Yep, I reckon Babinda Boulders is one of the BEST Free Camps I’ve stayed in so far.
That’s a big call I know, I’ve stayed in many, but being surrounded by such greenery with the beautiful Babinda Boulders just 2 minutes (100m walk) away ticks many boxes for me.
Nestled at the base of Queensland’s two tallest mountains, Mt Bartle Frere (1622m) and Mt Bellenden Kerr (1593m) is the quirky little town of Babinda. The town sits about 65km south of Cairns in Far North Queensland and is a lush spot, well-known for its natural beauty – the Babinda Boulders.
This natural waterway is quite literally a boulder-filled crystal clear creek, which runs down from the forest-filled mountains. Babinda Boulders boasts its own fantastic free camping ground just a few hundred metres away (within walking distance of the swimming hole).
It’s tropical, it’s got swimming holes and waterfalls, plus there are toilets and bins onsite. What more could a camper ask for?!
We spent an awesome six days in Babinda, swimming, drinking and laughing with other travelling families and have created some great lifelong memories. That’s what the travelling life is all about!
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Babinda Boulders Camping
There are two awesome Free Camps in Babinda, which together will allow you to stay in the town for up to 6 days in total (72 hours at each camp).
- The Boulders Camping Ground (FREE)
- Babinda Rotary Park Rest Area (Donation)
There are only eight designated campsites at The Boulders Free Camping Ground, however, most people are happy to share sites and get as many people in as will comfortably fit. It’s an extremely popular spot as the walk to the Babinda Boulders swimming hole is literally only 100m down the road.
To get a spot at The Boulders Free Camping Ground, you need to get in early.
If you don’t get a spot there, you can go and camp for free/ donation at the Babinda Rotary Park Rest Area and try again early the next morning!
Use the interactive map below to view the location of the two free camps in Babinda, then read on to have a good look at what the two different free camps in Babinda offer travellers.
Map of Babinda Free Camping Grounds
The Boulders Free Camping Ground
FREE (72 hours)
Showers (cold only)
Tents, Campers, Caravans & Motorhomes
No Pets, Telstra Reception, Drinking Water or Big Rigs
Tips for Getting a Spot at The Boulders Free Camping Ground:
There are only 8 sites available at The Boulders Free Camping Ground, but you can get 2-3 vans or campers per site and most people are happy to share.
It’s common for people to start arriving around 9am and start stalking those who are leaving. If you’re unlucky enough to get a spot here at the Babinda Boulders camping ground, there is another really great camp in town at the Babinda Rotary Park Rest Area. You can also stay there for up to 3 days and the cost is by donation.
Many people hang out at the Rotary Park Rest Area and try again at The Boulders Campsite the next day if they weren’t able to get a site.
Who would bother rocking up at 3pm and expect to get a spot? Yeah, that’s us… and we got lucky! However, in peak season, you’d be dreaming.
|The Boulders Free Camping Ground Address|
|At the end of Boulders Road,|
Babinda QLD 4861
Babinda Rotary Park Rest Area
Babinda Rotary Park Rest Area is one of the best Donation Camps we’ve come across yet!
We found this to be a beautiful camp with loads of room and all of the amenities you could need. Plus it’s only a short walk to the gorgeous little township looking up to the mountains. The Babinda Boulders Free Camp only has limited spots, so this is a great second option if you luck out over there.
Donation (72 hours)
Showers ($2 for hot)
Big Rig access
|Babinda Rotary Park Rest Area Address|
|29 Howard Kennedy Drive,|
Babinda QLD 4861
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Exploring Babinda Boulders
Surrounded by lush, tropical rainforest, the famous Babinda Boulders of the Cairns region are nothing short of spectacular. Just above the Boulders sits the tallest mountain in Queensland, Mt Bartle Frere.
The crystal clear water of Babinda Creek was very fresh, but such a relief from the northern humidity. Plus, the swimming hole is just a short 100m walk from the free camping area.
There is a lovely 2km forest boardwalk that takes you to three lookouts along the creek to view the different boulder formations. This is accessible from the car park.
Downstream from the swimming area is a place of Aboriginal legend, known as Devil’s Pool.
It is said that two lovers from different tribes couldn’t stay together, so the man went back to his tribe, while the woman threw herself off a boulder into the swirling waters below and drowned. Since then, she has been tempting many to dive into the seemingly calm waters (mainly men) and has claimed many lives.
The locals know where it is safe to swim, but everyone is warned to avoid swimming there and utilise the safer pools further upstream. There is even a shortcut through the bush from the road called ‘Dead Mans Track,’ for emergency services to gain quick access to the area when necessary.
Where to Swim
The main swimming area is easily located and accessible from the car park. The water levels were fairly shallow when we visited and this main area provided varying depths for all ages and abilities. Wheel chair access is available with a ramp leading down to the seating area.
If you’re looking for a less touristy/ crowded spot, take the walking track through the bush near the playground area, which will lead you to a beautiful spot a little further upstream. Be super careful because the water is deceptively deep here! In the middle of this swimming hole is a big boulder that people like to climb and jump off.
Do not swim downstream from the main swimming area as it is far too dangerous. Many people have lost their lives down there. A sign warns of the dangers as the river flows through channels of overwater and underwater rocks.
Babinba Boulders is a very popular tourist spot, especially in the summer months. If you’re looking for a similarly beautiful swimming hole, with fresh water, sand and boulders, check out Alligators Nest in Tully. You’ll find Tully 85km south of Babinda down the highway, and it’ll take you about an hour to get there.
Facilities at Babinda Boulders
🚗 2WD bitumen road (parking for RVs and vans)
🚿 Cold showers
🔥 Gas BBQ’s
🍎 Sheltered picnic tables
🏊 Swimming holes
⚽️ Swing set
🌳 2km forest walk to 3 lookouts over the boulders and creek
❌ No dogs (National Park)