Josephine Falls

Mt Bartle-Frere / Wooroonooran National Park, Queensland, Australia

About Josephine Falls

Hiking Distance: 1.2km round trip; scramble
Suggested Time: 45-60 minutes

Date first visited: 2008-05-17
Date last visited: 2008-05-17

Waterfall Latitude: -17.43185
Waterfall Longitude: 145.8595

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

Josephine Falls was a multi-tiered cascade that seemed to be more of a swimming hole and waterslide than it was a waterfall attraction with scenic allure. Given the heat and humidity of the tropical northern coast of Queensland, it wasn’t hard to see why this place was popular to cool off. But despite its popularity, it certainly contained hazards from strong undercurrents as well as sudden flash floods. We didn’t necessarily need to contend with these hazards because Julie and I didn’t have any intention of going in the water, but it was certainly understandable why we would have to know before go to minimize the likelihood of a fatal accident.

Speaking of accidents, Julie and I remembered this waterfall well for an entirely different reason. It was during an attempt to try to improve the view of the falls from one of the lower vantage points did I manage to slip on a loose, slippery rock and fell. There was no injury from this little mishap, but I did happened to break off a leg of our travel tripod. The moral of the story here was to be careful around the water for you never know when mishaps like these might occur.

We went on a short 1.2km return walk (600m each way) that took Julie and I about an hour at a very leisurely pace. The walk was well-signed and easy to follow. Once we got to near the falls, there were at least two or three lookout platforms that went progressively higher up the Josephine Creek. We showed up at the falls around 10am, which turned out to be not a good time for photographs as we were looking somewhat against the sun at the falls while the morning shadows made our photos either washed out or too dark.


Josephine Falls was situated in the Wooroonooran National Park where the access road was from a spur road between Cairns (pronounced like “CANS”) and Innisfail off the Bruce Highway (Hwy 1).

Coming from the Hwy 25/Hwy 1 junction in Innisfail (where we were based at the time), we headed north on the Bruce Hwy (Hwy 1) for about 16km. Then, we made a sharp left turn onto Bartle Frere Rd, which followed for about 3.8km to Price Rd. Turning left onto Price Rd, we then followed Price Rd for about 3.2km (which became Biggs Rd en route) before turning right onto the access road to the car park for Josephine Falls.

We were able to follow signs when we got onto the Bartle Frere Rd, which we kept following until the end of this drive.

For geographical context, Innisfail was 88km (over an hour drive) south of Cairns and 260km (3 hours drive) north of Townsville.

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Fixated on some of the middle tiers of the cascade

Fixated on the falls from the middle lookout

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Tagged with: bartle-frere, wooroonooran, innisfail, queensland, australia, waterfall, swim, swimming, josephine creek

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