Babinda Boulders - Things To Do In Cairns | Cairns Tours

Babinda Boulders In Cairns

Located just south of Cairns, the Babinda Boulders is a very popular destination for tourists and locals alike. This beautiful swimming hole is lined by lush tropical rainforest and enormous boulders, offering a peaceful sanctuary to those hoping to cool off after a scorching summer day.

The Babinda Boulders Cairns

Because the water of Babinda Boulders comes from a stream off Mt Bartle Frere (Queensland’s tallest mountain), the water that collects within the pools is always cool and refreshing. The section where the water cascades over the now-smooth boulders gives its name to the ‘boulders’ in Babinda Boulders, while the word ‘Babinda’ is an Indigenous word meaning ‘water flowing over rocks’. There is an even more ominous sounding name for this idyllic location – the Devil’s Pool – and an accompanying story behind this gorgeous retreat.

Legend has it that a beautiful young Yidinji Indigenous woman, Oolana, unwillingly married an esteemed elder, named Waroonoo, from her tribe. After they are married, another tribe enters the valley; among them, a handsome young man named Dyga. Oolana eventually captures Dyga’s eye and the two soon fell in love, but as their forbidden blossoming love grew stronger, they both realised that they would not be able to continue to see each other if they stayed, so they ran away together. Shortly after, the two tribes – who realised their disappearance – began to look for the runaway pair and they eventually caught up to them at Babinda Boulders. Both were captured by their respective tribespeople, but Oolana – realising that she will never again get to feel the warm embrace of her true love – broke free of her captors and hurled herself into the deep, dark waterhole.

It is said that Oolana’s spirit continues to guard the Devil’s Pool, waiting for her lost love. Some people say that her cries can still be heard echoing off the boulders, while others say something a little more frightening – that her spirit lures young men to the dangerous areas of the pool, causing them to perish in the icy waters. This may not seem so frightening, until you realise that around 17 lives have been lost at Babinda Boulders – all but one of them have been males!

Of course, sceptics will tell you that these young men deliberately ventured into the now well-signed areas that are known to be hazardous, and acted carelessly in the extremely strong currents and on the slippery rocks… Believers will tell you differently.

Regardless, the Babinda Boulders are quite safe if you stay within the designated swimming area and use common sense and due caution, just like thousands of other visitors to the site have in the past. This area is truly stunning and well worth a visit – particularly after a hot day worth of exploring other gorgeous sites around Cairns.

Cairns Tours provides a whole range of Cairns based day tours and aims to help provide the best information about other things to do in Cairns.