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Drift snorkelling on the Mossman River

  • Mossman, Queensland, Australia

  • Bucket List Experience

Last updated: 18 March, 2024

While adrenaline junkies might sneer at the idea of river snorkelling, there is nothing more exhilarating than drifting along under the jungle canopy of the Daintree Rainforest. The Mossman river carves its way through the etched sides of the Mossman Gorge, with sheer, rainforest-clad slopes rising up either side.

Along the way, swimmers will encounter an astonishing range of native animals – from turtles to water dragons and – if you’re really lucky – a platypus.

Whether paddling downriver or just drifting on an inflatable raft, river snorkelling is a delightful and very safe experience; the water in this part of the Mossman River is too cold for saltwater crocodiles. Drift snorkelling does not require any great athletic ability – just basic swimming skills and a taste for adventure.


Price from: £65
Minimum age: 4
Age suitable: 8+
When: All year around
Duration: 3.5+ hours

Getting there & doing it

Back Country Bliss Adventures provides transfers from either Port Douglas or Palm Cove to Mossman Gorge. Wetsuits, boots, snorkel masks and inflatable river sleds are all provided. People who weigh over 125kg cannot take part in this adventure. Snacks and water are provided on half-day tours, while a light lunch is included for those booking the full day.

When the river level is low (most of the year), it’s generally suitable for all ages (4+) and swimming abilities. When the river level is higher, the faster flowing water is only suitable for strong swimming adults (15+) with good fitness and mobility.

When to do it

Drift snorkelling is available all year round in both the dry and wet seasons. Water temperatures range from 16-22°C – thermal layers are provided during the winter months. Tours are only cancelled during extreme wet weather conditions.

Destination guides


Destination guides including or relevant to this experience

Port Douglas

  • Queensland, Australia

an aerial view of Port Douglas

Destination guide

Swish, cosmopolitan and delightfully laid-back, Port Douglas is an ideal stepping off point for trips to the Daintree and the Great Barrier Reef, and to connect with authentic indigenous culture.