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.
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
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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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.