Posted Feb 03, 2019
The Boulders is a popular cool swimming and picnic area in the tropical rainforest in the foothills of Bartle Frere, at 1622m, Queensland’s highest mountain.
The Boulders area is named for a series of huge outcrops of granite boulders found along Babinda Creek amongst volumes of sparkling, cascading, cool, clear mountain water.
Be sure to stop in at the Babinda Information Centre on your way to the Boulders to get some local information and chat with the friendly volunteers.
With an exceedingly high average annual rainfall of 4614mm, the surge of water in the creek as it thunders through the Boulders adds to the wild beauty of the region. The creek is surrounded by lush tropical rainforest with a myriad of trees, ferns, vines, fungi, moss and lichen.
BABINDA BOULDERS - DEVILS POOL WALK
Babinda Boulders is a popular swimming hole and picnic area for locals and tourists, and a place of spiritual significance for Aboriginal people. It is managed as a flora and fauna reserve by the Cairns City Council. Please swim and walk in the designated areas here. Several people have died after ignoring warnings to stay clear of the fast flowing water and slippery boulders in the wet season, especially near Devil's Pool.
The Devil's Pool Walk is a 1.3 kilometre return walk along Babinda Creek downstream from the 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.
Once you have had a walk and a swim, you'll be ready for a coffe and a snack at the Babinda Bakery - voted Best Cairns Bakery in 2017.
A Babinda favourite, the Babinda Bakery is the one-stop-shop for delectable yummies, refreshing drinks and smiling staff. Catch up with your friends and family for a fresh and fantastic meal.
Babinda Bakery is run and owned by the McAlloon family.
Legend has it that a long time ago, when the Yidinji tribe lived in the Babinda Valley, there was a tremendous upheaval that created these unusual shaped Boulders with their foaming, rushing waters. In the tribe was Oolana, a very beautiful young woman. Also in the tribe was Waroonoo, a very old, wise and respected elder.
It was decided that these two should be given in marriage to one another, and so it was done. Some time later, a wandering tribe came through the valley, and as was the friendly custom of the Yidinji, they make the strangers welcome, inviting them to stay. In the visiting tribe was Dyga, a very handsome young man. All eyes were upon him for his grace and beauty. At first sight, Dyga and Oolana fell in love.
So great was their strong attraction for each other they arranged to meet secretly. Knowing full well that their desire for each other would never be permitted, they ran away. Oolana knew she could now never return as she was rightfully married to Waroonoo. They journeyed well up into the valley; spending wonderful happy days together and they camped under Chooreechillum, near the water’s edge.
The two tribes had been searching for them and it was at this spot, they came upon the two lovers. The wandering tribesmen seized Dyga, forcing him away, calling how they had been shamed and how they would travel far away and never return. The Yidinjis had taken hold of Oolana and were dragging her back, forcing her to return with them to the rest of the tribe. Suddenly, she broke away and violently flung herself forward into the gentle waters of the creek, as she called and cried for Dyga to return to her here, but the wandering tribe had gone, and with them her handsome lover.
Would he ever return? Just at the very instant Oolana struck the water, a tremendous upheaval occurred. The land shook with terror and sorrow as Oolana cried for her lost lover to come to her. Her anguished cries spilled out as rushing water came cascading over the whole area. Huge boulders were thrown up and she disappeared into them. Oolana seemed to become part of the stones as if to guard the very spot where it all happened.
So it is to this very day, her spirit remains. Some say that at times her anguished calls cry out calling her lover to return – and that wandering travellers should take care lest Oolana calls them too close to her beautiful waters, for she is forever searching for her own lost lover and this must always be.
Up to 17 lives have been lost at the Babinda Boulders, most of them young men.
KEEP TO CLEARLY MARKED SWIMMING AREAS
Take heed of warning signs and fenced off areas. These areas are extremely dangerous for swimming and continue to take lives.