Destinations Magazine

Rainforest Wanderings in Mossman Gorge

By Leonoras


I never expected to see tropical rainforest in Australia.

While much of the country is indeed thousands upon thousands of miles of dry brush and outback, in Mossman Gorge we discovered something quite different.

Freshwater rivers warm enough for swimming, enormous tropical flowers, flocks of massively noisy wild parrots. It all feels very Central America, and this little town of Mossman on the northern tip of Australia’s eastern coast leaves us wishing we had a whole lot longer than two days to take it all in.


Turns out, Australia is big. Really big. So just to see a decent amount of the eastern coast in three weeks we’re doing a lot of flying, a lot of driving, and trying not to spend too long in each spot.


With only a short weekend here in Mossman, we were able to join a wonderful aboriginal-led dreamtime walk through Mossman Gorge, which has been the home of the Kuku Yalanji people for more than 50,000 years.  


Our guide was fantastic – half aboriginal and half European, he presented a fascinating perspective on aboriginal culture, heritage and current challenges, truly bringing to life his ancestors’ spiritual relationship with the rainforest and giving us the kind of insight into Australia’s indigenous population that isn’t always so easy to find.

Plus he illuminated us to the fact that nearly everything in the forest can kill you. Flowers, plants, animals, nuts, seeds. I would highly recommend avoiding them all. 

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