Tuesday 8 September 2015

Josephine Falls, QLD, Australia

When somebody says the word tiered I immediately think of cupcakes becuase of the tiered cupcake stands you can buy which are great for tea parties. Waterfalls are not usually what spring to mind. However Josephine Falls are quite often described as a tiered waterfall. Cupcakes aside, when something is described as tiered, it simply means it is layers. Josephine Falls is not just one vertical cascade like many waterfalls are. Instead the falls go over a series of granite boulders forming a layered or tiered waterfall.

I had visited Josephine falls back in 2007 and wanted to visit it again with Cameron. Just like the Babinda Boulders I talked about in the previous post, Josephine Falls is located at the bottom of Mt Bartle Frere, Queensland's highest mountain, situated in the Wooroonooran National Park.

It is about 1 hour and 15 minutes South of Cairns. Follow the Bruce Highway from Cairns to Mirriwinni (1 hour), then turn right to follow the signs to the falls (15 minutes).There is a carpark, a set of toilets, then a 600 meter walk up to falls (1.2 Km return). The carpark is also the start of the Bartle Frere Trail (15 Km return). Upon researching this area, I found that there is a list of waterfalls of Australia and Josephine Falls is on it.

 The walk to the falls is beautiful and unique at the same time. There are plants that grow here that usually only grow at higher altitudes of over 500m or more such as the Atherton Palm, and the Potato Fern. Josephine Falls is only at an elevation of 192 meters above sea level. These plants are able to grow here because Mt Bartle Frere is 1622m. Josephine Creek starts at the top so the water is very cold. It is still cold when it reaches the Josephine Falls area towards the bottom of the mountain thus allowing these plants to grow.

Once at the end of the walk you will have reached your destination of seeing Josephine Falls. There are three lookouts. Like usual Cameron and I go to the furthest one away which is also the highest vantage point of the falls. This lookout is also accessible via wheel chair. The others lookouts have stairs going down to them. From the top two lookouts and pools it is not advisable to swim. The bottom lookout is safer to swim at but like always when swimming in creeks and rivers caution must be taken. Don't swim if it has been raining or looks like it will rain as flash flooding can happen quickly, especially when swimming near waterfalls. Josephine Falls is a very popular swimming hole despite the cold temperatures. Not only do you get to swim at a waterfall, but leading down into the bottom swimming hole is what locals call a natural water slide where the water goes over the smooth wide granite. Many backpacker tour groups from Cairns come and enjoy this water slide.

Like usual I'm going to finish off by mentioning Li'l Aussie Monsters. Li'l Aussie Monsters are cartoon aussie animals that Cameron has been inspired to draw based on our travels and adventures. Earlier this year he decided to put these designs onto T-shirts so they could accompany us and others on future adventures. The shirts come in children and adult sizing, and all shirts have a choice of two colours and FREE SHIPPING world wide! When we went to Josephine Falls, Peggy Penguin and Johnny Jump Bear accompanied us.
Happy Travels

 - Jeni

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