I have been playing catch up with a few of my posts, there is just so much to see and do in Port Douglas that its hard to find time to sit down in front a laptop. It can also be hard to know where to start when some of things we have been doing have been so immersive and interactive that when trying to share it, I dont want to miss anything.
Truly, Mossman Gorge is breathtakingly beautiful. As soon as you drive into the visitors centre you are met by smiling faces, all belonging to residents of the indigenous community based in the gorge itself. We were lucky enough to get to sit and speak with one of the elders and visionary behind the gorge visitor centre and indigenous tours, Roy Gibson. Roy spoke of the gorge as it was and the vision he had for its future which has now come true. He dreamed of providing opportunities for his people by developing the visitors centre, the base for the tours which includes gift shop, with almost everything within made onsite, cafe and conference area. Roy has proven that focus and determination can achieve anything, years of meeting with local and state government, finding investors and designing a modern facility that makes the most of its surroundings is a true achievement anyone could be proud of. Roy is especially proud of the fact that a large number of his people and future generations can expect security that this centre provides. All the staff of the visitors centre, the gift shop, the cafe, the shuttle bus drivers and the walking tour operators are all members of the local community and all have the same thing in mind for the future, the preservation of their local culture. We always appreciate spending time with passionate and driven individuals and are grateful for his time.
The visitors centre is set up is down a short shuttle ride from the gorge itself. We met up with our tour group and charismatic tour guide, Mooks. We boarded the shuttle and headed up to the base for our walking tour. The tour starts with a smoking ceremony, part of local and indigenous tradition. Smoking ceremonies are used for protection, both to protect yourself from the spirits of the forest and to protect the forest from the bad energies that you can carry inside yourself. The fire is loaded up with bark from the paper bark tree and the smoke produced carries away any negative energy. The tours are run on the old hunting trails of the indigenous people and snake through the gorge. We hear stories of survival, tips and tricks to start fire, cure illness and find food and water no matter the circumstances. All of this is conveyed energetically by Mooks, a tour guide of over 20 years. He told us stories of his upbringing in the Rain Forest, raised by his grandparents, he never even had any exposure to our culture until he was 18 years old. His fondest memory of his career as a tour guide was when Prince Charles came for a tour, he said there were snipers in the Rain forest, bomb checks on the shuttle buses and the whole park was shut down while the Prince did his tour. The tour concluded with Billy Tea and Damper back at base while waiting for the shuttle bus to return.
We continue to explore the gorge on the self guided tour closed to the Visitors centre. Board walks and walkways were constructed through the Rain forest so not to disturb the Eco system of the forest floor. We were lucky enough to spot large native lizards soaking up the morning sun, amazing Ulysses butterflies flying around the edge of the river and colorful dragonflies resting on boulders in amongst the roar of the river below the boardwalk. We were warned not to swim in the river as just yesterday there had been a flash flood after rain had fallen in the mountains upstream and stranded guests on the far side of the river for hours. The river was still full of tourists willing to brave the flow of the river, the clear water of the waterholes was to much to resist in the tropical heat. We finished our tour of the Rain forest back at the visitors centre and had made a plan to explore the rest of the Daintree from further up the coast in Daintree Village and Cape Tribulation later in the week but now it was time to get organised for our day on the Great Barrier Reef first thing tomorrow. #Daintree #Mossmangorge #aspiringadventurers
- Aspiring Adventurers