The Mossman Gorge has always held a special place in the hearts of Douglas residents and those who choose to visit this special place. Today, Natalie chats with Assistant General Manager, Rachael Hodges, about what visitors can expect to see when visiting, the incredible achievements in Indigenous tourism and her favourite Mossman Gorge experience.
What can visitors expect from a day at Mossman Gorge?
Mossman Gorge is a part of the World Heritage Listed Daintree Rainforest. Upon arrival at the Centre you will be greeted by our friendly staff who will provide information about Mossman Gorge and how to get there.
There are various walking trails throughout the National Park which guests can do at their own pace taking in the natural surrounds of the oldest living rainforest in the world. If guests are lucky they may come across a platypus wading in a stream or the Boyd’s Rainforest Dragon.
There is also the opportunity for visitors to learn about the cultural significance of the rainforest by undertaking a Dreamtime Walk with a local Kuku Yalanji guide.
An array of local artworks and retail items are available in the Retail Shop/Art Gallery and the Mayi Café provides breakfast and lunch options for patrons.
Tell us about some of the Mossman Gorge’s fantastic achievements in Indigenous Tourism.
The Mossman Gorge Centre has won numerous awards at both the state, national and international level. The Centre attained a Gold Award for Indigenous Tourism & Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander Tourism in 2014, 2016 and again in 2018. At the Australian Tourism Awards, the Centre achieved the Bronze Award in Indigenous Tourism in 2014 and 2016.
The Centre takes pride in the fact that the Dreamtime Walks was the first Indigenous tourism activity to be ‘Respecting Our Culture’ certified in Queensland. The Mossman Gorge Centre is also Eco-Certified and a Green Travel Leader through Eco-Tourism Australia.
What is your favourite part of the Mossman Gorge experience?
The Dreamtime Walks is a memorable experience for many guests as they are led on private walking trails with a Kuku Yalanji tour guide. This experience allows our visitors to immerse themselves in the one of the oldest living cultures in the world and learn about how the Kuku Yalanji people lived in the rainforest using the plants and animals for food and medicine.
The traditional Smoking Ceremony at the start of the tour is culturally significant and provides a layer of protection for guests to ensure their safety while visiting Kuku Yalanji country.
What differences have the guides noticed in the Gorge since the shuttle bus service began taking visitors and locals to and from the Gorge?
Since the opening of the Mossman Gorge Centre, Roy Gibson (Kuku Yalanji Elder and Tour Guide) has noticed the return of wildlife to the area such as wallabies and on one very rare occasion a Tree Kangaroo was also spotted at the Gorge.
The restriction on public vehicles entering Mossman Gorge has also benefited the environment as the exhaust fumes/carbon monoxide has decreased significantly. The Centre operates buses that have low emissions thus contributing to a substantial reduction in greenhouse gases.
Community members now have a more private life in that the general public is no longer driving through the middle of the community and this in turn has also made a safer environment for children crossing the road as there is a lot less traffic.
Post COVID-19 predictions are that sustainable tourism will be a strong focus for visitors. What is Mossman Gorge doing to promote sustainability into the future?
The Mossman Gorge Centre is an eco-friendly business and we have a strong commitment to caring for country and ensuring its sustainability into the future. This is documented in our Environmental Management Plan and is an important tool in identifying what adverse effects the conducting of business may have on the environment.
The Centre has solar power and there are over 380 panels located on the roof of the facilities thus reducing our greenhouse emissions.
Our yearly internal traineeships allow the Centre to maintain, preserve and sustain the cultural beliefs and practices of the Kuku Yalanji people.
You can find the Mossman Gorge Visitor Centre at 212 Mossman Gorge Rd, Mossman Gorge QLD 4873 daily between 8.00am and 6.00pm daily from the 20th of July 2020 or give them a call on 4099 7000 or follow them on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/MossmanGorgeCentre