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About Mossman Gorge

Getting there and getting around

From Cairns, travel north for 80 km along the Cook Highway to Mossman. Before reaching the town centre, turn left into Johnston Road and continue for 2 km to the Mossman Gorge Centre. Electric shuttle buses operate daily from here—every 15 mins from 8 am–6 pm—transporting visitors the final 2 km into the park. Fees may apply. The shuttle bus service is free for local residents including school groups from the Mossman, Daintree and Port Douglas area.

Visitors can walk or cycle to the park at any time at no cost.

Visitors in private vehicles can access the park before 8 am and after 6 pm. Please drive slowly and with particular care when passing the Mossman Gorge Aboriginal community. Caravans and large campervans are not recommended on the narrow road beyond the Mossman Gorge Centre.

For more information see the tourism information links.

Wheelchair accessibility

The shuttle bus, picnic area, toilets and the rainforest boardwalk Baral Marrjanga, which leads from the car park to the Mossman River lookout, are all wheelchair accessible.

Park features

Look for Boyd's forest dragons on tree trunks at Mossman Gorge. Courtesy of Wet Tropics Management Authority.

Look for Boyd's forest dragons on tree trunks at Mossman Gorge. Courtesy of Wet Tropics Management Authority.

Mossman Gorge is part of the traditional lands of the Eastern Kuku Yalanji people.

Much of the Mossman Gorge section of Daintree National Park consists of the rugged, largely inaccessible slopes of the Main Coast Range, and Windsor and Carbine tablelands. It is these steep mountain ranges that trap moisture blown in from the ocean and ensure frequent rainfall, maintaining the rainforest and ultimately feeding the Mossman and Daintree rivers.

Tall, dense rainforests cover the lowlands and stunted, windswept montaine rainforests occupy the mountaintops. To the west of the Main Coast Range, open forest and woodlands grow on the drier, western slopes. The park provides a home for a wonderful variety of rainforest animals including tree-kangaroos, musky rat-kangaroos, Australian brush-turkeys and Boyd's forest dragons.

Over millions of years, the Mossman River has carved a steep-sided valley from the upper reaches to the coastal lowlands. Through this valley, crystal-clear water cascades among large granite boulders which have been washed down from the hills during times of heavy flood.

Camping and accommodation

Camping

There are no campgrounds in the Mossman Gorge section of Daintree National Park.

Other accommodation

There is a range of holiday accommodation in and around Mossman, Port Douglas and Cairns.

For more information see the tourism information links.

Things to do

Enjoy the rainforest boardwalk, Baral Marrjanga, at Mossman Gorge. Photo: Tina Alderson, NPRSR.

Enjoy the rainforest boardwalk, Baral Marrjanga, at Mossman Gorge. Photo: Tina Alderson, NPRSR.

Rex Creek suspension bridge at Mossman Gorge. Photo: Tina Alderson, NPRSR.

Rex Creek suspension bridge at Mossman Gorge. Photo: Tina Alderson, NPRSR.

Walking

Baral Marrjanga—270 m (5–10 mins) Grade: easy

Baral Marrjanga leads through the rainforest from the car park to a lookout with views of the Mossman River and the mountain ranges beyond. The track includes two sections of elevated boardwalk which pass through the lower rainforest canopy. The track is suitable for wheelchairs, strollers and the vision-impaired.

Lower river track—300 m (5–10 mins) Grade: moderate to easy

This track starts at the car park and winds along the Mossman River before joining Baral Marrjanga. Several small lookouts along the track provide views of the river. Although most of the lower river track is easy walking, the steps can be slippery. Please take care and use the handrails provided.

Rex Creek bridge—460 m (10 mins) Grade: moderate to easy

To reach the Rex Creek suspension bridge, follow Baral Marrjanga to the lookout and take the short, sign-posted track to the left.

Rainforest circuit track (from Rex Creek bridge)—2.4 km return (45 mins) Grade: moderate to easy

This track begins on the far side of Rex Creek bridge. On the left, 80 m from the bridge a small lookout provides views of Manjal Dimbi (Mount Demi). A little way past the lookout the track divides to form a circuit that meanders through the rainforest.

Seasonal track closures may occur from time-to-time due to localised flooding or track maintenance.

Guided tours and talks

The local Indigenous community offers guided Ngadiku Dreamtime Walks. For more information, see Mossman Gorge Centre.

Guided walks through Mossman Gorge are provided by commercial tour operators. For more information see tourism information links.

Picnic and day use areas

Toilets and picnic tables are provided at the car park. Toilets are wheelchair accessible.

Viewing wildlife

Strangler fig trees and a variety of epiphytic plants are prominent features of the rainforest at Mossman Gorge. Fish and turtles can been seen in Mossman River. Bright butterflies are commonly encountered and observant visitors may find a Boyd's forest dragon, a large colourful lizard, clinging to a tree trunk.

See the description of the park's natural environment for more details about the wildlife at Mossman Gorge.

Things to know before you go

Essentials to bring

Bring sturdy shoes for walking. It is also advisable to bring insect repellant and sunscreen, a hat and clothes for protection from the sun.

Opening hours

Mossman Gorge is open 24 hrs a day, however, private vehicles are not permitted in the park from 8 am to 6 pm daily.

Permits and fees

A fee may apply for the shuttle bus that provides access into the park from 8 am to 6 pm daily. See Mossman Gorge Centre for details.

Commercial operators charge fees for guided tours and walks. See tourism information links.

If camping in the remote section of the park, a permit must be purchased from Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, Mossman and fees apply. A tag with your booking number must be displayed at your camp site. It is essential to discuss your plans in person with ranger staff.

Permits are required for commercial or organised group activities. Contact us for further information.

Pets

Domestic animals are not permitted in Daintree National Park.

Climate and weather

The Mossman region has one of the wettest climates in Australia. During the wetter months, from December to April, there are heavy, frequent downpours. Some areas receive more than 6 m of rain annually. Maximum temperatures through the wetter months range from 27 °C to 33 °C, with humidity often exceeding 80 per cent.

The cooler, drier months, from May to September, are the best time to visit. The weather is pleasantly warm with reduced humidity. Maximum temperatures average 26 °C.

Fuel and supplies

Fuel and supplies are available at various locations in Cairns, Port Douglas and Mossman.

Staying safe

It is dangerous to enter the Mossman River, due to a combination of strong currents, flash flooding, cold, deep water and slippery rocks. People have been injured and deaths have occurred at Mossman Gorge.

Stinging trees are found occasionally alongside walking tracks in Mossman Gorge. They grow approximately 3–4 m high and have large, heart-shaped leaves with serrated edges. Do not touch these plants as this will almost certainly result in a very painful sting. If you are stung and symptoms are severe, seek medical advice.

Do not leave cars unattended overnight as they could be vandalised.

If you intend to hike within the park beyond the rainforest circuit track, you must discuss your plans with park staff. Remember to tell a responsible person where you are going and when you expect to return. Let them know your route and contact them on your return. Have a contingency plan in place if you fail to contact them by the agreed time. If you change your plans, inform them.

For more information, please read the guidelines on safety in parks and forests.

Looking after the park

As part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, Daintree National Park contains outstanding examples of major stages in the earth's evolutionary history, continuing biological evolution and exceptional beauty, and provides habitat for many vulnerable and threatened species. Please minimise your impact on this special place by taking the following measures:

  • Take your rubbish with you when you leave.
  • Don't use shampoos and soaps in or near waterways.
  • Stay on walking tracks, as taking short cuts leads to erosion and adjacent areas may be unstable.
  • Obey signs and regulations—they are in place to protect this area for conservation and nature-based recreation.

See caring for parks for more information about protecting our environment and heritage in parks.

Park management

Mossman Gorge, Daintree National Park, is managed for the purposes of nature conservation and nature-based recreation. It is part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area and is adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

In March 2007, the Eastern Kuku Yalanji Aboriginal people signed a series of Indigenous Land Use Agreements (ILUAs) with the Queensland Government and other bodies. The ILUAs recognise Eastern Kuku Yalanji's rights to be custodians and managers of their traditional country. Under one of these ILUAs Eastern Kuku Yalanji people will be more involved in managing Daintree National Park.

Tourism information links

Mossman Gorge Centre
www.mossmangorge.com.au
212R Mossman Gorge Road, PO Box 1424
Mossman QLD 4873
Phone: (07) 4099 7000
Email: walk@mossmangorge.com.au

Cairns and Tropical North Visitor Information Centre

www.cairnsgreatbarrierreef.org.au
51 The Esplanade
Cairns QLD 4870
Phone: (07) 4051 3588
Email: info@ttnq.org.au

For tourism information for all regions in Queensland see Queenslandholidays.

Further information

Contact us

To find out more about Eastern Kuku Yalanji culture contact:

Jabalbina Yalanji Aboriginal Corporation
PO Box 1430
Mossman QLD 4873
ph: (07) 4098 5500
email: pdc@jabalbina.com.au

Wujal Wujal Aboriginal Shire Council
www.wujalwujalcouncil.qld.gov.au
via Cooktown
Cooktown QLD 4895
ph: (07) 4083 9100
email: chambers@wujalwujalcouncil.qld.gov.au

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Last updated
3 July 2012