Swimming in the Mossman River is not recommended at any time for weak, unskilled or inexperienced swimmers. Even the strongest swimmers are advised to exercise extreme caution and take their own safety seriously while in and around the Mossman River. People have been injured and deaths have occurred at Mossman Gorge.
The Mossman River is an unpredictable and inherently dangerous waterway that can and does change drastically from day to day, hour to hour and even minute to minute. The Mossman River is also unsupervised and water conditions are not regularly monitored. Entering the Mossman River can be dangerous even when it appears calm and shallow near the shore, due to a combination of strong currents, cold deep water, and submerged objects (including rocks and floating logs). Water conditions can change very quickly and unexpectedly, particularly in times of high rain, and flash flooding can occur even when it is not raining in the immediate area. It is very important to assess the conditions carefully before entering the water.
Stinging trees are found occasionally alongside walking tracks in Mossman Gorge. They grow approximately 3–4 m high and have large, heart-shaped leaves with serrated edges. Do not touch these plants as this will almost certainly result in a very painful sting. If you are stung and symptoms are severe, seek medical advice.
If you intend to hike within the park beyond the rainforest circuit track, you must discuss your plans with park staff. Remember to tell a responsible person where you are going and when you expect to return. Let them know your route and contact them on your return. Have a contingency plan in place if you fail to contact them by the agreed time. If you change your plans, inform them.
For more information, please read the guidelines on safety in parks and forests.