On my recent trip up to tropical North Queensland and after leaving Port Douglas on our way up to the Daintree National Park, we stopped at the beautiful Mossman Gorge. It is located in the home of the Kuku Yalanji people, and the local elders administer the visitor information centre and entry to the gorge and rapids. It was good to see you local people at the tourist centre. The gorge itself is in the Southern part of Daintree National Park, and covers the Mossman River and the adjacent Rex Creek. The rapids were wild and the current strong. It looked dangerous to go for a dip in the water (no crocodiles in these waters), and sure enough we found out that a couple of days after we visited the place a Taiwanese tourist lost his life after getting swept away in the river catching his feet in the rocks. Searching on the web I found that he has not been the only one. Luckily my spidey senses were tuned in. I don’t understand how they couldn’t have been though, given that there were boulders in the river taller than me – a sure-fire sign that this body of water has the ability to “move” big things.

This was my first taste of the Daintree Rainforest, and all I could think was wow! It was lush and overgrown and a veritable microcosm of all sorts of flora and fauna. The streams running down the slopes were tranquil and beautiful.

Mossman_Gorge_20140213_0004

What I was not expecting was the huge variety of fauna that lived in the macro world. After you tuned into your surroundings, every step yielded a new and for the most part small discovery. These tiny mushrooms, rooted into the tree, were no bigger than my fingernails. I could hear a Mary Poppins tune in my head.

Mossman_Gorge_20140213_0019

I was awestruck by the rapids. They were strong and flowing with big huge rock boulders creating a path for the water to flow. The ones you can see in the middle of the shot were all bigger than me in height.

Mossman_Gorge_20140213_0021

The majority of our surroundings were green, but there was the odd dash of colour in the fruits of certain plants. I am pretty sure that these were not safe to eat.

Mossman_Gorge_20140213_0028

I was hoping to see a cassowary or a forest dragon, but what we did get stopped in our tracks by was a brush turkey. Not the prettiest of birds, and this one decided that it was going to walk directly across the track in front of us and scrap the forest floor underneath it across the track. I don’t know what it was trying to achieve but it was definitely not scared of us, proceeding to go about its business regardless of our presence.

Mossman_Gorge_20140213_0030

Bidding farewell to the bird we returned to the shuttle bus, but not before seeing more weird and wonderful flora. I have no idea what the round things growing on the side of this tree were. So I am going to call them tree polyps.

Mossman_Gorge_20140213_0033

A beautiful introduction to the rainforest which was only going to get better as we crossed the Daintree River.