Summary: A series of picturesque cascades and beautiful swimming holes, the popular Josephine Falls is reached by a paved walking track (1.4km return)

Easy access via a paved footpath and a spectacular rainforest setting makes Josephine Falls and the waterholes along Josephine Creek a popular and busy place! The largest cascade is at the end of the walking track, where there is a viewing platform perched over the creek.

IMG 0552 Josephine Falls - one of the best waterfalls and swimming holes around Cairns

Formed by Josephine Creek tumbling over granite boulders, the series of cascades are not particularly high but are quite picturesque.

AWAT8813 LR Josephine Falls - one of the best waterfalls and swimming holes around Cairns

The attraction of Josephine Falls is not so much the cascades, but the many swimming holes where you can cool off in the pristine water (Josephine Creek starts as a trickle high up the south-east side of Mount Bartle Frere in the Wooroonooran National Park). Below the main falls is a deep pool, which is a restricted area – but many people were swimming here on my last visit.

Josephine Falls swimming hole

A bit further downstream is the main swimming hole, where a sloping granite boulder makes a natural rock slide into the water. There are more, smaller, pools downstream where you can also swim.

IMG 0556 Josephine Falls - one of the best waterfalls and swimming holes around Cairns

Getting to Josephine Falls

Josephine Falls and the Josephine Creek swimming holes are accessed via a sealed road off the Bruce Highway between Babinda and Innisfail, about an hour south of Cairns. The signposted walking track starts from a very large carpark, and it’s about 700m one-way to the end of the track.

There are a couple of viewing platforms over Josephine Creek and Josephine Falls, and a few spots where you can access the creek from the main path.

Map of Josephine Falls

You can visit Josephine Falls as part of a Waterfall Loop day trip from Cairns, which includes a number of waterfalls and swimming holes. If you can ,get here early or late in the day as it gets very busy during the day – or explore Josephine Creek a bit further downstream to find your own quiet spot.

If you’re not driving or prefer to do an organised tour, many commercial tours out of Cairns visit Josephine Falls.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit is December to March, when the flow of water is at its peak and the waterfalls are most impressive. If you’re planning to swim, the creek can be too dangerous to enter after heavy rain and flash flooding (rapidly rising water) can occur at any time of the year.

More information

Visit Waterfalls and Swimming Holes around Cairns and Far North Queensland for more spectacular falls and picturesque swimming holes.

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