Josephine Falls is one of the best and most beautiful waterfalls in Tropical North Queensland, featuring a sub-tropical paradise, cascading falls, and natural rock slides!
These falls can be found just 1 hour and 15 minutes drive south of Cairns or 25 minutes drive inland from Innisfail.
I have put together this complete guide which includes how to get there, the best time to visit, and what to expect when you arrive.
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WHERE IS JOSEPHINE FALLS & HOW TO GET THERE
Josephine Falls is located in Wooroonooran National Park just 75 km from Cairns, taking approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes by car.
If you happen to be visiting the rural town of Innisfail, it’s a short 25-minute drive from here.
There are no public transport options available to reach Wooroonooran National Park so you will need to have your own vehicle to visit.
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BEST TIME TO VISIT
If you want the best of the best conditions weatherwise, I recommend visiting Josephine Falls Australia during the Wet Season (November to April) which is when the falls are the strongest. However, the waterfall is flowing all year round.
The best time to visit is between 8 am and 12 pm for the best lighting from the sun. After about 3:30 pm, the sun will disappear behind the mountains which block the light from hitting the waterfall.
If you’re not a morning person, you can still visit the falls at any time during the day. Just be sure to allow yourself enough time to complete the walk which takes approximately 30 – 45 minutes, return.
It’s a very popular tourist attraction and it can get quite busy on the weekends. If you can time your visit for a weekday, you will likely get to enjoy it with fewer people.
The main falls
ARRIVING AT JOSEPHINE FALLS CAIRNS
When you arrive at Josephine Falls Cairns you’ll find a large parking lot with plenty of free parking spaces available which is conveniently located at the entrance to the falls.
There are also toilet amenities and picnic areas next to the parking lot that you can make use of before and after your visit.
RELATED ARTICLE → WALLAMAN FALLS IN QUEENSLAND
JOSEPHINE FALLS WALK
The trail to the falls is clearly signposted and it’s a 700-meter walk uphill to the viewing platform which takes no more than 15 minutes. The trail is suitable for all sorts of travelers and for people of all ages.
The walk is completely paved, winding beneath a lush rainforest canopy. Though as soon as you leave the trail to go swimming in the natural pools, the rocks can be very slippery so take extra care when exploring.
The entrance to the falls
The bushwalk to the falls
WHAT TO EXPECT AT JOSEPHINE FALLS
The trail to the falls is an adventure in itself as you wind through a dense canopy of beautiful flora and fauna before reaching the waterfall.
I recommend first heading all the way up to the main lookout and then work your way back down the path, stopping in to see the view from the halfway-point lookout, and then finally taking a dip in the bottom pool.
From the main lookout, you will have a clear view of the main falls flowing down into a large catch basin which then cascades down into several other sections, over large boulders, and eventually emerging at the bottom pool.
The main lookout
Josephine Falls Cairns
The bottom pool
Once you’ve enjoyed some time at the main lookout, continue the walk downstream along the bush track which will bring you to the bottom rock pool, featuring a large swimming hole that is the perfect place to cool off.
Another awesome feature is the natural water slide at the bottom pool which was the highlight of my visit. It’s safe to slide down the natural slide though do so at your own risk and please be careful when you climb up the rock to the top of the slide as it can be quite slippery, especially when wet.
The swimming hole is not that deep so I wouldn’t recommend doing any rock jumping at this particular spot. Simply enjoy the natural water slide and go for a refreshing dip in the rock pools.
The perfect place to cool off
Natural slide at the bottom pool
Exploring the falls
THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
Just a bit of common sense that after heavy rains the stream can see flash flooding and strong currents so it’s not recommended to go swimming when the water is flowing heavily.
For all you keen hikers, there are several walking trails in the area surrounding the falls including the Mount Bartle Frere Track which starts here at the entrance to the falls and features a very steep hike to the summit of Queensland’s tallest mountain.
RELATED ARTICLE → WATERFALL CIRCUIT CAIRNS
Warning signs at the falls
Mount Bartle Frere Track information
MAP OF JOSEPHINE FALLS
WHERE TO STAY IN CAIRNS
There are hundreds of accommodation options to choose from in Cairns, so I have narrowed it down to a few of the best places to stay to fit the needs of budget backpackers, luxury travelers, and everyone in between.
See the list of Cairns accommodations below that I personally recommend:
LUXURY: PULLMAN REEF HOTEL CASINO
MID-RANGE: CAIRNS RAINBOW RESORT
BUDGET: MAD MONKEYS BACKPACKERS
FOR ALL OTHER PLACES TO STAY IN CAIRNS, SEARCH ON AGODA OR SEARCH ON BOOKING.COM
Another option for accommodation in Cairns is to stay in an Airbnb, which generally has some great deals!
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MORE AUSTRALIA TRAVEL GUIDES
The coastline and hinterland areas along the east coast of Australia boast countless beaches, lakes, waterfalls, hikes, and many more fun-fuelled adventures waiting to be had!
This is what Australia is all about and what I love to share with you in my detailed destination guides.
Click on the links below to see more related posts:
- Hamilton Island: 10 Things To Do In Hamilton Island
- Agnes Water: 17 Things To Do In Agnes Water
- Yeppoon: 10 Best Beaches In Yeppoon
- Brisbane: Things To Do In Brisbane
- Gold Coast: 3 Day Gold Coast Itinerary
- Fraser Island: Fraser Island Day Trip
- Springbrook: Springbrook Waterfalls
- Byron Bay: Things To Do In Byron Bay
- Crescent Head: 9 Things To Do In Crescent Head
- Forster: 7 Things To Do In Forster
- Port Macquarie: 7 Best Beaches In Port Macquarie
- Sydney: Things To Do In Sydney
- Kiama NSW: 3 Awesome Things To Do In Kiama
- Melbourne: Things To Do In Melbourne
LONELY PLANET AUSTRALIA
One of the best books to take on your trip is the Lonely Planet Australia Guide!
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I hope you enjoyed reading this article and if you have any questions, please leave a comment below this post and I will get back to you as soon as I can!