Today is our first full day in Port Douglas and we have planned to drive out to Daintree and Mossman Gorge but before we depart for our day trip we go for a stroll down the main street of Port Douglas and looked at the shops as we passed by.
Daintree is a quaint little village located approximately one hour north of Port Douglas and is most popular for offering crocodile spotting cruises along the Daintree River. Since we experienced the cruise at Hartley’s Crocodile Farm yesterday we decided against going on a Daintree River cruise. The drive from Port Douglas to Daintree is similar to the Captain Cook Highway in terms of the scenery: there are a lot of forestation and sugar cane fields.
Our next port of call is the Mossman Gorge situated in the Daintree National Forest 20km from Port Douglas. We park the car in the car park outside the modern facility and take the shuttle bus 5 minutes down the road to the Gorge (a family pass for the shuttle costs $12.50 for 2 adults and 2 children). We follow the walking track weaving through the forest to the various lookout points of Mossman Gorge. The crystal clear water gushes downstream over the hundreds of rocks in the river, the currents strong enough to sweep swimmers in the area off the rocks they perch on and down the waterway. Bushwalking through the forest at Mossman Gorge was a tranquil experience, although it was unfortunate that the upper walking circuit and bridge was closed for maintenance works.
On our way back to our hotel, we stop for a photo in front of the iconic sugar cane and have a quick look at a lower section of the Mossman River where crocodiles are believed to inhabit according to the warning sign. We also stop by the beach and watch the somewhat murky water form waves that came crashing into shore. Surprisingly what seemed to be hundreds of people crowded the beach between the flags designated for swimming – a lot more than we had expected considering it was a cool afternoon in the middle of winter.
When we get back to our apartment in the middle of the afternoon we get ready to take a dip in the pool. I spent the next hour playing and swimming in the cool waters of the resort pool. We cook our own dinner tonight and go for a walk along the shopping strip via a brief stop at the beach. Tonight the clouds have cleared and we can see an ocean of stars shining in the night sky above us. The moment reminded me of Yosemite National Park when the stars were the only thing you could see in the pitch blackness of the night.