Australia: The Land Where Time Began

A biography of the Australian continent 

Josephine Falls Wooroonooran National Park

What's special?

Rugged mountains, wild rivers and lush tropical rainforest make Wooroonooran National Park in the Bellenden Ker Range one of the state’s most scenic parks. Queensland’s highest mountains, Mt Bartle Frere (1622m) and Mt Bellenden Ker (1592m), are in this park in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.

Tropical rainforest grows from the foothills to the summit of the mountains. Many species of plants and animals are found here and nowhere else, including Leptospermum wooroonooran and the Bartle Frere skink.

This is the traditional land of the Ngadjonjii Aboriginal people who have maintained a close spiritual connection to the Mt Bartle Frere area for thousands of years. Explorer Christie Palmerston was the first European to climb Mt Bartle Frere in 1886. Today’s Mt Bartle Frere trail follows the route taken by miners and adventurers since the 1890s.

Exploring Josephine Falls

Have a picnic at Josephine Falls. Picnic tables, a shelter shed, a coin-operated gas barbecue and toilets are provided in the picnic area near the carpark. Camping is not allowed.

Go for a short walk through the rainforest to the falls. For your safety, do not enter the restricted access area around the top of the falls. Serious injuries and deaths have occurred here.

Go birdwatching or wildlife watching. Lists of common birds and other animals are available from the Ranger.

Wooroonooran is a bushwalking haven for keen, experienced, fit walkers. Boil creek water for five minutes before drinking.

The historic 18km Goldfield Trail from Goldsborough Valley to The Boulders Scenic Reserve near Babinda passes through the park. Bush camping is allowed on the banks of the East Mulgrave River.

The Mt Bartle Frere trail leads to the summit from Josephine Falls or the Atherton Tableland. Both routes are 7·5km, steep and very challenging. Allow two days. Bush camping is allowed along the route. No facilities are provided. Obtain your permit from the self-registration station at the start of the trail.

The dry season from May to October is the best time for bushwalking. Be prepared for cold nights and strong winds. Rain can be heavy and prolonged in the Wet.


Wear a hat and sunscreen. Check track and weather conditions before hiking in the park. Leave your walking plans with a responsible friend or relative and advise your safe return.


The toilets, picnic shelter and picnic table are wheelchair-accessible. Wheelchair access along the Falls track is possible with assistance.

Getting there

Josephine Falls is 75km south of Cairns. Turn off the Bruce Highway 2km south of Miriwinni and drive 8km to Josephine Falls. The western approach is from Gourka Road, about 15km south-east of Malanda via Topaz Road.

Sources & Further reading


Journey Back Through Time
Experience Australia
Aboriginal Australia
National Parks
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                                                                                           Author: M.H.Monroe  Email:     Sources & Further reading