Josephine Falls

Mt Bartle-Frere / Wooroonooran National Park, Queensland, Australia

About Josephine Falls

Hiking Distance: 1.2km round trip; scramble
Suggested Time: 45-60 minutes

Date first visited: 2008-05-17
Date last visited: 2008-05-17

Waterfall Latitude: -17.43185
Waterfall Longitude: 145.8595

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

Josephine Falls was a multi-tiered cascade that seemed to be more of a swimming hole and waterslide than it was a waterfall attraction with scenic allure.

Given the heat and humidity of the tropical northern coast of Queensland, it wasn’t hard to see why this place was popular to cool off.

Josephine_Falls_026_05162008 - Josephine Falls
Josephine Falls

But despite its popularity, it certainly contained hazards from strong undercurrents as well as sudden flash floods.

We didn’t necessarily need to contend with these hazards because Julie and I didn’t have any intention of going in the water.

However, we certainly understood why we would have to know what risks we took before going in to minimize the likelihood of a fatal accident.

Speaking of accidents, Julie and I remembered this waterfall well for an entirely different reason.

When I made an attempt to improve the view of Josephine Falls for a tripod shot at one of the lower vantage points, I managed to slip on a loose, slippery rock and fell.

Josephine_Falls_001_jx_05162008 - Josephine Falls as seen from further downstream along Josephine Creek
Josephine Falls as seen from further downstream along Josephine Creek

I didn’t injure myself from this little mishap, but I did happened to break off a leg of our travel tripod.

The moral of the story here was to be careful around the water for you never know when mishaps like these might occur.

Anyways, we went on a short 1.2km return walk (600m each way) that took Julie and I about an hour at a very leisurely pace.

The walk had many interpretive signs while we had no trouble following the track.

Once we got to the Josephine Falls, we saw at least two or three lookout platforms that went progressively higher up the Josephine Creek.

Josephine_Falls_023_05162008 - All zoomed in on the most attractive part of Josephine Falls
All zoomed in on the most attractive part of Josephine Falls

We showed up at the falls around 10am, which turned out to be not a good time for photographs.

After all, we looked somewhat against the sun at the same time as the falls, and the morning shadows made our photos either washed out or too dark.


Josephine Falls resides in the Wooroonooran National Park near Innisfail, Queensland. It is administered by the State of Queensland Department of Environment and Science. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website.

Josephine_Falls_001_05162008 - The car park for Josephine Falls
Josephine_Falls_008_05162008 - Focused on the lowest tiers of Josephine Falls
Josephine_Falls_011_05162008 - Looking against the morning haze towards Josephine Falls
Josephine_Falls_015_05162008 - Full context of the lowest tiers of Josephine Falls (and probably close to where I broke our travel tripod)

Josephine Falls was situated in the Wooroonooran National Park where the access road was from a spur road between Cairns (pronounced like “CANS”) and Innisfail off the Bruce Highway (Hwy 1).

Coming from the Hwy 25/Hwy 1 junction in Innisfail (where we were based at the time), we headed north on the Bruce Hwy (Hwy 1) for about 16km.

Then, we made a sharp left turn onto Bartle Frere Rd, which followed for about 3.8km to Price Rd.

Turning left onto Price Rd, we then followed Price Rd for about 3.2km (which became Biggs Rd en route) before turning right onto the access road to the car park for Josephine Falls.

We were able to follow signs when we got onto the Bartle Frere Rd, which we kept following until the end of this drive.

For geographical context, Innisfail was 88km (over an hour drive) south of Cairns and 260km (3 hours drive) north of Townsville.

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Fixated on some of the middle tiers of the cascade

Fixated on the falls from the middle lookout

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Tagged with: bartle-frere, wooroonooran, innisfail, queensland, australia, waterfall, swim, swimming, josephine creek

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Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of the award-winning A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
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