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Mossman, Queensland the place to be

Wandering Wednesday...

Mossman Gorge Forest Walk, Daintree Rainforest, Queensland, Australia

Are you wearing your runners, sneakers, plimsolls, daps, gym shoes, trainers or whatever you call them where you're from? We're off for a walk in the woods...although not just any old woods. Today we've taken the fifteen minute drive through the towering sugar cane fields ready for harvest, from Port Douglas to Mossman. Sorry for the pun but life is sweet as we arrive at Australia's largest rainforest in the Daintree National Park!
 
Mossman Gorge is a World Heritage listed rainforest, home to the Kuku Yalanji people, the areas traditional Aboriginal landowners. Twelve months ago a new indigenous eco tourism site was built here and visitors arriving at the Visitors Centre have the choice of either a self guided tour, or to purchase the Ngadiku Dreamtime Walk with an indigenous guide.
 
 
We take the self guided tour option and board the bus ($6 per adult) which takes us from the car park to the edge of the rainforest. The paths are well marked, there is a short river section which leads us to the fast flowing Mossman river look out and mountain ranges behind.
 
 
Here those willing to brave the crystal clear waters, strip off for a quick plunge, clinging onto the massive granite boulders which look like giant marbles littering the river. They gasp in shock, as the icy waters numb their bodies. I'm sure it's invigorating and for many a must-do part of their visit but I'm not getting in, it is far too chilly ... plus I want to make it round for the rest of the walk without chafing!!
 
There is also a very cool suspension bridge crossing Rex Creek which I defy any adult to walk across, without their inner child coming out, and adding a little bounce to the already unsteady structure for those following behind... Ha! Sorry no photos it was too wobbly...
 
 
There are two sections of elevated boardwalk which take us up into the lower canopy for a possums eye view of the rainforest. Here I am wishing I had paid more attention in my geography lessons all those moons ago, when tropical rainforests of the Amazon, interesting but irrelevant to a British teenager, were the lesson of the day...
 
I remember four layers of a rainforest, but I must admit the details (Emergent, Canopy, Understory and Forest Floor) I had to google...!!! Duh... I should have asked the kids, all Aussie kids do rainforests in Primary school...
 
 
There are many things which strike you wandering around, firstly how big everything is. The emergent giant trees grow much higher than the average canopy height and can be over 60ms high. Some of their trunks will be nearly 5 ms round...
 
 
Secondly how green it all is, here at the Daintree they get around 120 days of rain a year. We are fortunate to be there on a dry day... One of the only dry days of the holiday!!
 
 
It feels like at every point we turn we see something interesting...Whether it is the sheer size of the ferns, or the buttress roots, curtain figs or strangler figs...
 
 
The full walk is approximately 3kms - a fraction of the overall tropical rainforest in the Daintree National Park but its easy accessibility, and clear walking paths make it an ideal introduction to the area. We find as we head away from the water holes we have the path practically to ourselves.
 
Silky Oak Lodge
After all that walking we have built up an appetite and head off to Silky Oaks Lodge which looks a fabulous place to stay. It has a choice of Riverhouses and Deluxe Tree houses overlooking the Mossman river. I'm eyeing up a return trip here 'sans enfants' - quick let's think up some special occasion to celebrate...It's going on my Bucket List. The Healing Water Spa has been a previous World Luxury Spa Award winner. Yep it's perfect...
 
Lush tropical gardens at Silky Oaks Lodge
Today it is the Treehouse restaurant which brings us here. We love the way the restaurant is open-sided onto the river and rainforest. The staff are friendly and welcoming to a scruffy family up for a splurge. Although I do fish out my hairbrush on the way in, and with a 'This looks posh,' attempt to tame my unruly locks. Unfortunately humidity hair resists all attempts of order...the wild look is here to stay and anyway we have reserved and, joy of joys, are shown to one of the best tables. This place is going up my Bucket List right up there with Antarctica and Machu, ok well maybe just below but it was a great place!!
 
The food was beautifully presented, each dish like I imagine from a Masterchef kitchen. Treehouse is truly befitting of it's claim as one of Northern Queensland's premier dining experiences. Just look at the pudding...
One of my all time favourite puddings - and I've had a few!
Anyway, no time to get too comfy, we're off to spot crocodiles next...
 
Little Wandering Wren

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