Looking for a quick half-day Daintree Hike? The Mossman Gorge walk through the rainforest circuit is one of the best quick options you’ll find near the Daintree National park.
Complete with swimming holes, freshwater creeks, and huge ancient rainforest trees, the Mossman Gorge offers visitors a slice of the wonder that is the ancient Daintree Rainforest.
How to Get to Mossman Gorge
To get to the Mossman Gorge, you’ll need your own car. From Cairns city, it takes just over an hour, following the scenic Captain Cook Highway north to the Daintree. This drive makes up a large section of one of the most scenic drives in North Queensland.
If you’re based in Port Douglas, then it’s a closer 22-minute drive.
Once you get to the visitor center, you’ll need to park your car in the large carpark. The road leading to the Mossman Gorge walk is blocked off for private residence only. Here, there is a small aboriginal community who have asked for the road to be closed to the public.
I’ve pinned the location of the Mossman Gorge Visitor Centre below.
Alternative: Full Day Mossman Gorge & Cape Trib Tour ($185)
Should I Take the Mossman Gorge Shuttle Bus?
Once you get to the visitor center, you’ll notice that there are signs everywhere encouraging tourists to take the Mossman Gorge Shuttle Bus to the walking area. The cost is $11 per person.
My take from the experience is that taking the Mossman Gorge Shuttle Bus isn’t necessary. It’s only a short 2 kilometre walk, passing the outside of the indigenous community.
Although the center tries to convince people to take the $11 bus under the guise of “respect for the indigenous community” they don’t employ indigenous bus drivers. Furthermore, the local residents were friendly, waving and welcoming us as we walked past. This left me suspicious of whether the center’s intentions were really just to monopolize this section of the National Park.
If you want to support indigenous communities, then the center does run Indigenous Dreamtime Walks through along the Mossman Gorge Walk. These are very informative and a great way to learn more about the indigenous Eastern Yalanji people (Bama) Clan and Kuku-Yalanji people.
Up for more of a challenge near Mossman? Try the Devils Thumb Hike (Manjal Jimalji)
Mossman Gorge Walk – The Rainforest Circuit
After a short walk, you’ll reach the outside of the Mossman Gorge Walk. The first section is a raised boardwalk with several diversions to lookouts and creek access points.
However, the best section of the Mossman Gorge walk is the full Rainforest Circuit. It’s not a long walk, being only about 45 minutes, but it’s an excellent way to experience the oldest living rainforest in the world.
You can find the Mossman Gorge map here. This includes walking tracks and maps of the entire Mossman Gorge area.
Below you’ll find some highlights of the Mossman Gorge walk and the Daintree rainforest circuit.
Exploring the Most Ancient Rainforest in the World
Mossman Gorge is very well protected under the Daintree National Park in the World Heritage Wet Tropics Area. If you want a real taste of the Daintree National Park, then taking the Mossman Gorge walk around the rainforest circuit is an excellent option.
Along the track, there are several signs informing you of ancient aboriginal traditions in regards to using the rainforest for survival. There is also plenty of information about the Daintree National Park and names and features of its flora and fauna.
Huge Rainforest Fig Trees
One of the coolest parts of the Mossman Gorge walk are the huge rainforest fig trees. There is one in particular towards the end of the circuit that is absolutely huge! I’m not sure exactly how big it is, but you can guage for yourself from the pictures below.
Swimming at Mossman Gorge
In the hot summer months, there is also opportunity for Mossman Gorge swimming along the track. There are several creek entry points where you can swim in the refreshingly cool freshwater streams.
The first Mossman Gorge swimming location is found towards the start of the walk, just off to the right of the first diversion from the boardwalk.
There is also another section for swimming towards the end of the rainforest circuit loop.
Mossman Gorge Crocodiles
One of the most asked questions regarding the Mossman Gorge is: “Are there any crocodiles?” Generally speaking, the Mossman Gorge has no dangerous estuarine (saltwater) crocodiles.
More Photos from The Mossman Gorge Walk and Daintree National Park
Looking for more Daintree travel inspiration? Check out some more photos that I snapped along the track.