Who doesn’t love a waterfall and Barron Gorge National Park is home to several amazing waterfalls that range from beautiful little falls on Stony Creek up to the majestic giant that is Barron Falls.
The Barron Gorge National Park extends from the suburbs of Cairns on the coastal plain at Lake Placid to the elevated regions of the Atherton Tablelands near Kuranda, and lies within the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. The park is part of the traditional lands of the Djabugandji Bama people and the falls are known to them as Din Din.
My first experience of Barron Gorge National Park was in 2003 when I was invited to Cairns by Professor Jamie Seymour and Dr Teresa Carrette after meeting them in Timor Leste and taken on a tour of the natural wonders of the Cairns region and of course part of the tour involved Barron Gorge falls. Unfortunately, I had arrived at the end of the dry season so there was very little water running over the falls.
I had unsuccessfully attempted to see the falls in all their glory on several occasions since my initial visit and finally in 2022 I was able to visit the falls after significant rainfall had occurred around ANZAC Day. My visit to Barron Gorge National Park started with a drive out to the suburb of Kamerunga for a hike along Stoney Creek which was flowing strongly after the immense downpours Cairns and the Tablelands had experienced. I headed up to Kuranda hoping the falls would be flowing strongly.
The road access to Barron Falls is through the hamlet of Kuranda, a beautiful little town with vibrant markets and a relaxed feel. Passing through the town the route to Barron Falls is well signposted and is sealed. Alternately, visitors from Cairns can either travel to Kuranda on the Skyrail , a cableway, or on the Kuranda Scenic railway Upon arriving at the carpark access to the viewing platforms is via an elevated, wheelchair-accessible 1.2 km return boardwalk suspended high above the forest floor winds through lush, rainforest canopy to the Barron Falls lookouts and Barron Falls railway platform.
There are 2 main viewing points but I found the lookout located above the train station to give the best views of the falls as white water falls 125 meters to the gorge below. The sound of the falling water is truly mesmerising and the spray and mist can be felt on the lookout. There is a rocky feature at the base of the falls that locals call “The Praying Man” seeming like a face with hands outstretched in prayer, but to me it reminded me of a bonsai garden.
The area around Barron falls is well maintained and suitable for all levels of fitness; the majesty of the falls in full flood at the end of the wet season is a sight well worth seeing. The best time to see the falls in flood is during the wet season between November and March.