Posted by: travelrat | August 24, 2011

Mossman Gorge and Port Douglas


Mossman Gorge: 20th August 2010

They spell it with two Ss, so it doesn’t get confused with the other Mosman’ explained Mal, as we drove up the Mossman Gorge. I think he was joking for, spelling or not, I can’t see how anyone could possibly confuse a small town, a river and a gorge in northern Queensland with a suburb of Sydney, about 1500 miles away. But, maybe there’s another Mosman (or Mossman?) closer?

The gorge is a National Park, which has been handed back to its original indigenous owners. They don’t allow cars within the Park, only tour buses. Car owners must leave their vehicles outside the park, and ride upon the free shuttle bus, and enjoy one of several walks through the forest around a clear (usually) clean and swift-flowing river. Swimming is usually allowed in one or two places, too … if the water isn’t too muddy, which may hide a crocodile … I hadn’t forgotten a croc named Mossman at Australia Zoo, named after the river in which he’d been captured.


All the books say crocodiles don’t like clear, running water, but Mal checked anyway, because crocodiles can’t read!


Port Douglas, our last call, was a bit of a disappointment. Once a mining town, which has been developed as a resort, it seemed to lack the atmosphere usually associated with a place of a transient or incoming population.


But, maybe I’m being unfair; maybe I’ll change my mind if I ever visit for longer. Most of the short time we had there was spent queuing at the pharmacist for blister plasters … of course, I got behind an old man who insisted on describing every ailment he’d had since childhood to the lone girl behind the counter. (She did offer, several times, to go and get the pharmacist, but he’d have none of it!).


So, after what seemed like hours, I headed for the pub where we’d arranged to meet up. They didn’t have ‘Cascade’; will Hahn Premium do? Anything, as long as it’s cold and wet … and I was only halfway through it when the bus arrived to take us home.




  1. Hi Keith,
    What a shame a lot of your time was taken up standing in line, these things always seem to happen, but when you have only a short amount of time it is not good.

    A lovely photo of the rock pool, so cool and refreshing, a lot of these places, this one is no exception.

    • Jasper Carrott coined a beautiful word for people who hold queues up like that (e.g. those who take 20 minutes to understand that they can’t charge anything to a maxed-out card, or count out £6.98 exactly in small change) He called them ‘pitherers’ , which is so lovely and descriptive that I often use it myself.

      As for Port Douglas, I’ve heard so much about it, and one of their residents was kind enough to put a link to this article in his ‘paper’ that I’d like to go back sometime, and get a proper impression of the place.

  2. Those rocks are HUGE. I really want to see them for real. And yes, heaven forbid anyone should confuse that Mossman with our Mosman. The two just don’t compare. Hahaha.

    • Judging by those rocks, I’d say that river gets really angry on occasion!

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