WELCOME TO MOSSMAN GORGE
The 140 km. long Great Barrier Reef Drive takes you from the city to the jungle. Leaving Cairns you will enjoy spectacular views over the Coral Sea, explore remote beaches that you often have all to yourself, visit the resort town of Port Douglas and then arrive at Mossman Gorge, where you can enjoy a refreshing swim and learn about Aboriginal culture from indigenous tour guides of the Kuku Yalanji tribe.
Mossman Gorge on the Great Barrier Reef Drive
The Great Barrier Reef Drive takes you from the city of Cairns to the rain forests of Cape Tribulation, but at the halfway point Mossman Gorge is your first introduction to the rain forest. A river cuts through the rain forest whch creates scenic photo opprtunities, as well as a refreshing swimming spot, and there is a choice of walking trails. Take care when the river is flowing fast.
The Mossman Gorge Visitor Centre contains an art gallery and shop with art and crafts of the local Kuku Yalanji artists with authentic work of the highest quality. Local indigenous artists share their knowledge of local traditional culture with you through vibrant new designs in paint, prints, fabrics, wood and paper. The gallery also stocks a range of gifts including jewellery, cards, small artefacts and clothing, designed by local Indigenous artists that make great souvenirs to take home with you.
At the Visitor Centre you can buy your ticket for the transfer bus to take you in to the gorge, and you can enjoy a coffee or lunch in the cafe. Here you can also see some indigenous art and book on the guided walks where local tour guides will take you in to the rain forest and teach you the use of plants for food and traditional medicines and ceremonies.
Swim In Mossman Gorge
The Mossman River is a popular swimming spot to cool down in the tropical weather but take care when you go for a dip, people have been injured and have drowned here. After heavy rain the river can flow very strong, and short bursts of rain upstrream can make the river rise and fall within minutes. While the water brings welcome refreshment in summer, it can be suprisingly cold in the winter (dry season). This is a beautiful place so enjoy it, but be careful!
Local indigenous Kuku Yalanji guides can take you on a guided walk which includes a traditional smoking ceremony, show you stunning rainforest and traditional huts or humpies, demonstrate traditional plant use, identify bush food sources and making bush soaps and ochre painting. At the end of the tour you can also enjoy some traditional bush tea and damper.
The Village Of Mossman
Sugar cane has traditionally been the main industry for Mossman, you will see endless fields of sugarcane around the town, and in harvesting season you'll have to take extra care on the road with trains and farm equipment crossing.
If you are travelling up to Cape Tribulation then this is the last town with services like post office, banks, doctors, pharmacies, large supermarket etc.
There are some cafes in the main street for a good lunch stop.
Transport To Mossman Gorge
Rent A Car!
If you rent a car in Cairns or Port Douglas you will have the freedom to go where and when you want and make the most of the deserted beaches along the way that you can have all to yourself, and you'll be able to stay at the final destination of Cape Tribulation as long as you like. As there is only one road along the coast it is easy to find your way and traffic is never busy.
Rainforest Day Tour
Learn about traditional hunting and gathering techniques on Cooya Beach with an indigenous guide. Gain insight into Australia's indigenous heritage. You have two options for the afternoon: walk through the beautiful rain forest to a watering hole; or upgrade to tour the forest with an Aboriginal guide who shares Dreamtime stories and deep knowledge of the land.
Guided Walk + Croc Cruise
Spend a leisurely day exploring the rainforest on a day trip from Cairns, Palm Cove or Port Douglas. You'll start your day with a gentle rainforest walk around Mossman Gorge led by a local Aboriginal guide. Enjoy lunch at secluded Silky Oaks Lodge before continuing with a croc-spotting cruise on the river and a short tour of stunning Port Douglas on the way back.
After Mossman, further north
Newell and Wonga Beach
Newell Beach is a beach side suburb just north of Mossman with a real old Queensland feel to it, the houses vary from modern to old beach shack style, lots of coconut palms here, a carvan park just across the street from the beach, and a golf course nearby as well.
Wonga Beach is a fairly new suburb development between Mossman and the Daintree river, and the last fuel stop before the river too. At the south end just next to the highway are some picnic tables and toilets, at the northern end is a caravan park / camping area.
Hook A Barra
This is sustainable fishing at its best. The large pond is well stocked with barramundi and some other species and you can catch and release or purchase your catch to cook it up at home. All the fishing gear is supplied as well as guidance so you can really boost your fishing skills here. Easy to find right on the highway just past Wonga Beach.
WHAT WILL YOU SEE ON THE GREAT BARRIER REEF DRIVE?
THE GREAT BARRIER REEF!
This drive takes you along the edge of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, but make sure you hop on a boat from Port Douglas or Cape Tribulation too so you can immerse yourself in this amazing world of wild coloured coral and tropical fish.
THE DAINTREE RAIN FOREST!
While you can see some rain forest in various places along the drive you definitely have to cross the Daintree river to see the real ancient Daintree rain forest, do some of the National Park board walks, swim in the pristine creeks, or book a guided tour in Cape Tribulation to learn more about it.
You can see cassowaries in zoos around the world but meeting a cassowary in the wild is an experience not to be forgotten. This ancient flightless bird has been walking the planet ever since all continents were still joined together as one and dinosaurs roamed the earth. The cassowary is listed as endangered but has been making a good comeback, and there is a fair chance you will see one in the Daintree if you spend a few days there.
LOTS OF BEACHES!
If you love the beach then you will love the Great Barrier Reef Drive, there are dozens of stunning beaches to explore along the way, just in the Daintree there's ten of them already, and even in the busy season there is a good chance you will find one all to yourself.
LOTS OF OTHER STUFF!
What ever you can imagine, you will find it along the Great Barrier Reef Drive. Exotic fruit wines, hang gliding, home made icecream, crocodiles, rainforest sculpture trail, tea, insect museum, cassowaries crossing the road, massage, jungle surfing, Aboriginal culture tours, helicopter rides, More info added soon on the multitude of attractions and sights to see.