Updated May 2018. At 135 million years old, Mossman Gorge forms part of the oldest surviving rainforest in Australia and the world. From Mossman, the world heritage listed Daintree Rainforest begins it’s northward journey to Cape Tribulation and a rendezvous with Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. This post provides all the details needed to plan your own Mossman Gorge walk as well as some tantalising photos.
Self-guided Mossman Gorge Walks
There are three, 5 to 10 minute walks self-guided walks:
Baral Marrjanga Walk
Easy – Riverside walk including two raised boardwalks. Wheelchair friendly. Baral in local language means track and Marrjanga group of elders. The rainforest is the revered group of elders. Track of the rainforest.
Lower River Track Walk
Mod-Easy – follows the river joining up with Baral Marrjanga. Not wheelchair friendly.
The track has several viewpoints over the river.
Rex Creek Walk
Mod-Easy – Continues on after Baral Marrjanga.
Turn left at the lookout to Rex Creek (bridge).
Rex Creek – the flow depends on recent rains.
2.4 km Rainforest Loop Track.
This Walk is a 45 Minute Walk.
It’s a good idea to wear joggers or similar as the track is rough with stumble worthy tree roots and rocks. The walk commences on the far side of the Rex Creek bridge. 80 metres into the walk on the left is a view to Mt. Demi, after which the track forms a loop.
Mossman Gorge Swimming.
It’s hot and humid up here and swimming in the gorge is popular. The Mossman river tumbles over rapids and cascades into boulder lined pools on it’s way through the gorge. The rocks are sometimes mossy, but the water is crystal clear and fish easy to spot in the shallows. Sinking into that startlingly cold water on a steamy summer’s day is one crazy good feeling.
Water surges from upstream rains can rush through the gorge unexpectedly creating hazardously strong currents. We’ve not experienced this first hand but I know it can happen, so err on the side of caution and leave the river immediately if you notice a rise in levels.
Mossman Gorge Tours.
Ngadiku Dreamtime Walk, is led by an indigenous guide and teaches about bush food, (bush) soap making and ochre painting, with access to Kuku Yalanji land, a sacred aboriginal site visit and Bush Tea and Damper. We’ve not been on this Mossman Gorge dreamtime walk, so can’t offer a review, but I do know that we are lucky to have the opportunity of learning from the indigenous caretakers. The tour is booked from and departs from the Mossman Gorge Centre.
Mossman Gorge Centre.
The building of this centre has changed the lives of the Mossman Gorge aboriginal community for the better by providing 60 permanent jobs and 20 Indigenous traineeships each year. In the current Australian job climate that is impressive. The centre has bought other changes to the gorge, namely;
Mossman Gorge Shuttle Bus and Gorge Access.
Between 8 am and 6 pm access to private vehicles stops at the Centre carpark with an electric bus shuttling visitors the final 2km to the start of the gorge walk.
The shuttle operates every 15 minutes and costs $9.50 adult $4.70 child and 2+2 $23.50. Last shuttle in is 5.30 pm and out 5.45 pm.
There is no Mossman Gorge Entrance Fee as such and it is possible to walk or cycle into the gorge at any time. Keep in mind the access road is shared with the shuttle bus and community traffic.
Before 8 am and after 6 pm public vehicles also are allowed free entry.
Indigenous Art Gallery and Gift Shop.
The interesting gallery displays art and craft work from the Kuku Yalanji, with souvenirs for sale.
Normally we bring our own supplies on day trips, but indulged ourselves here at Mayi Cafe and were happy we did. The menu is laced with flavours from the bush. I filled up on crunchy Kumara Wedges served with the tastiest tomato relish e.v.e.r . Marty loved his meat pie and prices were affordable.
Lovely clean toilet amenities including showers – great to freshen up with after the walk.
Mossman Gorge Weather
Mossman Gorge Daintree Rainforest Packing List
Bathers and Towel
Umbrella (wet season)
Wearing a hat is standard in TNQ but it is quite shady in the forest.
While the tracks are not wheelchair accessible, the shuttle bus, picnic area, toilets and the rainforest boardwalk are.
The walk itself is free.
Mossman Gorge is in an interesting part of Australia and I really hope you get to visit one day. Maybe you’ve already been? Tell me about it in the comments.
Port Douglas to Mossman Gorge
Drive yourself. It’s only five minutes away from the small North Queensland town of Mossman, with it’s interesting old buildings, cane trains and huge shade trees. Mossman on the Captain Cook Highway is, in turn, 20 minutes north of Port Douglas.
Cairns to Mossman Gorge
Follow the Captain Cook Highway to Port Douglas and continue on to Mossman Gorge. If you are staying anywhere from Cairns north, a bus tour will collect you from your hotel.
Personally I think driving yourself is the best option. The Captain Cook Highway, now renamed the Great Barrier Reef Drive is a spectacular ocean drive, second only to the Great Ocean Road in Victoria.
See More of Far North Queensland from Mossman Gorge
Mossman Gorge to Cape Tribulation
If time permits Cape Tribulation is 68 km and approximately 1 hour 40 minutes north of Mossman Gorge.
Trips from Cairns
Port Douglas and the Great Barrier Reef
Port Douglas is a beautiful port 58 km (1 hour) north of Cairns and many people looking for Mossman Gorge Accommodation choose Port Douglas. It is a stepping off point for boat tours of the Great Barrier Reef. The closest town to the gorge however is Mossman. The Mossman Riverside & Leisure Park, (07) 4096-2627, offers caravan and camping sites, has a 50 m swimming pool and is a short walk to town for excellent Pub Meals.
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