Mossman and the Mossman Gorge
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 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
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.
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.
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
at the north end of the main street, next to Junction Cafe.
Accommodation in and around Mossman
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
Just outside Mossman
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
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.
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
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
We have added an outside bath quite secluded by the gardens to ensure
a private time.
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 Gorge B&B
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.
Tours in and to Mossman
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
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.
from Cairns / Port Douglas
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
Half Day Trip
From Port Douglas
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
Plus there is plenty of time to swim in the pristine and refreshing
waters of the gorge in safety, with beautiful scenery around you.
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
Light refreshments included.
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
Sugar Mill Tours
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.
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.
Daytour from Cairns
or 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.
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.
Map of Mossman and the Mossman Gorge