The Boulder’s Legend

Annie Wonga is an Aboriginal Elder of Bunna Binda (Babinda)

Legend has it that a long time ago, when the Yidinji tribe lived in the Babinda Valley, there was a tremendous upheaval that created these unusual shaped Boulders with their foaming, rushing waters.  In the tribe was Oolana, a very beautiful young woman.  Also in the tribe was Waroonoo, a very old, wise and respected elder.

It was decided that these two should be given in marriage to one another, and so it was done.  Some time later, a wandering tribe came through the valley, and as was the friendly custom of the Yidinji, they make the strangers welcome, inviting them to stay.  In the visiting tribe was Dyga, a very handsome young man.  All eyes were upon him for his grace and beauty.  At first sight, Dyga and Oolana fell in love.

The Boulders Legend by Ena Carter-Ward

So great was their strong attraction for each other they arranged to meet secretly.  Knowing full well that their desire for each other would never be permitted, they ran away.  Oolana knew she could now never return as she was rightfully married to Waroonoo.  They journeyed well up into the valley; spending wonderful happy days together and they camped under Chooreechillum, near the water’s edge.

The two tribes had been searching for them and it was at this spot, they came upon the two lovers.  The wandering tribesmen seized Dyga, forcing him away, calling how they had been shamed and how they would travel far away and never return.  The Yidinjis had taken hold of Oolana and were dragging her back, forcing her to return with them to the rest of the tribe.  Suddenly, she broke away and violently flung herself forward into the gentle waters of the creek, as she called and cried for Dyga to return to her here, but the wandering tribe had gone, and with them her handsome lover.

Would he ever return?  Just at the very instant Oolana struck the water, a tremendous upheaval occurred.  The land shook with terror and sorrow as Oolana cried for her lost lover to come to her.  Her anguished cries spilled out as rushing water came cascading over the whole area.  Huge boulders were thrown up and she disappeared into them.  Oolana seemed to become part of the stones as if to guard the very spot where it all happened.

So it is to this very day, her spirit remains.  Some say that at times her anguished calls cry out calling her lover to return – and that wandering travellers should take care lest Oolana calls them too close to her beautiful waters, for she is forever searching for her own lost lover and this must always be.

Up to 17 lives have been lost at the Babinda Boulders, most of them young men. 


Take heed of warning signs and fenced off areas.  These areas are extremely dangerous for swimming and continue to take lives.