Josephine falls near Cairns in Tropical North Queensland are some of the most enjoyable and exciting waterfalls you can visit.
There a few swimming holes at Josephine falls which you can enjoy. You can even slide from one swimming hole to the other.
Josephine Falls is just one of many beautiful waterfalls situated in the region of Atherton Tablelands.
Cairns to Josephine Falls
Unless you are within Atherton Tablelands, it is more than likely you are driving from Cairns to Josephine Falls.
The journey from Cairns to Josephine falls will take around 1 hour to drive. It is very straight forward because most of the journey is driving on Bruce Highway.
Take a turn off onto Bartle Frere Road, continuing via Price Road and then Biggs Road before eventually turning on Josephine Falls Road and arriving at the Josephine Falls Car Park.
The walk to Josephine Falls
The walk to the falls is easy, the track is well built and it is only 1.2 km return. In total it will only take you around 20 min, 10 min each way. You will walk through the world-heritage listed lush rainforest admiring the local wildlife.
There comes a point where you have 2 options, one way to the viewing point located at the top of the falls or the other way which leads to the bottom of the falls. We would recommend going to the top first and making your way back down. Soak in the views and cool off with a swim before heading back.
There are other walking trails nearby, a 10 km return hike going through Bartle Frere to Broken Nose.
Alternatively, for those extreme hikers, there is a 15 km one-way hike going through Bartle Frere up to Atherton Tablelands through mountains. The 15 km hike is hard and would only be recommended for more experienced hikers.
We aren’t the type to do these kinds of hikes so if you are like us just continue with the 1.2 km return walk to Josephine falls.
What to expect at Josephine Falls
As you arrive at Josephine Falls you will immediately witness the roaring current smashing down on the granite rocks. It is all anyone could ask for in a waterfall, a powerful yet beautiful presence that you can also enjoy.
Enclosed within a rainforest, it gives you a sense of tranquillity and excitement at the same time. You just want to jump in and get your hair wet.
What sets Josephine Falls apart from others is that it has tiered cascades with swimming holes in each one. This is where the real fun begins.
Josephine Falls water slide
We hope you packed your swimwear because you will need it to make the most out of the falls.
The granite rock’s surface has been worn down over the years from the falls. As a result, it has produced the most fun naturally forming water slide.
This water slide will slide you 10 metres from the top to the bottom plunging you into crystal clear waters. The bottom pool is quite deep in some areas which makes it perfect for swimming in and cooling off from the tropical heat.
A word of caution though; several signs are showing restricted areas of the falls. This is due to some deaths occurring at the falls as they can be unpredictable and the flow can change unexpectedly. As well as this, the rocks can be slippery making walking on them dangerous.
Please follow all the signs and regulations, on spot fines can occur of up to $365.
Other things to do near Josephine Falls
Josephine Falls near Cairns is perfect for backpackers and families. It can be done in one day visiting other waterfalls such as Nandroya Waterfall, Millaa Millaa Waterfall, Zillie Falls and Ellinjaa Falls.
The latter 3 are part of what is known as the Atherton Tablelands waterfall circuit because they’re close to one and other.
We rented our car and drove up from Cairns visiting all the above waterfalls in one full day. It was perfect timing to have a beautiful sunset on our drive back. We never felt rushed and we had plenty of time to enjoy all of the waterfalls.
- Bring some water shoes or appropriate water wear with good grip to help you navigate over the slippery boulders
- Read the warning signs and take care swimming as the flow of the water can change dramatically
- Walk to the top of the waterfall for some nice views and make your way back down to the swimming hole
- Make extra time available for these falls as part of a tour as they’re the most fun
How far from Cairns is Josephine Falls?
The journey is 76 km away from Cairns and will take approximately 1 hour to drive.
Is Josephine Falls dangerous?
It is safe as long as you follow the guidelines, be careful on the slippery rocks.
How far is Josephine Falls from Millaa Millaa Waterfall?
The journey to Josephine Falls from Millaa Millaa Waterfall is 79 km and will take approximately 1 hour to drive.
Can you slide down Josephine Falls?
Yes, there is a naturally forming water slide at Josephine Falls, going from one water pool to the other and is safe as long as the guidelines at the falls are followed.