The small township Babinda lies 80 km’s south of Cairns along the Stuart Highway.
This area, including Tully, holds the Australian record for annual rainfall, a refreshing factor for the driest continent on earth.
It shows all around. I never experienced the sun peaking through low clouds during my two-day work experience at Babinda Bakery. Yes, two days only.
Queensland’s two highest peaks, Mount Bartle Frere and Mount Bellenden Ker line the Great Dividing Range inland from here.
Incoming moisture from the ocean gets trapped by this mountain range and is released again over the lush rainforest.
All shades of green are on display. These mountains are also the eastern border of the Atherton Tablelands high plateau.
While Tully holds an artificial ‘Biggest Gumboot’ as their pride and joy, Babinda has its own gigantic pride.
Huge boulders line Babinda Creek as it plummets through narrow gorges. Seeing the size of these granite giants left me wondering on how and when they ended up here.
Nature’s creativity and force is hard to miss around here.
Washed up and rotten trees are the perfect domain for fungi in this humid environment.
This lush rainforest is breathtaking.
No space is wasted for flora to flourish wherever it can.
Wherever plants can regrow, they will.
Incredibly, this sole tree supports countless bushes and scrubs. I can only imagine how many different rainforest dwellers benefit from this first oasis.
Sunlight is essential but hard to find within this dense jungle.
Moss covered fallen trees create a perfect dwelling for mammals and reptiles.
Rising floodwaters carved sidearms of the main creek bed.
These become stagnant pools during the dry season and support freshwater life within this lively rainforest.
This is a perfect habitat for cassowaries as their fruity droplets suggest.
I wasn’t so lucky to discover any cassowary here this time.
Instead, a small honeyeater displayed his favourite nectar source.
Colourful and tiny, he was fluffing from flower to flower.
Babinda Boulders National Park is well worth a visit.
It is a wonderful spot for a picnic or refreshing dip in icy waters. If you feel a bit more adventurous, you may take the plunge from these solid boulders.
If you feel like a 30-meter free-fall that is.
A group of Argentinian travellers did exactly that, a thrill-seeking adrenaline rush. A walking trail follows Babinda Creek as it cuts through the granite escarpment.
You can follow this path in the footsteps of this giant.
He may have stumbled over some fallen trees before, passing several viewing platforms over the gorge.
Surging waters plunge from upper levels, washing out already existing whirlpools. Only the heaviest boulders can withstand the rushing power, for now. The broader view shows the impact these floodwaters have. It is a vivid combination of dense rainforest and water blasted granite marbles. Marbleous.
A false sense of tranquillity emerges, sitting high and dry on these colourful granite rocks.
Once Babinda Creek’s rushing waters are tamed, it’s crystal clear waters mellow through the township to join Russel River.
There is also the option to Free Camp not far from the carpark, which includes a toilet block and stationary tables at some campsites.
However, limited space is available and the ‘First Come, First serve’ rule applies. A maximum stay of 48 hours is the norm.
Now and then, a colourful foreigner strides his pride for visitors.
And he does it in style.
Exhibiting his spectral wall of feathers, this peacock gets plenty of attention.
Not from females of his kind though.