Highway One: Babinda Boulders
Catherine Lawson and David Bristow, along with baby Maya, are doing a lap of Highway One, the road that circles Australia.
IT RATES AS ONE of the wettest spots in Australia, which is perfect because this might well be Far North Queensland’s best waterhole.
Nestled in the rainforested foothills of Mt Bartle Frere – Queensland’s highest mountain at 1622m – Babinda Boulders lies about 60km south of Cairns. It’s a magical place where enormous granite boulder divert the flow of Babinda Creek into deep, transparent pools shaded by a lush, rainforest canopy.
Except on the hottest of summer days the water is shockingly cold, but I can never, ever resist a swim, even at first light. There simply is no other way I’d rather start the day.
Another big attraction is the free community campground within easy walking distance of the creek – a handful of shady sites with toilets, tables, wood barbecues and cold water showers. There’s a picnic area by the water and a walking track leads to Devils Pool Lookout (940m return).
This incredible spot is particularly alluring over the hot and humid wet season, but that’s when sudden downpours can turn Babinda Creek into a dangerous torrent. An Aboriginal Yidinydji tribe story warns of the beautiful young maiden named Oolana who beckons visitors into the creek’s raging wet season flow, never to be seen again.
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