Babinda is located on the Bruce Highway 59km South of Cairns or 33km north of Innisfail. It is a small sugar town in the heart of cane growing country. The scenery as you approach from either direction is stunning, with huge tree covered mountains ranges dominating the landscape. It is home to two of the highest mountains in Queensland, Mt Bartle Frere and Mt Bellenden Kerr. Boasting some of the highest rainfalls in Queensland, these mountain ranges provide the source for many of the crystal clear streams and waterfalls in the area.
Babinda Mountain Ranges & Streams
As you enter the town off the highway, you will see the beautifully resorted bright blue information Centre.
Babinda Tourist Info Centre
The staff were very friendly and proud of their town, pointing out all there is to do in the area. The town itself is quaint and set out like many of Australia’s small country towns, with the main street being the focal point with independent specialty shops and cafes lining the street. We managed to dwindle away a few hours exploring most of them.
Word of mouth had it that the Butcher and Baker where both definitely worth a visit and this proved correct. The butcher smokes his own home made Ham, Bacon & Sausages. We tried all three and were quite impressed. The Bakery is known for its pies, with travellers coming from all over the district just to sample them. Warning: There is a Chilli pie that comes with its own warning label, which I was stupid enough not to take notice of. Thankfully there are many other flavors to choose from.
Some of Babinda’s local businesses
There is a great Arts and Craft shop which has a large selection of locally made items for sale. The local pub is great for a refreshing ale and a meal, and there was also an old time picture theater showing the latest movies.
Originally planning just an overnight stay in Babinda, we ended up staying for three nights as we loved the place so much. We were fortunate enough to be in time for the sugar cane harvest, and on a drive around the area we saw many cane harvesters in full action.
Sugar Cane Harvest Time
We spent another day on a trip to the Boulders which are fascinating to see. They are a series of large round granite rocks strewn throughout Babinda Creek. The water in the streams was crystal clear, and icy cold. The locals tell us that the odd platypus is sometime seen in these waters, but we were not so lucky. There is a beautiful picnic spot at the entrance, a great swimming hole and a short walk that leads up to the Boulders themselves, but cautioned should be exercised and keep within the boundaries as there have been quite a few accidents from people walking all over the boulders themselves.
Josephine Falls was another great highlight. It was quite a warm day when we went there, and the icy cold water in the natural rock pools made for a very refreshing swim. There are three cascading layers of falls, one with a natural rock formation that becomes a huge water slide, which was a tonne of fun.
Josephine Falls @ Babinda
The drive to Bramston Beach is well worth it also. This is a small beach side village and reportedly very good for fishing, unfortunately we didn’t try it. The beach was also used as a location in the movie ‘The Thin Red Line’ (1998). The Eubenangee Swamp National Park was on the way out and we had fun exploring that, there is a walking track that leads to a beautiful lookout overlooking the swamp which is reportedly a good vantage point to try out some Croc spotting. Just don’t get too close.
Another major attraction in the area is the Wooroonooran National Park which surrounds Babinda, as does Mt Bartle Freer which at 1622 meters is Queensland’s tallest mountain. There are an abundance of walking trails in the area for those that love to hike.
So all in all, we would highly recommend stopping off and exploring Babinda. Whether you love exploring, bushwalking, fishing, or just relaxing by crystal clear water, it is definitely worth a stop. For more information on where to stay in Babinda see our Campsite Review Post in the Free Range Camping Edition 3 e-News.