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Mossman

Mossman is a picturesque little township nestled at the foot of the mountains among bright green fields of sugar cane. A friendly town, Mossman invites you to enjoy its genuine Tropical North Queensland hospitality, as you explore the country stores and historic pubs along the wide tree-lined main street.

The region's sugar capital, the Mossman Central Mill throbs and hums its way through the sugar cane crushing season (June to October) when it is possible to do guided tours of the entire process inside the mill. The quaint cane trains rattle back and forth through the town hauling in the harvest. Out in the fields you might chance upon the breathtaking sight of a cane fire in full force.

Five minutes west of Mossman you will discover Mossman Gorge, a very accessible and scenic section of the World Heritage listed Daintree National Park. Here the Mossman River tumbles its way over huge granite boulders that line the gorge, creating cool clear freshwater swimming holes. Awe inspiring tree-clad mountains rise sharply up from the river banks. Walk as far as the suspension bridge across the river or explore the 2.7 kilometre rainforest loop trail.

The 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. Traditional dance performances and artefact displays portray their rich cultural heritage.

Mossman lies 75 kilometres north along the coast from Cairns.

Mossman, Cairns Area
Queensland
Australia

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Mount Lewis National Park

Julatten, Mareeba Area
Free Entry
Mount Lewis, one high rainforest-clad mountains of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, is a treasure trove of unique and endemic wildlife. The area between the Mount Lewis and Atherton Tableland is especially diverse. The beautiful upland rainforest dates back to the evolution of flowering plants on earth. Some flowers are indicative of Australia's link with the ancient landmass of Gondwana. Drive a four-wheel-drive or ride a mountain bike on the 56 kilometre (return) Mount Lewis Road. Starting at the entrance to the park, the rainforest drive climbs to over 1200 metres before following the contours around the chain of peaks that form the watershed of the Mossman and Mitchell rivers. Picnic at one of the creek crossings. Look for the Mount Lewis spiny crayfish in the creeks and blue-faced parrot-finches in grassy clearings and glades. Spot red-bellied black snakes basking on the road and huge blue earthworms coming to the ground's surface during wet weather.

Snapper Island, Hope Islands National Park

Port Douglas, Douglas Area
Free Entry
This high continental island, close to Port Douglas, boasts lush vine forests, dense eucalypt forest, mangroves and white sandy beaches. The islands and surrounding waters and fringing reefs are within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. Snapper Island is within easy reach of the coast by kayak or small boat, and is popular for camping, birdwatching and small boat fishing. Join a guided kayaking trip with a commercial tour operator to paddle around the island and land on seemingly-remote beaches. Explore the short walking track to a rocky ridge to the northern side of the island. Spend the night bush camping and have the island all to yourself. Drop in a line and try your luck fishing for mackerel and other reef fish in this popular angling spot for small boats.

Daintree Discovery Centre

Cow Bay, Douglas Area
A multi-award winner, the Discovery Centre is nestled in the heart of the rainforest, 10 kilometres north of the Daintree River. The Centre is a 'must see' for anyone visiting the area and where you can experience the rainforest at every level - from the forest floor to the upper most reaches of the canopy. From the top of the 23 metre high Canopy Tower you can check out spectacular orchids and if you're lucky you might just spot a python curled up in a giant basket fern. The spectacular Aerial Walkway provides unprecedented access to the mid level rainforest. You may see a Cassowary with a clutch of chicks wandering along the creek below. The Display Centre has a DVD theatre with films on conservation, cassowaries, crocodiles and more. Interactive computer kiosks have animated DVD's - a great hit with the kids and the creek ecology display has fish, frogs and turtles and a reptile display. Self guided audio tours feature interesting information of how the traditional local Aboriginal people made good use of the natural features of the rainforest.

Mossman Gorge Centre

Mossman, Douglas Area
Visit Mossman Gorge and experience the Daintree World Heritage Rainforest with pristine waterfalls, mountains and vivid flora and fauna, all the while getting lost in its enchanting stories and rich Indigenous heritage. Begin your trip by paying a visit to the Mossman Gorge Centre. Peruse the Indigenous art work, enjoy a light refreshment at Mayi café and book yourself onto one of the award-winning Ngadiku Dreamtime Walks, The walks are conducted by the traditional owners of the Gorge, the Kuku Yalanji people. Be taken on a journey steeped in heritage as you uncover their ancient culture and traditions. After a visit to the Centre, a shuttle bus will transport you into the heart of the Gorge where the adventure begins through this unique wilderness. Whether at your own pace on one of the self guided walks through the National Park or with an expert local indigenous guide on the Dreamtime Walks the Gorge is guaranteed to leave you enthused and inspired.

Wet Tropics

Mossman, Douglas Area
Free Entry
The Wet Tropics World Heritage property extends from Townsville to Cooktown on the north-east coast of Queensland and covers almost 900,000 hectares. The area is a region of spectacular scenery with fast-flowing rivers, deep gorges, numerous waterfalls and mountain summits providing expansive rainforest views. One of the largest rainforest wilderness areas in Australia centres around the Daintree River Valley. This is the only area in the world where two World Heritage listed areas meet, the rainforest grows right down to the fringing World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef. The area includes the following: - Daintree National Park - Barron Gorge National Park - Wooroonooran National Park Many different opportunities are provided that allow visitors to experience the Wet Tropics, including luxury accommodation nestled in rainforest; four-wheel-drive tours; bird and crocodile spotting tours. Extensive bushwalking options include the Wet Tropics Great Walk, one of Queensland’s new world-class long distance walking tracks. It extends for 110km highlighting the natural and cultural features of this unique area. The Wet Tropics is home to 30 percent of Australia’s marsupial species, including the small musky rat-kangaroo, which is the most primitive surviving kangaroo species. The Wet Tropics also provides habitat for numerous endemic species of both fauna and flora. There are at least 390 species of plants that can be classified as rare or very restricted and of these, 74 are regarded as threatened. Aboriginal occupation of the area is believed to date back 50,000 years to the earliest human occupation of Australia. The district was a rich environment for the Aboriginal hunter-gatherers who lived there. About 16 different groups occupied the area and the Wet Tropics area continues to hold great significance for the local Aboriginal communities who identify as rainforest people.
Free Entry
Mossman Gorge is a very accessible and scenic section of Daintree National Park, in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. Crystal-clear water cascades over large granite boulders in the Mossman River gorge. Lush rainforests cloak steep mountainsides from the river banks up to the rugged eastern slopes of the Main Coast Range. Take an easy 10 minute stroll along the elevated boardwalk that meanders through the lower rainforest canopy and return along the riverside track, enjoying views from several small lookouts along the way. Be amazed by bright butterflies and look closely for well-camouflaged Boyd's forest dragons clinging to tree trunks. More adventurous visitors can cross the Rex Creek suspension bridge and enjoy the 2.4 kilometre Rainforest circuit track through lush rainforest.

Sweet Farm Tours

Mossman, Douglas Area
  • Free WiFi
Australia's First Cocoa and Sugarcane Experience. Sweet Farm Tours Visitors Centre is located 20 minutes from Port Douglas nestled in the Whyanbeel Valley on the edge of World Heritage Daintree Rainforest. The personalised farmer guided tour takes you on a journey through a working cocoa and sugarcane farm. The Sweet Farm Tours Visitors centre showcases the Australian Cocoa and Sugarcane processing from Estate to Plate. Explore the Sweet Farm Tours Gift shop which has an extensive range of Australian Origin Chocolate and local products. Complimentary Australian Origin Chocolate on all farm tours.

Port Douglas

Port Douglas, Cairns Area
Port Douglas is the gateway to the World Heritage wonders of Tropical North Queensland. It is the closest mainland port to the Great Barrier Reef and only a short drive into the heart of the Wet Tropics rainforest at Daintree and Cape Tribulation. Getting to Port Douglas from Cairns is an hour's drive along one of Australia's most scenic coastal roads with the rainforest on one side and the Great Barrier Reef on the other. Favoured by A-list celebrities as the place to get away, Port Douglas is an intimate and relaxed town where food, wine, arts and culture are appreciated. The friendly locals are only too happy to include visitors whether it's sharing their favourite coffee stops and fishing spots or playing 18 holes on a world-class golf course. Feel the pace slow as you revitalise with lazy days on the beach, or come alive and explore nature's untamed tropical wonders. Swim at beautiful Four Mile Beach, wander down the main street for boutique shopping with a tropical twist, dine with the birds at a wildlife park or dive into the Great Barrier Reef. Nearby is Mossman Gorge, a spectacular freshwater swimming hole where you can experience local Indigenous culture and explore the Daintree rainforest. Restaurants are many and varied with delicious interpretations of local produce and tastes from around the world, or relax with a counter meal at a glorious Queenslander pub. While luxury is definitely a highlight of Port Douglas with magnificent resorts, elegant homes and superb apartments the holiday choice of the well-heeled, backpackers and families are equally well catered for in the relaxed tropical atmosphere of Port.

Newell Beach

Newell, Cairns Area
Tucked away between glamorous Port Douglas and the vast wilderness of the World Heritage listed Daintree National Park is the sleepy beachside community of Newell Beach. Newell Beach boasts spectacular views to Port Douglas in the south and the lighthouse on Low Isles to the east. The two and a half kilometre beach is clean and pristine and is bordered to the north and south by estuaries. Not far to the west you’ll discover the crystal clear rock pools of Mossman Gorge National Park, picturesque Daintree Village, and ancient world of the Daintree Rainforest. Fishermen are well catered for with boat ramps at the northern end of the beach and at Saltwater Creek. The nearby estuaries are brimming with good eating fish but remember to be on the lookout for crocodiles at all times. Sitting at the mouth of the mighty Daintree River, nearby Snapper Island is a Mecca for local anglers. Barramundi can be found in nearby Daintree River and fishing off the beach can also prove rewarding. Newell Beach has a convenience store and for groceries, banks, post offices, hairdressers and for anything else, the sugar town of Mossman is just minutes up the road. On site vans and self contained units can be found at the local caravan park and there are also beachside holiday houses for rent. Newell Beach is only one and a half hour's drive north of the Cairns International Airport and just 10 minutes from Port Douglas.

Cow Bay

Cow Bay, Cairns Area
Cow Bay is the perfect gateway to the Cape Tribulation area, the World-Heritage listed Daintree National Park, the Great Barrier Reef and Cooktown in Tropical North Queensland - only two hours drive north of Cairns. Stay the night or drop in for a traditional counter lunch at the Cow Bay Pub where the charismatic locals will only be too happy to give you their 'must see' list on what to see and experience in this tropical wonderland. Boasting the only pub this side of the Daintree River, Cow Bay also has a couple of cafes and restaurants, gallery and boutique hotels, the Daintree Discovery Centre and loads of opportunities to get up close and personal with the wildlife!
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