Mossman Gorge – Saturday 5th November 2011


It’s always the same, when you want to wake really early! You can’t get to sleep or you sleep badly. When the fire alarm sounds at 1 o’clock we leap out of bed and out of our room to muster! But there is not a soul anywhere about! No-one even bothered to check what is happening. Apparently, someone was smoking in bed, the receptionist tells John nonchalantly. We don’t bother to ask if she is worried that no one reacted.

Described as “a good first experience of rainforest”, I am not sure what I am expecting from Mossman Gorge. But we feel seeing it at 6.30 a.m. will enhance the experience. The car park is tiny, there is a picnic area and several signposts indicating walks, some described as 15 minutes long!

I think we are shocked that it is so organized. The path is concrete, or metal grid with stone or metal steps and handrails. Every so often signs inform you of flora or fauna. There’s a lovely river, rushing over huge boulders and in places, small sandy beaches. Clearly the coach groups swim here, but we are looking for turtles or tree dragons or birds. There are very few.

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We take our time, savoring the silence and searching each space to ensure we capture the shape of the leaves, the tiniest sounds, the eerie quality of the light.

Eventually we reach a 2 km path with has a more natural quality. We heard amazing bird song but could not catch the birds among the dense leaves. Best was a kingfisher who called us for ages and they waited while we took his photo.

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It took us 3 hours! As we arrived back at the car park, the buses were just arriving. It would not have been the same with people! Some magic would have been lost. Some beauty eroded!

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