Mossman Gorge-ous

Only iPhone photos and mostly by me, so no calendars from this lot of pics.

Some people have no idea how to sell a destination.

“You need to go up to Mossman Gorge,” our friends told us last week when they returned from their expedition. We would have joined them but we were in the throws of a bug which had us languishing around the bus feeling unwell. “It’s beautiful! Fantastic! Really amazing!”

There was absolutely no mention of a bus which, for a few gold coins each, would drive you all the way up to the start of the tracks, and a cafe at the Mossman Gorge Centre, where it leaves from, which serves up damn good coffee.

You don’t have to catch the bus up either, so the whole trip can essentially be free, bar the caffeine hit. And I mean we wanted to walk up but I’m very serious about putting money back into projects like this and it seemed the right thing to do. For my sanity and well being.

And it is beautiful. Truly. The rainforest and the rapids are just magic. I’d go again.

But you know how some people claim walking in a rainforest and getting back to nature reenergises them or is good for their soul. I’m calling bollocks. In fact, I found it on par with a trip to the supermarket.

“I’m hungry.”

“My feet hurt.”

“How long until we can go home?”

“She pushed me!”

“Did not!”

“Did! And you did it on purpose! She did it on purpose!!”

“Why can’t we just look this up on Google?”

“This is taking too long. Let’s go back.”

“I’m thirsty.”

“I twisted my ankle! Carry me!”

“OMG, I’m out of charge!!”

We could have been doing a grocery shop.

And okay, so that last one was me, but you get the idea. I would not call today relaxing. But even as it became nerve-gratingly obvious our kids are not used to this sort of barbarian yesteryear off-road activity involving feet and unmotorised movement, it also became obvious they were enjoying themselves immensely. And by immensely I mean they ran out of energy to keep up the complaints.

“That wasn’t too bad,” Master11 told me while we were waiting for the bus to take us back down the mountain to the cafe.

“I’m glad you liked it,” I said, “because we’re going to be doing a fair bit of this sort of thing on our travels.”

He stared at me for a moment.

“You mean, if we don’t behave?”

Bushwalking is actually one of the things we’re most looking forward to doing with the kids over the course of our travels. I guesstimate we walked five kilometres today, a lot of it up a bleeding great hill with uneven paths and tons of trip hazards. Even I thought it was super fun, despite my phone running out of charge. Just to be away from computer screens and bitumen roads and to hear the sounds of falling and crashing water…well, it’s quite simply wonderful the way the nearer you get to the source of the noise, the less whinging you can hear.

If you’re up this way – it’s 20 minutes north of Port Douglas – check out the beautiful rainforest and rapids at Mossman Gorge.

There’s an awesome bus and a fantastic cafe.

Took this photo in the gift shop. Lots of fantastic art by aboriginal artists. I’d show you more but it was straight after taking this photo I spotted the sign which said no photos.
See this bus? I can drive it. Told the kids but they’ve stopped being impressed. Actually, they were never impressed but now they’re being overly dismissive about it. I also resisted the urge to tell the driver mine’s bigger as I got onboard – and Tracey says I’m immature!?
The cool kids always sit at the back of the bus. Now this is the way to get back to nature. In an air-con bus with proper barista coffee.
The walkways are brilliant. Uncle Daz said they spent millions doing the place up. Genuine shame the budget didn’t stretch to making this bit wide enough for a bus.
Poor Uncle Daz took the day off work and we make him take us up here and walk for a couple of hours. Poor wonderful sod.  Also, see the cooler bag and towels I’m carrying? We had visions of a quiet rock pool we could swim in. Instead, all that happened was my arms got to feel as knackered as my legs.
Much to the kids’ delight (*actual emotional reaction may have differed) I read or had them read the signs as we passed them so I could claim the whole day as homeschooling and pat myself on the back.
Turned around at one point to find the kids huddled together. “I think the kids want a photo,” I said to Tracey. It seemed unlikely so we took a closer look. Turns out they’d found the next sign and were just trying to block my view. 
Here’s Miss4 enjoying learning about cassowaries and dreamtime stories about mountains.
This is my favourite sign, not least because it uses the term ‘cloud stripping’. I’m hoping subliminally it encourages Tracey to take her clothes off more often in Cloudland.
It really is beautiful. Lots of rapids and big boulders and the odd backpacker pouting for a selfie in a bikini. Well worth the trek my fellow sexplorers. Note: I’m taking a photo of the rapids here, not backpackers.
And here’s the photo I was taking. Well, one of them. FYI, this place is a lot louder than the photo suggests. More beautiful too.
Also, no swimming here for my lot, thank you very much. 
Started to notice these rock sculptures with balancing rocks are popping up everywhere. I actually really like them.
And now for some nature shots for all you nature lovers out there. I call this ‘don’t eat the red berries!’
And this is ‘I wonder what the street value of those orange mushrooms are?’
We’ll never be able to afford to go to Italy, so we made do with this leaning tree. The kids will never know the difference. “Oh, look! Another sign!” I said, but the kids had already run ahead.
For some reason we decided to do the 2km circuit beyond the suspension bridge and lovely level and well constructed pathways. Apparently this is considered a path by some people.
Miss13 was attacked by a plant. “Don’t touch it!” Uncle Daz said as I did and screamed. “Wait a while.” I wanted to know if it would let go if we left it alone. “No,” he said. “We call it a wait-a-while. You need to think about how to remove it or you’ll hurt yourself.” Well, d-uh, I know that now.
Next Miss13 head butted a tree. She’s definitely a Devereaux. And as you can see from the grin on my face, so am I.
Holding up a boulder with nothing but our super strength fingers. Dags, every one of us.
Told the kids to point at something and look interested. We were 1.5km into the 2km walk. I asked too much.
Because he’s a wonderful big brother, when Miss4 asked Master11 to carry her, he did. She’d already asked me but I’m not so wonderful.
When it comes to suspension bridges over rocky waterways, there are two kinds of people in the world. Those who rock the bridge from side to side as much as they can, and those who hate them. There was some serious bounce-age happening. Lots of blurry photos as a result.

I think there was a smug sense of achievement in all of us, it was just really obvious in this little bugger.

Raising a family on little more than laughs

This was not a sponsored post.


  • Friends of mine were recently up that way and found a beach with hundreds of those rock sculptures. The tide comes in and knocks them down, ready for the next days visitors to start stacking them again. . Awesome!

    • I’ve seen that spot along the shoreline when I drove to Cairns. I’m going to try get a photo when we leave.

  • Those rock sculptures are actually called Cairns and given the area you’re in the name does seem fitting. Try using that fact to impress the kids.

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