Babinda - Tropical North Queensland Holiday Destination
Babinda is a small town just off the Bruce Highway centered around a sugar mill, like so many other similar small towns in this area. Located 57 kilometres south of Cairns, this little centre is actually quite an interesting place. It was reputedly named from the Aboriginal word "binda" meaning waterfall which could refer to either the plentiful waterfalls located in the nearby mountain range, or the fact that Babinda is one of the wettest places in Australia, receiving over 4200mm (yes, that's over 4 metres!) of rainfall per year.
Nestled among green farmland and mountains sporting tropical rainforest, Babinda is a picturesque place. National parks abound in the area and can be easily reached with just a quick drive in the car.
Although Babinda is a small town it offers quite a bit of diversity when it comes to accommodation. When you choose to stay in Babinda choose to stay in an old pub from yesteryear, a cheap motel complete with pool and parking space or a rainforest retreat perfect for getting back to nature. There's a number of cabins and lodges on the outskirts of town which are a great choice for families wanting to explore the area.
Things to do & Places to Visit in Babinda
Babinda State Hotel
With the doubtful honour of being the only hotel to be constructed by the Queensland State Government, this imposing and grand building is located in the main street and was formerly known as the Babinda State Hotel.
It was constructed in 1917, opening it's doors in May, and was operated by the Queensland Government under the Labor Government's State Enterprises scheme until 1930.
In 1930 the hotel was offered for sale to the public and was purchased for 50,000 pounds by Mr J.A. O'Hagan of Brisbane. Since this time the hotel has had a succession of owners while remaining continually operational as a hotel with accommodation facilities.
- 73 Munro St, Babinda QLD 4861
- Ph: 07 4067 1202
- Web: www.babindastatehotel.com.au
Seven kilometres west of the town of Babinda lie the Boulders, a series of large smooth boulders in the river which have been worn smooth over time by torrential tropical rains. The water is surprisingly cool as it flows rapidly down from the mountains and is deceptively dangerous, having claimed the lives of 15 people (predominantly young men) since 1959 due to the fast and powerful underwater currents.
If you stick to the designated swimming pools and don't venture elsewhere for your swim, the Boulders provide a beautiful and welcome respite from the tropical heat.
A free camping ground is currently located at the site with picnic and BBQ facilities. The Devil's Pool Walk is a 1.3km return walk down Babinda Creek from the picnic area and features viewing platforms where the beautiful scenery can be observed in safety.
South-west of Babinda on the Bruce Highway just before the town of Miriwinni there is a turn-off to Josephine Falls. Eight kilometres along the road are the Josephine Falls. There is a 700 metre walk from the car park to the falls and the swimming area. Picnic tables, a shelter shed, a coin-operated electric barbecue and toilets are provided in the day use area adjacent to the car park.
Although not the highest or most spectacular, Josephine Falls is highly regarded as one of the most picturesque waterfalls in the area. Located in the Wooroonooran National Park, the area was proclaimed a Wet Tropics World Heritage Area in 1988.
In addition to the 1.2 kilometre walking track to see the falls themselves, there are other tracks available allowing access to Mt Bartle Frere - the tallest mountain in Queensland. These tracks range from 10 kilometres return to 15 kilometres one way and are all graded "Difficult", being only suitable for fit, experienced and well prepared bushwalkers.
- More information about Josephine Falls
Eubenangee Swamp National Park
Eubenangee Swamp is a tropical wetland located to the south east of Babinda. The swamp contains the last remnant of this type of rainforest and supports various lowland vegetation types which are very rare. Melaleucas and sedges grow around the edges of the swamp and rare plants grow in the park.
A 1.5 kilometre walk, with some sections of boardwalk, allows visitors to experience the variety of flora and fauna which can be found in the tropical wetlands of the coast - especially the many varieties of birdlife.
- More information about the Eubenangee Swamp National Park
Getting to Babinda
Babinda is located just an hour south of Cairns and can be accessed via the Bruce Highway. From Cairns it is a beautiful drive down this idyllic stretch of coast known as the "Cassowary Coast". This length of land is named after the large, flightless Cassowary bird which inhabits this region. Once you are in Babinda you are just minutes from the beach and rainforest.