Off The Beaten Track .. Near Cairns, North Queensland.
The small town of Babinda, which vies with Innisfail and Tully for the wettest town in Australia each year, hides one of North Queensland’s best kept tourism secrets. The Babinda Boulders.
Situated on a reach of Babinda Creek, at the base of the highest mountain in Queensland, Mount Bartle Frere, The Babinda Boulders provides a number of wonderful activities to make your trip into the rain forest well worth while.
The pure fresh waters tumble down from the mountain, winding their way over and around gigantic granite boulders, having shaped and smoothed them over thousands of years to create a multitude of beautiful rock pools. The pools give the swimmer respite from North Queensland’s Summer heat with the crystal clear water having retained it’s chill from it’s origins atop mount Bartle Frere.
There are paths and canopy walks from which to enjoy the scenic Tropical Rain Forest and the wild beauty of the river.
Just down stream from the safe swimming holes is an area known as The Devils Pool. While the pool has a wild and majestic attraction it should be approached with great care. There have been 15 deaths at the pools since 1959; mainly young men venturing too close to the edge, or actually trying to ride the fast flowing river through it.
The Babinda Boulders is not just a beautiful swimming hole, the area also holds great significance for local Aboriginal people.
According to legend a beautiful 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.
Finding The Babinda Boulders:
You head south from Cairns 58 km, or north from Innisfail 30 kms, to Babinda. Drive up the main street and follow the signs and you will find The Boulders about 7kms from town.