A sugar milling town set in the midst of cane fields; it is also the gateway to the famous Daintree World Heritage listed rainforest. Crystal-clear water cascades over large granite boulders in the Mossman River gorge. Lush rainforests cloak steep mountainsides from the riverbanks up to the rugged eastern slopes of the Main Coast Range.

Location: 75 km north of Cairns; 20 km from Port Douglas.

Mossman Gorge

A very accessible and scenic section of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. Strangler figs and epiphytic plants flourish and the crystal-clear Mossman River cascades over granite boulders. Visitors can stroll along the 400 metre river circuit track to viewing platforms over the Mossman River, or take the 2.7 kilometre loop track through lush, green rainforest. A suspension bridge runs across Rex Creek close to where it enters the Mossman River, linking the carpark area to a 2.4-kilometre circular rainforest walk. The river is safe to swim in and the walking trail is well marked. Make it even easier and catch the shuttle bus for the 2 minute ride from the Gorge centre to the walking trails.

Mossman Gorge is home to the Kuku Yalanji people, the area's traditional Aboriginal landowners who strive to protect their natural heritage as they share its unique qualities with visitors. Guided bushwalks are available that give a rare insight into the special relationship the local indigenous people have with the rainforest, while traditional dance performances and artefact displays portray their rich cultural heritage.

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Brief history

The village was established in 1876, twenty years before the first sugar cane plantation was established in the area.

Origin of name: named by the explorer George Dalrymple in 1873 after the minerals explorer Hugh Mosman. Mosman's 11-year-old Aboriginal servant, Jupiter, found gold at Charters Towers in 1872. The boom which followed the discovery did much to help the development of North Queensland. The name of the town was later changed from Mosman to Mossman to avoid confusion with the suburb in Sydney.

The establishment and subsequent growth of Cairns and the completion of the Cairns Railway up through the Barron Gorge in 1891, gave a more direct gateway to the hinterland but, at this period, it was found that the Mossman district contained suitable land for sugar-growing. The establishment of the sugar mill at Mossman formed the nucleus of the town, which grew at the expense of Port Douglas.

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