Fairy Falls | Cairns – Complete Hiking Guide 2020


If you are heading out to Crystal Cascades for the day and have never been to Fairy Falls, then we highly recommend it. Generally speaking, only locals know about it so it’s pretty quiet compared to Crystal Cascades.

fairy falls cairns

How to get to Fairy Falls

Drive out of Cairns heading west towards Redlynch and Crystal Cascades. The street signage to Crystal Cascades is actually really good so it’s pretty hard to get lost.

It’s about a 25 min drive from the middle of Cairns City and no, I wouldn’t recommend walking there.

When you get to Crystal Cascades, There are no signs to point you towards the Fairy Falls track. Instead, stand in the car park and look towards the crystal cascades walking track starting point. Now turn 90degrees to your left and head toward that end of the car park.

There isn’t currently a sign to indicate the start of the track but it’s pretty easy to see. There is a sign just next to it warning you about the stinging trees…. which really suck. Stay on the path and don’t touch the plants to keep yourself pain-free.

How long is the Fairy Falls hike

The hike to Fairy Falls is actually not a hike at all, rather, I would refer to it as a ‘nice little walk’. The walk is mostly flat and is only 300m each way.

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Can you swim at Fairy Falls

Absolutely, you can swim at Fairy Falls and it’s amazing. The water is pretty clear and very cool all year round. Probably don’t bother bringing your swimmers in the colder months (May-August), unless you are used to cold water.

The water here runs off the tablelands from Mareeba and can get extremely cold. So be prepared for that. Swimming here is pretty safe as there are no infinity pool drop-offs that you could possibly get pushed over.

Use caution when entering the water though as the rocks are slippery. There are also freshwater yabbies crawling around on the bottom. Yabbies are like little lobsters. You probably won’t see one, but to avoid the yuck factor I wouldn’t recommend standing in the one place for too long.

At Fairy Falls you can swim all the way up and under the waterfall itself. The water will only run really heavy after a serious amount of rain upstream which means, it’s a gentle massage when it is hitting your shoulders.

How high is Fairy Falls

Fairy Falls is a pretty small waterfall when compared to most of the falls around Cairns. It’s only about 15 meters that we could see. Jumping from rocks here is not recommended though.

There is a rather large old tree that has been wedged almost exactly in the middle of the pool which will make it easy for other (submerged) logs to get stuck. Land on one of those suckers from 10 meters and you won’t be going on any more hikes, ever.

Wildlife at Fairy Falls

Fairy Falls is located in some pretty dense rainforest so you can expect to see some pretty decent flora and fauna. As mentioned above there are freshwater yabbies in the water, but outside of the water, don’t be surprised if you see a snake. Most commonly the snakes you would see are pythons. We have personally seen a couple of jungle pythons.

Obviously there are mosquitoes so make sure you spray yourself with some Aeroguard before you head off on this walk. As for wild pigs and cassowaries, don’t worry about that. The chances are so slim I feel like this was pretty much a waste of a sentence.

fairy falls cairns

Best photo opportunity

As mentioned before there is a big old log running through the middle of the pool but there is also a rope swing which makes for some pretty cool shots that not many people will get.

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