I’m not sure that the “Mossman Gorge Swimming Hole” is the official name for this (very) popular swimming spot along the Mossman River… or whether it even has an official name. If you want to avoid the crowds, go late in the day after most people have gone (which may mean you’ll need to walk down the road, if you miss the last shuttle bus).
The crystal-clear water of the Mossman River cascading over granite boulders forms watering holes surrounded by lush green rainforest. These sheltered retreats offer the perfect location for a refreshing dip to break up your walk through the Gorge. Let the troubles of the daily grind float away in the tranquil surroundings and take the time to appreciate nature at its best.
The river gets very deep towards the middle, and the currents can get swift – especially after heavy rain. Officially, the Mossman Gorge Centre states: “Swimming in the Mossman River is not recommended… The Mossman River is an unpredictable and inherently dangerous waterway that can and does change drastically – and quickly.” Despite this warning and danger signs at the entry point to the water, there’s almost always people enjoying a swim here.
Par of the attraction of the Mossman Gorge Swimming Hole is a small sandy area on the banks of the river, which provides easy access to the water.
Or, if leaping into the refreshing water is more your thing… there are plenty of boulders to choose from.
Getting to Mossman Gorge Swimming Hole
Mossman Gorge is about 75km (one hour) north of Cairns and 20km (20min) north of Port Douglas (and about 2km from the town of Mossman). The Mossman Gorge Centre has a large carpark, with regular bus shuttles between the Visitor Centre and the start of the short walk to the Mossman Gorge Swimming Hole (fees apply). It’s about 400m (one-way) along a sealed path from the carpark / bus stop to the swimming hole on the river.
Although the Mossman Gorge web sites states “There’s no footpath or pedestrian access from the car park to the Gorge” you can walk the 2km along the sealed road to the start of the bushwalking track – but it’s not the most exciting walk (if you miss the last bus back, you’ll need to walk back down the road). No private vehicle access is permitted beyond the Mossman Gorge Centre.