Considering the major tourism Meccas just south of town, Mossman is rather subdued and unaffected, and for too many travellers it’s just a blink as they speed on their way to the much-vaunted Daintree village and rainforest.
The town itself sits among the verdant and colourful sugar cane under the watchful eye of Mt Demi’s twin peaks. Perhaps as proof of the universality of some religious ideas, the local Aboriginal people, the Kuku Yalanji, named one of Mt Demi’s odd rock formations “Kubidi”, or Good Shepherd, some 6000 years before the birth of JC. Mossman was largely built on the back of sugar cane juice and it remains the centre for the sugar industry north of Cairns.
“I’ll never forget swimming with platypus and Barramundi in the Mossman River.” – Ken Boundy
Today, Mossman is better known for its gorge. The Kuku Yalanji remain tightly connected to this part of their land and run an excellent number of guided walks from their centre on Gorge Road. Mossman is also home to one of the more quirky theatres in Australia, the Karnak Playhouse, just north of town, established by 1963 Oscar nominee Diane Cilento (Best Supporting Actress in Tom Jones).
Mossman may soon shrug off its sedate reputation; in February 2009 the town hosted an Adults Only, month-long swingers festival at its local nudist resort.
Where? // 76km (1.5hrs) north of Cairns.
Did you know? // Mossman used to be spelled Mosman. The spelling was changed to avoid confusion with the suburb of Sydney, despite the pronunciation in Sydney matching the spelling in Qld.
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