• Distance 3.7km
  • Altitude max 87m
  • Altitude min 40m
  • Duration 1.50 hours
  • Trail type Circuit
Four Stars

Four Stars

Not to be missed

The Australian Hiker Experience Rating is a measure of the overall quality of a walk. It is intended to help you decide whether to walk a trail, not to measure anything objective. Consider this our personal take on the walk.

Grade Two

Grade Two

No bushwalking experience required. The track is a hardened or compacted surface and may have a gentle hill section or sections and occasional steps. Walks no greater than 10km.

The Australian Grading system is based on the australian standard for measuring trail hikes.

Rubbish Bins
Camping Grounds

Rainforest Circuit Track, Mossman Gorge QLD (3.7km)


Nearest Town

Mossman, Queensland

Starting Location

Mossman Gorge Centre about 2km from Mossman

Welcome to Mossman Gorge!

Finish Location

Mossman Gorge Centre

Best Time to Travel

Year round noting:

  • Most rain falls during the months of December to April. While it may be wet, the humidity will be high (often exceeding 80%) and the temperatures will average 27-33 degrees Celsius
  • From May to November the temperature cools and the conditions become a little drier. This is the best time for long walks with the lower humidity and average temperatures of around 25 degrees Celsius

Rainforest Circuit Track Summary

Walking through the Daintree National Park is an absolute must for everyone.  It is an easy walk and it won’t take long before the serenity of the stunning rainforest of the Daintree National Park takes hold.

There are several short walks to do at Mossman Gorge and we did the Rainforest Circuit Track.  The usual way is to begin on the far side of Rex Creek bridge.  A small lookout 80 metre from the bridge provides great views of Manjal Dimbi (Mount Demi).  A little way past the lookout the track divides to form a circuit that meanders through the rainforest.  We did the walk in reverse to avoid the crowds – there were a few times when we were walking against the flow of visitors but mostly it was fine.

Tagged as 2.4km and 45 minutes return somehow, we travelled 3.7km and spent an hour and 30 minutes!  This is probably the key message for the Mossman Gorge – don’t expect to rush in and out.  Take your time to explore the myriad of trails you encounter, it’s an experience you won’t want to rush.  Even what looks like an uninteresting dead-end will provide inspiration!

Daintree Rainforest

The Mossman Gorge is located within the World Heritage Listed Daintree Rainforest which is the oldest, continuously surviving rainforest on earth.  It is renowned for its biodiversity with one hectare of the 120,000 hectare forest estimated to contain over 30,000 species of plants and animals.  The forest is considered by many to be the ‘evolutionary cradle’ for much of Australia’s plant and wildlife species which have survived for over 135 million years.

The World Heritage listing has served to preserve the area for many generations to come.

Flora and Fauna

The Daintree Rainforest is home to around 3,000 plant species from over 210 families.  Twelve out of the world’s 19 families of primitive flowering plants grow within the region and within these at least 50 species are found only within the tropics and rarely seen anywhere else.  From the forest floor right up, the rainforest is beautiful with the diversity of plant life that lives deep within the forest.  The plant life also forms a natural archive of Australia’s evolutionary process.

Some of the most primitive cycads, ferns and mosses are found in the Daintree National Park.  They have survived millions of years in the thick dense rainforests and provide botanists with insight into how certain species have evolved over time.

Kuku Yalanji

Mossman Gorge is also home to the Kuku Yalanji people who are the Indigenous inhabitants of the land and have a history dating back 50,000 years to the earliest human occupation of Australia.  They are true rainforest people, living in complete harmony with their environment.  Their traditional country extends from south of Mossman to Cooktown in the north, and Palmer River in the west.

Start of the Rainforest Circuit Track

Down we go to the rainforest floor

One of the many water vistas you’ll enjoy

Great interpretive signage – this one focused on the Mossman River

Take your time to look closely

Majestic fig trees

This was at the end of the dry season – it would be spectacular in the wet!

All the tracks are very well maintained

Large rock shelter possibly used by the Kuku Yalanji people

Mammoth fig tree

Mammoth is not an exageration

Great view of the Mossman River

An easy track but you will need to be prepared by wearing sturdy footwear and carrying water

The gentle up and down of the trail

A number of sections have very well formed boardwalks

Getting There

Mossman Gorge is 77km north of Cairns and 20km north of Port Douglas, and 2km from the township of Mossman.

You can self-drive to the Gorge from Cairns along the Captain Cook Highway.  Plenty of parking is available at the Mossman Gorge Centre.

A daily transfer is also available between Port Douglas and Mossman Gorge – you’ll find details at the Mossman Gorge Centre

Mossman Gorge trails (source Mossman Gorge Centre)

So much to see

Things to Know

Entry charges apply and the cost from 1 Apr 2018 to 31 Mar 2019 is:

  • Adults  $9.80
  • Children 5-15 years inclusive $4.85
  • Infants 0-4 years   Free
  • Family Pass (2 Adults + 2 Children)   $24.20

There is no footpath or pedestrian access from the car park to the Gorge, and the road leading to the Gorge is narrow and dangerous. As such, you will need to take the shuttle bus which departs every 15 minutes, between 8.00am and 5.30pm daily.  The shuttle bus ticket allows multiple trips from the Centre to the Gorge on the day of purchase only


This walk was undertaken by the team from Australian Hiker

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