Babinda Boulders- An Iconic Cairns Attraction

Surrounded by lush rainforest, the Babinda Boulders is an iconic Cairns attraction and popular swimming hole and tourist attraction south of Cairns. It is a classic example of the fast flowing tropical creeks in the area that are perfect for afternoon dips in the cool water to combat Far North Queenslands tropical heat.

The creek is lined with huge boulders and the clear fresh water weaves between the obstacles to fill large pools where people can swim. Visitors to the Babinda Boulders are often amazed that the water is quite cool, even during mid-summer.

Just behind the Boulders is Mt Bartle Frere, Queensland's tallest mountain, from which Babinda Creek's cool water originates. The section of the creek where the water rushes over massive granite boulders, smoothing and shaping them, is referred to as the Babinda Boulders.

Book a half day tour or full day tour and see beautiful Babinda Boulders, Josephine Falls and stunning rainforest for yourself

Babinda Boulders Cairns Australia

How To get To Devil's Pool at Babinda Boulders

The Devil's Pool walk is a 1.3 kilometre return walk along the Babinda Creek downstream from the Babinda Boulders picnic area. Slightly undulating along a rough bitumen track, the walk leads through the rainforest to two viewing platforms where the creek cascades down a series of spectacular waterfalls, granite boulders and washpools.    

The Devil's Pool Legend

The Babinda Boulders offers not just a beautiful swimming hole, but this rainforest region also holds great significance for local Aboriginal people.

According to legend a beautiful young girl named Oolana, from the Yidinji people, married a respected elder from her tribe named Waroonoo. Shortly after their union another tribe moved into the area and a handsome young man came into her life. His name was Dyga and the pair soon fell in love. Realising the adulterous crime they were committing, the young lovers escaped their tribes and fled into the valleys.

The elders captured them, but Oolana broke free from her captors and threw herself into the still waters of what is now known as Babinda Boulders, calling for Dyga to follow her. As Dyga hit the waters, her anguished cries for her lost lover turned the still waters into a rushing torrent and the land shook with sorrow. Huge boulders were scattered around the creek and the crying Oolana disappeared among them.

Aboriginal legend says her spirit still guards the boulders and that her calls for her lost lover can still be heard. Now this area is known as Devil's Pool.

While swimming at Babinda Boulders, it is important to be safety conscious and not take risks. The fast flowing water of the Devil's Pool has taken 18 lives since 1959. These victims have mostly been young men and women behaving carelessly who ventured too close to the deceptive currents and rocks. This tragedy must be avoided so please be careful.

But don't let that put you off! It is a beautiful place and with common sense it is very safe. Stick to the designated swimming pools, and you'll be able to enjoy the Babinda Boulders just like the locals have been for years. If you have been driving for many hours along the highway, or are just in need of a refreshing swim, the Babinda Boulders are a wonderful treat.

Book a Tour to Babinda Boulders and Devil's Pool

Book a half day tour with ATE or the full day tour  to see the Babina Boulders and Josephine Falls or self-drive yourself to see them.

Located just 7 kilometres from Babinda and 58km south of Cairns and 84kms north of Mission Beach.

Self - Drive to the Babinda Boulders Swimming Hole

From Cairns head south along the Bruce Highway for about 1 hour and turn right into the town of Babinda. Road signs then direct the way to the swimming hole.

The drive between Cairns and Babinda passes through spectacular mountainous scenery and luscious rainforest as well as sugar and banana farming communities. Queensland's two highest mountains; Mt Bartle Frere and Mt Bellenden Ker are both visible along the drive.

The township of Babinda is worth a look at while you're in the area. Although it may look like yet another sleepy country town, Babinda does have some interesting facts

  • Many of North Queensland's best artists choose to call Babinda home
  • The rainforest surrounding Babinda is kept lush and verdant due to Babinda's high annual rainfall

When visiting Far North Queensland and Cairns, visitors love to see the wonderful rainforests, waterfalls and swimming holes located just behind Cairns city.  

Self drive or book a tour for yourself, your family and friends to enjoy these World Heritage Listed rainforests and the cool waters of the Cairns mountains and waterfalls.

Behana Gorge - Take a hike, go swimming or even join a small tour to go abseiling and canyoning in Behana Gorge a simply idealic rainforest attraction.

Crystal Cascades - A secluded fresh water swimming hole not far from the city of Cairns that locals simply love to spend some well earned relaxation time. Enjoy a barbeque, swim in the mountain fresh waters or join an adrenaline rushing canyoning and abseiling tour to experience Crystal Cascades in your way.

Josephine Falls - Approximately 7.5km from the summit of Bartle Frere, Josephine Creek tumbles over granite boulders forming Josephine Falls. The Josephine Falls walking track is 1.2km return and wheelchair accessible. This trail also provides access to Bartle Frere Trail which is a 10km return good hike. From here you could head onto the Atherton Tablelands making it a 2 day walk.  

Lake Barrine - This ancient volcanic maar is around 60km's or an hours drive from Cairns to the Atherton Tablelands via the Gillies Highway or the Kennedy Highway or the Mossman-Mt molloy Road if you are coming from Port Douglas. Enjoy fresh cooked scones at the legendary Lake Barrine Teahouse then take a swim in the volcano crater, take a hike around the volcano rim and see the Twin Kauri pines and abundance of wildlife.

There are so many wonderful places to visit in Cairns that offer visitors a true getaway in the rawness of the tropical rainforests to enjoy the peace, serenity and wildlife. 

View more pages of Cairns attractions and plan your next holiday in Far North Queensland Australia.

Cairns Rainforests and Waterfalls tours on the Atherton Tablelands

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Cairns Rainforest Tours | Waterfalls & Paronella Park | NEXP
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    10.5 hours (approx)

Visit the famous attraction of Paronella Park, the Curtain fig Tree, Millaa Millaas Falls, Theresa Falls, the Twin Kauri Pines, Lake Barrine and more, walk through the surrounding Wooroonooran National Park Rainforest and hear of the Aboriginal myths and legends that originate in this breathtaking environment.

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Cairns Waterfalls Tour | Rock Sliding

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Cairns Rainforest & Waterfalls Tour | Atherton Tablelands Discovery Tour | ATE-WW
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  • Duration:

    11.5 hours (approx)

Join our Cairns rainforest tour and visit wonderful waterfalls and swimming holes. Visit Babinda Boulders, Josephine Falls, Millaa Millaa Falls, Mount Hypipamee, Curtain Fig Tree, Lake Eacham Volcano, see Platypus and go to the Malanda Pub for lunch.

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Best Value Accommodation Deals in Cairns