrew Fraser solved the problem of this dysfunctional council by amalgamating the Douglas Shire with Cairns Shire so Mike Berwick and the other six councillors can go and look for a new job.
Although the purpose of the state wide shire amalgamation had been to eliminate financially troubled shires, this amalgamation was the perfect opportunity for the State Government to once and for all get rid of the dysfunctional Douglas Shire Council that had wasted so much of their time over the years with one inquiry after the other, even though the Douglas Shire was financially quite healthy, more than the Cairns Shire that swallowed it up.

There are markets under the big raintrees at the north end of Mossman every Saturday morning where you can buy local produce and other things. If you pass through Mossman on the weekend you will find that by noon on Saturday all the shops close down, and remain closed on Sunday, when only the supermarket is open.
During the week the town is more alive, and there are several cafes to have a good lunch, such as Goodies and Junction Cafe, and there is often a good selection of exotic fruits for sale at Goodies and YumYum's.
If you stay in Mossman overnight there are also a few restaurants to have dinner. If you happen to stay in Mossman late July go and visit the Mossman Show for a bit of local flavour.
If your body is feeling the effects of lots of long distance travelling see Delphina for a massage in Mossman,
at the north end of the main street, next to Junction Cafe.

delphina's massage in mossman
Delphina's Massage and Healing Arts in Mossman


mossman accommodation


Accommodation in and around Mossman

Daintree Eco Lodge
Daintree Village

daintree eco lodge

Daintree Eco Lodge & Spa is combining nature, culture & nurture in a true rainforest experience, nestled in a valley, offering quality accommodation, cuisine with a native twist, authentic Aboriginal.
Known as the "most pampering Ecolodge in the world?h with only 15 rainforest villas nestled in the rainforest all combine to present true experiential travel. The villas are set in different levels of the rainforest to experience differing aspects of the rainforest from the floor to the canopy, and are designed to be an environmentally sensitive.

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Silky Oaks Lodge
Just outside Mossman

Mossman accommodation at silky oaks lodge

Silky Oaks Lodge is one of the Daintree's ultimate resorts. This lodge overlooks the Mossman River providing supreme comfort and easy access. Accommodation is generously spacious with polished timber floors, elegant interiors, stylish and comfortable. All rooms are fit with necessary amenities. The Treehouse Restaurant serves tropical buffet breakfast along with an innovative menu featuring local food and Australian wines. The Treehouse Bar is where you can sip a cold beer or cocktail. Other facilities include spa, reception, swimming pool, laundry, safe deposit box and sports activities like billiards and tennis court. In addition, this lodge also provides meeting and function facilities for its guests during their stay

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Set in the foothills of Mount Demi in Mossman, near to Port Douglas in far North QLD, is Papillon B&B, a beautiful and peaceful bed and breakfast offering the perfect accommodation choice for a relaxed getaway. Papillon B&B has easy access to the Great Barrier Reef,the Daintree and Tablelands and many great attractions in Far North Qld.
Papillon B&B provides two beautifully appointed king-rooms with ensuite, air-conditioning and a shared private deck capturing stunning forest views. There is also a tropical garden fringed heated swimming pool for your total relaxation and enjoyment. Free Wireless internet available. DVD player.

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Canecutters Cottage

mossman gorge bed and breakfast

This Historically significant Cottage was originally part of the Mossman Sugar Mill. We have lovingly restored it enhancing its orginal charm.
Local beaches include Cooya Beach and Newell Beach. Mossman and surrounding areas has a wide range of activities suitable for families or singles.
Port Douglas is only five minutes away.
The Daintree Rainforest is only ten minutes away.
Also, the Atherton Tablelands is only a scenic hour and a half drive, with all its attractions. Historical quaint cottage set on a large block of land, with lush gardens and a wide verandah on which to relax.
We have added an outside bath quite secluded by the gardens to ensure a private time.

mossman accommodation


mossman bed and breakfast by the beach

If you are looking to seriously escape to a safe haven then this is your Shangri-La with the majestic Daintree Mountains as your vista. This home appeals due to it's very special ambience and solitude. It becomes your own sanctuary. Luxurious and spacious, a relaxing and unforgettable holiday for a family, friends or honeymooners to hideaway. A holistic retreat to rekindle the soul.
The senses are saturated as soon as you enter the 500 metre winding drive through a coconut and mango grove dotted with neem trees and exotics. The stone walled, French provincial design house easily accommodates 6-8 people with an intimate atmosphere. The well travelled owners have paid attention to every detail with special touches that you would only find in the best European havens. The house features a 20 metre 30 degree heated wet edge lap pool with glorious views of the Daintree Mountains.

mossman accommodation at shangrila

Mossman Gorge B&B

mossman gorge bed and breakfast

Situated at the entrance to Mossman Gorge and ideally located to explore Port Douglas, the Great Barrier Reef, the Daintree and the Northern Atherton Tablelands, our modern timber tree top home combines stunning views and the experience of sharing your visit with a North Queensland family. Overlooking historic Drumsara Plantation and the mountains of Daintree National park. Minutes from the walks and swimming holes found in stunning Mossman Gorge. Native birds butterflies and other visitors can be viewed from the split level verandahs.

mossman gorge bed and breakfast



Tours in and to Mossman

Aboriginal Culture
Guided Walks

aboriginal kuku yalanji tour guides on the guided walks in mossman gorge

Let the local Aborigines take you for a guided tour through their rainforest at the Mossman Gorge on 1.5 hour walk along private, easy graded tracks, visiting special places and culturally significant sites.
The guides demonstrate traditional plant use, identify bush tucker sources, share their dreamtime legends and explain the history of cave paintings. The Dreamtime Walks are conducted four times a day after which guests enjoy a Tea and Damper at the end of each tour.
If you don't have your own transport to get to Mossman Gorge see the next tour which includes transfers, this walk and some extras.
aboriginal guided tours in mossman gorge

Aboriginal Tour + more
from Cairns / Port Douglas

aboriginal cultural tour in the daintree

On arrival at beautiful Mossman Gorge you’ll meet your indigenous guide for a relaxed 1.5-hour walk. You'll start your day with a gentle rainforest walk around Mossman Gorge led by a local Aboriginal guide. After your walk you'll stop for tea and damper, and the opportunity to ask your aboriginal guide more questions about their tribe and the area. They will also give a fascinating narrative of the rainforest and their personal relationship with the environment. Enjoy lunch at secluded Silky Oaks Lodge before continuing your Daintree day trip with a croc-spotting cruise on the river. You'll also get to try some locally grown tropical fruit at an exotic fruit orchard and take a short tour of stunning Port Douglas.
day tour from port douglas with aboriginal guide

Half Day Trip
From Port Douglas

half day tour from port douglas to mossman gorge

This tour includes a walk in Mossman Gorge plus a 1 hour Daintree River Cruise and snacks & drinks.
Arriving at the Daintree River we board onto an electric boat which is quiet, and noiseless.
After the river cruise snacks and drinks are available at no extra charge.
Plus there is plenty of time to swim in the pristine and refreshing waters of the gorge in safety, with beautiful scenery around you.
aboriginal culture tour from port douglas

from Cairns

day tour to mossman gorge from cairns

Choice of three departures in the afternoon for your return to Cairns. Free time in Port Douglas to explore the town centre and 4 mile beach.
Mossman Gorge. Guided walk with naturalist guide through pristine rainforest. The 4km walking trail includes an elevated board walk and an oportunity to take a swim in the crystal rock pools of the Mossman River.
Light refreshments included.
day tour from cairns to mossman gorge

Daytour from
Port Douglas

day tour from port douglas to mossman gorge

Travel from Port Douglas to Mossman Gorge and enjoy two hours free time to explore the rainforest trails of the pristine Mossman Gorge. Swim in the cool crystal rock pools of the Mossman River.
daytour from port douglas to mossman gorge

Sugar Mill Tours

mossman sugermill tour

The Mossman sugarmill offers guided tours through the mill from Monday to Friday showing you how the sugarcane is process into sugar, and you can learn about some local history too.
mossman sugarmill tours

Horse Riding
on Wonga Beach

horse riding tours on wonga beach

Wonga Beach Horse Rides offer the opportunity to ride along beautiful Wonga Beach and through pristine rainforest. We have two departures daily, 8.30am & 2.30pm, and each ride has a duration of 2.5 hours. We cater for both beginner and experienced riders and provide comprehensive tuition prior to departure. Complimentary transfers are provided ex Port Douglas. We provide boots and helmets, all you need to wear are long pants, a short sleeved shirt (no singlets) and a pair of socks.
wonga beach horse rides

Daytour from Cairns
or Port Douglas

day tours to mossman gorge from cairns and port douglas

Tropical Horizons runs a daytour from Cairns and Port Douglas that incorporates both Mossman Gorge and Daintree Village.
They also visit Port Douglas and the Hartley's Creek Crocodile Farm with the famous Croc Attack Show.
daytour to mossman from cairns

Drift Snorkel in
Mossman Gorge

Experience the magic of the rainforest from above and below the water!
Allow the gentle waters to guide you through the rainforest on this unique half-day journey, as you spot freshwater marine species, tropical butterflies and beautiful rainforest birds.
Only 15 minutes from Port Douglas, this tour gives informative local history, flora & fauna information, as well as the chance to float effortlessly through an ancient rainforest river.
mossman river snorkel tour


Map of Mossman and the Mossman Gorge

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daintree tree frog

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