Babinda Boulders: Australia’s Natural Sculpture Garden

Babinda Boulders Devils Pool in Australia

Just outside of Cairns this swimming hole is not only hugely popular with tourists but locals too. For me, this was the final spot on the waterfall circuit as well as my final stop in Queensland. It was sad knowing my time here was coming to an end. However Babinda Boulders was an incredible way to see Queensland off with a bang.

After another long, hot drive on our bus, I was eager to get into the water and cool off again. The Babinda boulders form perfect swimming pools to beat the heat. We arrived here and were greeted by a gentle slope leading down to the water’s edge allowing you to dip your feet. We made our way in and splashed ourselves to cool off. However we were all too aware that our time here would be brief as we had to make our way back to Cairns.

The trail from Babinda Boulders to Devils Pool

If swimming isn’t for you then you have to explore the Devil’s Pool walk. This route will have you surrounded by a lush rainforest, only for you to emerge onto viewing platforms offering incredible views of the boulders. Any walk can feel like a long one when you’re battling the Australian heat. But this view is worth venturing away from the cool relief of the water. Overlooking Devil’s Pool, the lush green canopy and the water flowing between the boulders is a sight to behold. My friend and I made our way up here with our tour guide Noddy. And whilst we admired the view she told us the Dreamtime story of Babinda Boulders and its two lovers.

Babinda Boulders Devils Pool in Australia

The tale of Oolana and Waroono

Like many other natural wonders in Australia, Devil’s Pool holds great significance for the Aboriginal people. Long ago the area was populated by the Yidinji Tribe. The story goes there was a beautiful girl named Oolana. She was married to Waroonoo, a highly respected elder in their tribe. Not long after their union, another tribe moved into the area. And when they met Oolana fell in love with a handsome young man named Dyga. The two young lovers conspired in secret to leave their respective tribes and flee into the valley.

When it was discovered they were missing, the two tribes hunted them down. Eventually leading to their capture by their elders. But Oolana broke free and dove into what was once still waters, calling for Dyga to follow her. As she hit the water her cries for Dyga caused the still water to turn into a torrent. Huge boulders were flown across the creek and Oolana was never seen again. It is said that to this day her spirit guards Babinda Boulders. At Devil’s Pool you can sometimes hear her call for Dyga. If you do then be wary as Oolana may call you too close to the water. To this day up to 17 lives have been lost, many of them young men.

On this note Noddy made her departure, saying she had to get our coach ready for our departure. We stayed here for a few more minutes. But decided to head back and have a quick last-minute splash in the swimming area before we left. Refreshed from our break we made our way back. The heat was still so intense any relief was quickly replaced by sweat. So we were grateful Noddy’s coach prep had included blasting the AC.

Babinda Boulders Devils Pool in Australia

Babinda Boulders FAQs

How much does it cost to visit here?

You can visit at all times of the year for free if you go by yourself. There are many tours available that will stop off here as part of the waterfall circuit. To make it easier booking a tour I have attached a link with Get Your Guide. By clicking through the link it wont cost you anymore but I may receive a commission which will help support the blog.

How can I visit Babinda Boulders safely?

If you stay behind the barriers and pay attention to the signs you will be fine. Many people try to get the perfect Instagram and climb over barriers to get a better picture.  Babinda Boulders is full of cliff edges and large drops, getting too close can result in serious injury. You can see everything you need from behind the safety of the barriers. 

The same goes for swimming, it is clearly signposted where you can and cannot swim. Many lives have been lost here due to both carelessness and ignorance. By all means, relax and have an enjoyable time here, but don’t let that come as a compromise to safety.

What picnic facilities are here?

At Babinda Boulders you can find many picnic benches, as well as a sheltered area if you’re unlucky enough to be caught in the rain. Like many of Australia’s parks, you will be able to find BBQs that are free for public use, as usual, you will need to provide your own utensils and food. If you need to refill your water bottles there are drinking fountains here, it’s important to keep hydrated when travelling!

Are there public toilets and showers here?

Yes, you can find public toilets here if you need to take a break on your journey. There are also showers for the campers, just don’t expect any hot water!

Can I camp here?

Absolutely! Near the picnic area, you will find a designated camping area if you decide to rest and stay the night. You could not find a more idyllic place to stay, and as if it couldn’t get any better, you can stay here for free. All you need is your own tent, camper or motorhome to sleep in.

Do I need to book a camping spot?

The camping spots are first come first serve, there are no bookings available you just have to rock up and hope there’s a space available. 

Is there a maximum stay duration for campers?

Yes, to ensure everyone has a chance to stay and enjoy Babinda Boulders, the camping area has a maximum stay time of 72 hours. But you will find this is more than enough for the area, there is so much to explore nearby with other campsites 72 hours is more than enough.

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