11 Reasons to Visit Wooroonooran National Park

Wooroonoran National Park is a sprawling 800 square kilometre (309 square mile) patch of paradise to the south of Cairns in North Queensland, Australia. It is a stunning place encompassing rivers, waterfalls, swimming holes, walking tacks, camping, a romantic couples retreat, mountain bike trails, mountain peaks, lush valleys, majestic trees and unique wildlife. Here are its key attractions on a map. Scroll on for the list and photos.

1. Magical Swimming Holes

Wooroonooran National Park has five stunning swimming holes – Babinda Boulders, Josephine Falls, Behana Gorge, Goldsborough Valley, and Nandroya Falls.

Behana Gorge swimming hole, Wooroonoran National park, Queensland. Photo: KateChristensen_
Behana Gorge swimming hole, Wooroonoran National Park, Queensland. Photo: KateChristensen_
Babinda Boulders, Wooroonoran National Park, Queensland, Australia. Photo: Elsas_WholesomeLife
Babinda Boulders, Wooroonooran National Park, Queensland, Australia. Photo: Elsas_WholesomeLife
Babinda Boulders swimming hole, Wooroonoran National Park, Queensland, Australia. Photo: MKaldy
Babinda Boulders swimming hole, Wooroonooran National Park, Queensland, Australia. Photo: MKaldy

2. Waterfalls

There are cascading waterfalls at Babinda Boulders, Josephine Falls, and Behana Gorge. To the south end of Wooroonooran National Park, near Palmerston, is Nandroya Falls, Wallicher Falls and Tchupala Falls which are all within walking distance of one another.

Nandroya Falls, Wooroonoran National Park, North Queensland, Australia. Photo: Mitch.Cox
Nandroya Falls, Wooroonooran National Park, North Queensland, Australia. Photo: Mitch.Cox

3. Rainforest walks

There are plenty of short and half day walking tails in Wooroonoran National Park. Babinda Boulders, Josephine Falls, Behana Gorge and Nadroya Falls walking tracks all reward you with cascading waterfalls and superb swimming holes. Wallicher Falls and Tchupala Falls track is an easy stroll to waterfalls. The Johnston River lookout walk  gives you stunning views.

The Nandroya Falls Circuit, Wooroonooran National Park, North Queenlsand, Australia. Photo: OurWalkAbout.com
The Nandroya Falls Circuit, Wooroonooran National Park, North Queenlsand, Australia. Photo: OurWalkAbout.com
Josephine Falls trail, Wooroonoran National Park, North Queensland, Australia. Photo: AmandaGalise
Josephine Falls trail, Wooroonooran National Park, North Queensland, Australia. Photo: AmandaGalise

 

4. Summit Climbs

Walsh’s Pyramid is a half day summit climb close to Cairns. Parking is in what appears to be a sugar cane farm. The trail scales the worlds largest natural pyramid and rewards you with breathtaking views. The Mount Bartle Frere Trail scales Queensland’s tallest mountain and is a challenging 1 – 2 day hike depending upon your fitness level and start time.

Walsh's Pyramid Summit, Woornooran National Park, North Queensland, Australia. Photo: JadeEeEeE
Walsh’s Pyramid Summit, Wooroonooran National Park, North Queensland, Australia. Photo: JadeEeEeE

 

5. Challenging 1 and 2 Day Hikes

The Goldfield Trail and Mount Bartle Frere Trail are both 1 – 2 day hikes depending upon your fitness level and start time.

The Goldfields Trail connects Goldsborough Valley campground to Babinda Boulders (which has free camping). For those who want to do it in two days (official recommendation) there is a free camping area half way along the trail by the river, but there are no facillities.

Some people manage to get to the Mt. Bartle Frere summit and back in 8 hours leaving from Josephine Falls. At 1622 meters (5,321 feet), Mount Bartle Frere is Queensland’s highest mountain. If you want to do the whole trail from one end to the other, four camping areas have been established along the trail but they have no facilities. Aussie Bushwalking has a good description of the trail.

Mount Bartle Frere Summit Trail, Wooroonoran National Park, North Queensland, Australia. Photo: Big_D_Crossfit
Mount Bartle Frere Summit Trail, Wooroonooran National Park, North Queensland, Australia. Photo: Big_D_Crossfit

 

6. Stunning Views

You’ll enjoy stunning views from Walsh’s Pyramid at the north end of Wooroonoran National Park. At the south end of the park,  Johnston River Lookout walk and the Mamu Tropical Skywalk both have incredible views.

Johnston River Lookout walk, Wooroonoran National Park, North Queensland, Australia. Photo: Astriid_G
Johnston River Lookout walk, Wooroonooran National Park, North Queensland, Australia. Photo: Astriid_G

 

7. Free and Low Cost Camping

Babinda Boulders has two free campgrounds that are camper van friendly. Goldsborough Valley Campground and Henrietta Creek Campground are both on the river bank. Camping here is $6 per person.

If you need to hire a camper van for your visit to North Queensland and beyond, consider Camperman Australia. They have a depot in nearby Cairns as well as seven other major destinations across Australia in which you can drop off your campervan.

Henrietta Creek Campground, Wooroonoran National Park, North Queensland, Australia. Photo: Kobusm_TravellersPoint
Henrietta Creek Campground, Wooroonooran National Park, North Queensland, Australia. Photo: Kobusm_TravellersPoint

 

8. Romantic Retreats

LUXURY RAINFOREST ACCOMMODATION

If you’re trip to Wooroonooran National Park is a romantic one – a honeymoon perhaps, or a wedding anniversary – consider indulging yourselves at the Misty Mountains Rainforest Retreat. When you make a reservation here you get the whole place to yourselves – that includes the pool pictured, a bar and games room, the luxury rainforest villa, and a magical Eden-like garden full of birds and wildlife. In fact, the place is so private you get your money back if you see another soul. You can be like Adam and Eve and go clothes-free!

AFFORDABLE RAINFOREST ACCOMMODATION

Starting at $125 per night is the Eco-Lodge, a hillside studio surrounded my rainforest with views. It’s great for secluded romantic weekends, or a writer’s retreat. The Hideaway is a one bedroom bungalow with gorgeous furnishings by a rainforest stream where platypus swim.

Misty Mountains Rainforest Retreat, Wooroonooran National Park, North Queensland, Australia. Photo: Misty Mountains Rainforest Retreat
Misty Mountains Rainforest Retreat, Wooroonooran National Park, North Queensland, Australia. Photo: Misty Mountains

 

9. Unique Wildlife and Plants

Animal lovers, get excited! The Wooroonooran National Park has an abundance of wildlife, and they are a fascinating population indeed. Consider the Lumholtz Tree Kangaroo. They exist only in this part of the world and they are, as their namesake implies, kangaroos that live in trees.

The Wet Tropics, of which Wooroonooran National Park is a part, contains one third of all Australia’s mammal species, some that are found nowhere else on earth. Quolls, possums, platypus, wombats and all sorts of marsupials live in the lush rainforest. Of all the species in Australia, the Wet Tropics contains 40% of the bird species, 60% of the butterfly species, 20% of the reptile species, 29% of the frog species, and 30% of Australia’s orchid species.

Lumholtz Tree Kangaroo, Wooroonooran National Park, North Queensland, Australia. Photo: Bruce.Thomson
Lumholtz Tree Kangaroo, Wooroonooran National Park, North Queensland, Australia. Photo: Bruce.Thomson

 

10. Mountain Biking

If you love mountain biking, you’ll love the north end of the Goldfield Trail near the Goldsborough Valley Campground. The lush forest gives you much needed shade as you cycle the challenging tracks and the river is never far away should you wish to cool off.

Mountain biking in Goldsborough Valley, Wooroonooran National Park, North Queensland, Australia. Photo: Sarah.F.Thomas
Mountain biking in Goldsborough Valley, Wooroonooran National Park, North Queensland, Australia. Photo: Sarah.F.Thomas

 

11. Kayaking

What better way to enjoy the beauty of Wooroonooran National Park than to paddle quietly down its waterways beneath the majestic trees of this ancient forest. If you need to hire a kayak, try Babinda Kayak HIre. They don’t have a website but you can find reviews and their contact details on their Trip Advisor page.

Kayaking in the Mulgrave River near Goldsborough Valley, Wooroonooran National Park, North Queensland, Australia. Photo: MeegggggieNolan
Kayaking in the Mulgrave River near Goldsborough Valley, Wooroonooran National Park, North Queensland, Australia. Photo: MeegggggieNolan

If you find anything on my blog that needs updating, please drop me a comment. I appreciate it!

Happy Travels!

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