Josephine Falls Swimming Hole near Cairns: Top Instagram Picks

Just 75 km (an hour) south of Cairns, nestled in the rainforest at the base of Mt. Bartle Frere (Queensland’s tallest mountain) is this magical swimming hole. It is reached via a paved rainforest path that takes you to the foot of the falls. The swimming hole is deep, clear, and cool. The water flows over a smooth granite slope which serves as a natural water slide into the pool below.

All photographers have been credited with their Instagram names.

The scenery on the drive to Josephine Falls. Photo: Sea_Godess
The scenery on the drive to Josephine Falls. Photo: Sea_Godess
The scenery on the drive to Josephine Falls. Photo: Sea_Godess
The scenery on the drive to Josephine Falls. Photo: Sea_Godess

The natural water slide.

Photo: AmandaGalise
Photo: AmandaGalise

The beautiful walk to the falls through the rainforest.

Photo: AmandaGalise
Photo: AmandaGalise
Photo: AmandaGalise
Photo: AmandaGalise
Photo: AmandaGalise
Photo: AmandaGalise
Photo: AmandaGalise
Photo: AmandaGalise
Photo: Er_Bear007
Photo: Er_Bear007
Photo: VirginieFRL
Photo: VirginieFRL
Photo: TarrynElise_
Photo: TarrynElise_
Photo: FranziiiiiiiXx
Photo: FranziiiiiiiXx
Photo: Misss_Maree
Photo: Misss_Maree
Photo: SandraSjoegren
Photo: SandraSjoegren
Photo: ZRJPhotography
Photo: ZRJPhotography

Josephine Falls is just one of many swimming holes that make up the Swimming Hole Loop in the unspoiled wilderness south of Cairns.

If you keep on Biggs Road instead of turning left to Josephine Falls you’ll come to another beautiful water hole at Golden Hole Reserve. It is wide and deep with sandy beaches and broad grassy banks perfect for picnics. A crocodile was sighted here and a croc sign posted. I’d suggest you opt for fishing and picnicking. There is a sheltered picnic table in case it rains and toilets nearby.

TIP: Crocodiles sometimes wander inland. If you see a crocodile sign, don’t swim! Stingers are present in the ocean between November and May which is why these swimming holes are so popular with locals.

More Information:

WHERE TO STAY: If you want to base yourself in unspoiled wilderness south of cairns, Misty Mountains Rainforest Retreat offers a range of retreats cocooned within the rainforest from a magical little eco-hut ($125/night) to a luxurious villa with its own landscaped pool. You won’t see another soul.

CAMPER VAN HIRE: If you’re planning an Australian road trip, campervans are the most economical option. Camperman’s pricing is all inclusive – unlimited kms, toll fees, extra drivers, and insurance.

MORE ATTRACTIONS: Check out the blog map for more fun things to do.

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