Mossman is in Far North Queensland and could be termed the, “Gateway to the Daintree Rainforest”. This is well known, but in it’s own right is the only tropical rainforest in the world where the lush, green vegetation literally plunges straight down into the waters of the Pacific Ocean. For the visitor to travel here the most direct way would be to fly into the International Airport at Cairns and hire a car to drive north on the Captain Cook Highway, passing through the resort town of Port Douglas. If one looks north from here, the farthest cape is Cape Tribulation, right in the middle of the Daintree Rainforest. This was named by Captain Cook, the explorer and navigator of Australia’s east coast, for the treacherous seas he encountered there, some two hundred and fifty years ago. Bringing one’s sight back to the middle point of this view and there lies Mossman, some twenty kilometres north from Port Douglas. This view from here is definitely worth driving to.
Mossman is not as glamorous as Port Douglas and has retained much of it’s original character. With a population of two thousand people, Mossman is a sugar growing town. Towering, green mountains and lush, green sugar cane fields give Mossman a truly tropical look. The Mossman Gorge is a well known tourist attraction and being not far from the town itself is worth a visit There are guides from the local aboriginal tribe who will show the visitor through this area of cascading, clear mountain water flowing through dark-green gorges. There is a swimming hole, which on a hot, humid, summers day is refreshing for the visitor. A few kilometres from the main town are the Pacific Ocean beaches of Newell, Cooya and Wonga, the last two being aboriginal names.
Most visitors head on to the Daintree Rainforest, a short distance north from Mossman. Before one gets into the Daintree National Park the town of Daintree can be visited by driving a short distance up the Daintree River. Located in the catchment area of this river, the town is entirely surrounded by the rain forest clad mountains of the McDowall Ranges. The town offers a number of attractions, including a truly old time store and fine restaraunts, as well as many local arts and crafts. Some fine rainforest walks can be made here as well as a visit to a butterfly farm.
The icing on the cake coming out of a trip as far north as Mossman, is of course the Daintree Rainforesat itself. Arriving at the Daintree river crossing from Daintree township, the tourist can take a car ferry over to continue the exploration into the heart of the rainforest. However, prior to this, there are tours up and down the river for those who want to see salt water estuarine crocodiles, the dangerous large species. The fresh water crocodile found also in Australia is harmless, compared with this larger type. The drive through the rainforest is something to behold, for amid the lush greenery there are beaches on the coast of post-card picturesque beauty. The first of these to visit off the beaten track is Cow Bay, where dugongs swim, hence the name, for they are known here as the sea-cow. In South America, these are known as the Manitee.
Travelling on to the end of the made bitumen road, one arrives at Cape Tribulation and after a walk on a raised, boardwalk platform through lush rainforest, can arrive out onto the pristine beach here. Your visit to the “Daintree” holds many natural delights to look forward to and although not developed in a tourist sense with accommodation, there are two camping grounds here and one at the township of Daintree itself . Mossman has one motel and two camping grounds, so it’s probably a good idea to make this a base to travel from.