Josephine Falls, Cairns, Australia


The Josephine waterfalls and swimming hole are ranked amongst some of the most beautiful waterfalls in Tropical North Queensland Australia, and as such have been used in many television commercials. Visitors can swim in the crystal clear waters, and relax on the sandy beach as the gentle breeze rustles leaves high in the overhead rainforest canopy.

Please Note: there are restricted swimming areas and they are restricted for good reason so please make sure you read the signs and abide by them for your own safety and those of your rescuers!

Book a fun day tour to visit Josephine waterfalls and many other beautiful locations in the Wooroonooran National Park with a tour operator and see so much more of the attractions of Far North Queensland.

Tour 1. Full Day Josephine Falls - Babinda Boulders - Milla Milla Falls - Curtin Fig Tree

Tour 2.  Half Day Babinda Boulders - Josephine Falls

How to get to Josephine Falls

Departing from Cairns city heading west on the Mulgrave Road and driving south towards Townsville, the Mulgrave Road soon changes its name to become the Bruce Highway. The Bruce Highway is part of the National Highway and is also known as Highway 1 on some road maps or car navigations systems.

Sit back and enjoy the surrounding scenery as you drive approximately 75 km from Cairns to a little country town called Mirriwinni which lies just south of Babinda. Take the turn off to Mount Bartle Frere, the highest mountain in Queensland and you will then just need to follow the signs for around 8 kilometres to Josephine Falls.

From the spacious car park, there is a really beautiful 700-metre rainforest walk to the waterfalls, viewing decks and swimming area via a bitumen paved track that can also cater for prams or wheelchairs.

What To Do At Josephine Falls 

Josephine Falls is a great place to spend a full day, half day or just a visit and quick swim with a day tour operators. The public facilities here allow you to set up a barbeque and picnic in the purpose built facilities and relax in this beautiful rainforest environment with your family and friends for a day.

If you are an adventurer and love bushwalking or you are a dedicated a hiker then you may like to choose from a 1.2 klm walk to the top waterfalls, a 10 klm Bartle Frere hike to Broken Nose (return) or a 15 klm (one way) walk Bartle Frere up to the Atherton Tablelands over the back of the mountain. We do not recommend the latter 15 klm hike unless you are really fit and can spare 2 days just in case of incidents or weather issues leaving you caught out and having to sleep overnight on the mountain.

Josephine Falls is loved by Cairns locals all year round and a definite destination for nature lovers and backpackers alike. When you mingle in the clubs and bars around Cairns city you will hear the backpackers talking about their day’s adventure on the granite rock slides, the deep crystal clear rock pools and the absolute beauty of the place.

If you are scared of some of the Australian wildlife the most dangerous thing that you may come across at Josephine Falls are snakes that may lay across the tracks sunning themselves so just keep any eye out for where you are walking. This region of rainforest is well known for a large variety of butterflies and wonderful tropical birds as they flutter from the wild flowers to the rainforest trees and plants.

Is it Safe to Swim At Josephine Falls?

Yes Josephine Falls is a safe place to swim but you must follow the directional sings and don't do anything silly. 

For safety reasons the top section of the waterfalls are not accesible to visitors for good reason! It can be dangerous!

We recommend you never jump or dive into the water as there may be submerged rocks that have moved during the flood seasons. During the flood season the waters may also rise unexpectantly leaving you stranded on the river bank or even in the middle of the river. Leave the water immediately if the water changes colour as this is an indication of water making its way down the mountain.

Like anything you do in the great outdoors sensibility must prevail at all times and naturally you must keep an eye on your children.

Look After Josephine Falls

We ask that whatever you bring into Josephine Falls you take home with you. These National Parks have coin operated barbeque facilities for everyones enjoyment and public toilets in the day use area adjacent to the carpark.

So for a great day of fun and adventure make sure you have a visit to Josephine Falls when you are next visiting Cairns and Tropical North Queensland in Australia. 

Take a look at some more popular swimming holes and waterfalls around Cairns such as Babinda Boulders, Behana Gorge, Crystal Cascades and Lake Barrine. Also take a look at some Daintree Rainforest tours and attractions.

Waterfalls Fun Day Out | 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)

We head off on our Cairns rainforest and waterfalls tour at 7.15am and return to Cairns around 7.00pm after we have explored all the most beautiful waterfalls and swimming holes behind Cairns. See Babinda Boulders, Josephine Falls, Millaa Millaa Falls, Malanda Pub, Mount Hypipamee, Curtain Fig Tree, Lake Eacham and enjoy some Platypus spotting.

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Castaways Resort and Spa Mission Beach

Castaways Resort & Spa located approximately 1 hour from Josephine Falls is a great base when exploring the Wet Tropics region.  Enjoy beachfront location, great restaurant and bar and for a bit of pampering treat yourself to a treatment at the day spa.

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Best Value Accommodation Deals in Cairns