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Fairy Falls Cairns – The Hidden Waterfall at the Crystal Cascades

Fairy Falls Cairns – The Hidden Waterfall at the Crystal Cascades

A quick waterfall guide to help you find Fairy Falls Cairns, the hidden waterfall at the back of Crystal Cascades.

Fairy Falls Cairns is a small hidden gem just a short 15-minute walk from the popular swimming spot at Crystal Cascades.

Sometimes, it pays to wander off the beaten path. This is definitely true when it comes to the Fairy Falls since most people that visit the Crystal Cascades wouldn’t even know it existed! In my opinion, it’s a more beautiful waterfall, nestled in a small rainforest nook, complete with drooping vines and a crystal clear waterfall pool.

In this guide I’ll share with you everything you need to know about visiting Fairy Falls including how to get here and what to expect once you arrive.

Fairy Falls

RELATED GUIDES: Stoney Creek Falls | Crystal Cascades

Best Cairns Outdoor Experiences

Travel tip: By far, the best islands for snorkeling in Cairns are the Frankland Islands (pristine reef). There is only one boat trip allowed to stop on these islands and you can book this directly with BackpackerDeals + use code OLLY5 to get $5 off.


How to Get to Fairy Falls Cairns

In order to get to Fairy Falls, you'll need to drive to the Crystal Cascades, located approximately 25 minutes from Cairns city. Unfortunately, there aren't any public transport options to the Cascades, so you'll need your own transport.

The car park for the Crystal Cascades is located at the end of Redlynch Intake Road. This is where you will need to drive to and leave your car before hitting the secret trail to Fairy Falls. I've pinned the exact location of the car park on the map below.

Crystal Cascades map in Cairns

If you don't have your own car, then I recommend booking a canyoneering tour from Cairns. The one below is one of the best canyoneering experiences in Far North Queensland and runs up the "Crystal Canyon", right near the cascades and Fairy Falls.

Swimming at Fairy Falls on my first visit
Great Barrier Reef aerial photograph near Cairns, Australia

50+ More Cairns Bucketlist Items

Finding the Hidden Trail to Fairy Falls

The trail to the Fairy Falls is located on the far left side of the car park (as you enter the car park, looking toward the Crystal Cascades walking trail).

There are no signs or markings indicating the path, but you'll see the clearing next to a warning sign for stinging plants.

Continue down this trail through the dense tropical rainforest for no more than 10 minutes until you reach the creek, where the trail bends left. Don't take the deceiving path that leads nearly vertically up a hill. Instead, stay near the creek and continue along until you reach a small clearing.

Here, there is a shallow pool and just above it, is the hidden waterfall.

Fairy Falls Walking Track

Fairy Falls Cairns - What to Expect

It's true, Fairy Falls isn't the most impressive waterfall in Cairns in terms of size or power. However, it's a very scenic waterfall carved into the cliff which flows into a narrow but deep blue pool.

Cairns Fairy Falls

There is also a large, thick log that seems to have torn down the rapids and wedged itself perfectly into the waterfall. Locals have carved some steps into the slippery bark to help you climb a little higher and admire the waterfall.

Fairy Falls is one of my favourite spots in Cairns to come and unwind away from crowds. The walk is very short and easy, making it one of the best spots in town to cool off in the hot tropical heat.


Cairns Accommodation Guide – Where to Stay

Visiting Cairns? The best places to stay are near the Cairns Esplanade or on the sunny Northern Beaches. Below are the top 4 options for varying budgets.

  • Crystalbrook Riley - If luxury and location are what you're after, you can't beat the Crystalbrook Riley. This is the best 5-star resort in Cairns and features absolutely everything you'd expect from a Crystalbrook resort.
  • Fitzroy Island Resort - Sleep out on one of the picturesque Great Barrier Reef Islands at Fitzroy Island Resort. Spending the night on the island can work out cheaper than staying in town and means you get more time to explore the reef, coral beaches and rainforest walking trails.
  • Gilligan's Backpackers - The best backpacker option for a great vibe in Cairns. Great place to meet like-minded travelers and has facilities including a pool. air-con, a huge shared kitchen, and a great common area!
  • Pepper's Beach Club - stay at the best beach resort in the heart of Palm Cove on the Cairns Northern Beaches!

For a bigger list, don't miss my Cairns accommodation guide or as an alternative stay in FNQ, read my Port Douglas Accommodation guide too.

Girl sunbathing at Crystalbrook Riley resort in Cairns
Backpacker hostel in Cairns, Australia

More Cairns Waterfalls, Hikes & Adventures

I hope that this quick guide to visiting Fairy Falls in Cairns, Queensland has been useful for you. If you liked this spot, make sure to check out some of my other articles for the Far North. I've spent loads of time documenting the best adventures to share with you.

So, go on, I'm sure you'll find something new!


Tuesday 22nd of November 2022

I've only just found your "blogs" and am now following you. Thank you for showing us nomads places to investigate. It's truly appreciated. Could I just ask for one more bit of information? Could you let us doggie owners whether our woofas are allowed to come please? I don't want my hyperactive whippet to annoy anyone. Annoying me is enough thank you. Bye for now Stay safe, Jo & Bryn the naughty whippet

Olly Gaspar

Tuesday 22nd of November 2022

haha thanks Jo.

Most National Parks don't allow dogs up in FNQ, but I'll start mentioning it in places that they are.

Thanks again and enjoy your travels!