A land of stunning contrasts, from the sugar town of Mossman, framed by rainforest-covered mountain ranges, to the bustling beachside tourist town of Port Douglas, to the ancient landscape of Mossman Gorge with its moss-covered boulders among the clear and cool waters of the Mossman River - this Local Landscape has it all!
The Natural Environment
Starting at the approach to Mossman, with giant osprey nests perched atop the power poles, it is clear that this is a place where people and nature co-exist.
The range of wildlife throughout the region is mind-boggling. Australia’s largest snake, the Amethystine Python, is a regular sight in the landscape, reaching staggering lengths of up to 8.5m! Huge, formidable Estuarine Crocodiles make their home in the area’s waterways, with quite a few well-known residents frequently spotted in the Daintree River.
At the other extreme in size, many of the region’s smaller, but infinitely varied, bugs, insects and frogs have failed to recognise the distinction between people’s homes and the great outdoors, making themselves comfortable in any convenient nook or cranny around the house!
Residents typically view these wildlife encounters as part and parcel of life in this part the tropics.
Communities and Culture
The locals of the picturesque town of Mossman, set amid cane fields, are renowned for their friendly, country hospitality.
Just a short drive to the south-east is the tourist centre of Port Douglas, with its bustling coastal resort lifestyle, boutique shops and restaurant-lined main street. Its beaches are the quintessential image of tropical north Queensland and provide a place to unwind and relax.
Although the contrast between the two main towns is apparent, there is still a connection through the region and its communities, from the coast to the ranges, in the shared appreciation of the natural environment and satisfaction of living the dynamic tropical lifestyle.
An overwhelming vote for de-amalgamation from Cairns Regional Council in 2013 is a demonstration of the self-determination and individual character of the area. With a population comprising a diversity of fringe and mainstream cultures, backgrounds and ages, and a blend of tradition and new age thought, there remains a cohesiveness and commonality in the intimate relationship between people and the natural world.
Traditional Owners have a connection to the area going back many thousands of years and an ongoing management role through multiple rangers programs. Guides from the World Class Indigenous Eco Tourism Centre at Mossman Gorge provide a cultural and natural experience for tourists from around the world. Click on the Local Cultural Connections link for more information on the Traditional Owner groups and history for this Local Landscape.