Complete Guide to the Best Mossman Gorge Walks

If you are spending some time in Port Douglas or doing a day trip from Cairns, getting to Mossman Gorge should be on your list things to do. It is a spectacular area where the Mossman River tumbles over granite boulders, all around you is the beautiful Daintree National Park Rainforest. You can swim at Mossman Gorge but one of the best ways to explore the area is on one of the short Mossman Gorge walks.

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Mossman Gorge Visitor Centre

Getting To Mossman Gorge

Mossman Gorge is about 20 minutes from Port Douglas and 75 minutes from Cairns. It is well signed from the Captain Cook Highway. Keep going through Killaloe then look for the turn off near Woolworths in Mossman.

Mossman Gorge Parking & Shuttle Bus

When you arrive at Mossman Gorge you are really arriving at the Mossman Gorge Culture Centre which includes a nice café, art gallery and gift shop. There is plenty of parking here for both cars and larger vehicles. You can’t drive right up to Mossman Gorge; you need to take the Mossman Gorge shuttle bus for the last 2km.

The shuttle bus is not free, there are adult, child and family tickets that cost $14/$7/$35 and your ticket can be used multiple times a day. If you really want to walk you can but there is no sidewalk and the road is quite narrow so, take care. The shuttle bus leaves every 15 minutes and runs from 8.00am to 5.00pm.

Mossman Gorge Walks

Mossman Gorge Walks

If you are looking for a solid half day hike, you wont find any Mossman Gorge Walks like that! All the walks at Mossman Gorge are relatively short and easy but they give you great views of Mossman Gorge, the Mossman River and the Daintree Rainforest. The walks vary in length from just a couple of hundred metres to the 2.4km Rainforest Circuit track. The short walks are also access friendly. There are self-guided and guided walks around Mossman Gorge.

Self-Guided Mossman Gorge Walks

Depending on how you look at it, there are up to 4 short walks around Mossman Gorge. Two of the walks could combine into a loop circuit that takes you through the rainforest and back along the Mossman River. The third is an extension of this and the fourth is a separate Rainforest Circuit Track. Here are the details of each of the Mossman Gorge Walks.

Mossman Gorge Walks

Baral Marrjanga

From where the shuttle bus drops you off, the Baral Marrjanga is the first walk you come to. This is also the most accessible, the walkway is suitable for prams and wheelchairs. The elevated walkway takes you on a lovely meandering walk midway through the rainforest canopy. It is only a few hundred metres long but that is plenty long enough to appreciate the enormous diversity of plants and trees in the rainforest.

The walkway finishes at the Mossman River Lookout where you get a great look at the river coming towards you and barrelling over the rocky riverbed. For our visit in mid-April there was still plenty of water coming down the river which made it a spectacular sight. This is a great short walk for families, it’s certainly not too long for kids and the view from the elevated walkway and lookout are fantastic.

Mossman Gorge Suspension Bridge

Rex Creek – Manjal Dimbi (Mount Demi) Lookout Walk

This is just an extension of the Baral Marrjanga elevated boardwalk, but it is not access friendly, and it adds maybe 200m to the walk. From the Mossman River Lookout, continue a little further, go up some stairs and cross the Rex Creek Suspension Bridge – which is a lot of fun, kids will love it if the bouncing doesn’t freak them out.

There are more great views of the Mossman River as you cross the bridge and the sensation that you are still bouncing once you are off the bridge is pretty weird! Crossing the suspension bridge is one of the highlights of this extra little walk that takes you up a few small flights of stairs to the point where you can spot Manjal Dimbi – Mount Demi.

You return to the shuttlebus stop the way came or you can return via the River Circuit Track.

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River Circuit Track

This short easy track starts where the shuttlebus drops you off and follows the river, it’s an alternate option to the elevated Baral Marrjanga walkway through the rainforest – but it is not access friendly. There are three Lookouts along the River Circuit Track where you get views of the river coursing over the granite boulders.

This 400m long track re-joins the Baral Marrjanga a little before you get to the Mossman River Lookout. So, if you just want a short walk to take in some views, we suggest taking the Baral Marrjanga to the Mossman River Lookout then return to the shuttlebus via the River Circuit Track. It is an easy and lovely 15 -30 minute walk.

Mossman Gorge Walks

Rainforest Circuit Track

This is the longest of the self-guided Mossman Gorge Walks. It is an easy to moderate walk that you get to once you cross the Rex Creek Bridge. From the Bridge, the Rainforest Circuit loop is 2.4km but you can round that up to 3km by the time you get back to the bus stop. The Rainforest Circuit track takes 45-60 minutes depending on how much time you take enjoying the rainforest.

There are a few sets of steps to negotiate but you really don’t notice them as you take in everything around you. The walk is well signed with information about the trees and vines around you. By the end of the walk, you feel like a botanist being able to tell a Black Bean from a Pencil Cedar from a Candlenut.

You don’t often see them, but you can hear birds everywhere and butterflies, including the brilliant blue Ulysses, flit through the air throughout the walk. It is worth taking the 120m detour to Wurrmbu Creek. There is a shallow little pool here which is a magic spot to cool off not too long before the end of the circuit. Once you re-join the main track near the bridge, you can make your way back to the bus along the River Circuit Track.

Choose the Best Cairns Day Trips here

Mossman Gorge Butterfly

Guided Dreamtime Walk

If you’re after a unique experience at Mossman Gorge, join one of the guided Ngadiku Dreamtime Walks that immerse you in the culture of the local Kuku Yalanji people. The 90 minute tour is led by an indigenous guide and takes you to parts of the Mossman Gorge National Park not accessed on the self-guided Mossman Gorge Walks.

The tour starts with a traditional smoking ceremony then you are taken on an easy walk through the rainforest where you learn how it is used by the Kuku Yalanji as their supermarket, hardware store, classroom and pharmacy. It is a fascinating tour that will make you see the rainforest in a whole new light. These paid tours run several times a day and can be booked online or at the Mossman Gorge Cultural Centre.

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Mossman Resort Holiday Villas

Places to Stay near Mossman Gorge

If you enjoyed this story you might also like:

Cairns to Port Douglas Road TripPort Douglas River Cruise | Port Douglas Beaches

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