Heading north from Trinity Beach and travlyn one of the most picturesque stretches of coastline in Australia is a blessing. Yep – the bends open out to patches of beach vegetation and havens for camping, and the colours of the sea really do sparkle.
A detour to Port Douglas was almost mandatory, but rather than seeking out the glitzy shopping strip, we ventured up to Flagstaff Hill and Lookout to see more of that dazzling coastline. There was plenty to capture the sense of history, and the laneway to the old Lighthouse could easily have been missed.
The old courthouse and everyday local community facilities are in stark contrast with the ritzy accommodation offerings and the number of occupied marina berths – both co-existing comfortably to cater for wintering visitors.
Then it was on to Mossman. Cane fields and mango trees and tropical fruits rolled out, and the town itself had a couple of unexpected highlights beyond the typical colonial architecture of its pub, especially St David’s Church’s unique history or the touches of the Medterranean brought by the earlier migrant cane workers who settled the area.
Having heard much about the Mossman Gorge and its Centre, we were anticipating a great adventure. The Centre has been developed by the traditional local Bama people and it is a real treat. Tourist tours are on offer; the shuttle bus service to the gorge is efficient and frequent; the Visitor Centre displays local artists and their quality works and the cafe is hard to beat for its history information, its tasty food choices and its friendly service.
Environmentally relaxing walks accompanied by the background sounds of the water rushing over the rocks are well-designed to take visitors through the different types of vegetation and glimpse the different butterfly varieties. We managed to find plenty of fish in the still water need the banks.There were plenty of information boards and viewing platforms over the river.
A peaceful way to spend a few hours in that northern paradise.