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How to Find Fairy Falls

Updated Mon 10 Oct 2022


Man diving into Fairy Falls swimming hole from rock. Tall waterfall cascades in background, rope swing hangs from  moss rocks.

Image source: Tropical North Queensland

Secluded in the thick rainforest surrounding the Crystal Cascades is Fairy Falls, a small, scenic croc-free waterfall that cascades down a split in the rocky granite outcrop into a crystal clear freshwater swimming hole. There’s no official signage or footpath to Fairy Falls, which lends an adventurous thrill to discovering it — like stumbling upon a secret gem you get to keep all to yourself.

Due to its seclusion and deviation from the beaten track, you can expect less of a crowd. As the throngs of visitors tread toward the Crystal Cascades, slip away from the pack toward the stinging nettle on the far side of the carpark — be mindful of protecting any exposed skin from the plant’s pointed leaves and yellowish flowers.

From there it’s a breezy 15 minute stroll through lush tropical rainforest. Upon arrival at Fairy Falls, you’ll discover a deep, narrow, glittering blue-green pool fed by a slender but towering waterfall. The waterfall runs between the crevice of a mossy outcrop, draped in emerald ferns and vines, and looks as if the ground here has split simply to create this gorgeous hidden oasis. 

Fairy Falls is the perfect day trip from Cairns, especially if combined with a visit to the Crystal Cascades. Great place to be year-round in the tropical heat of northern Queensland! Come and unwind away from crowds, it pays to wander off the beaten path!

Fractals of light shining on Fairy Falls, water running over dark granite rock, covered in moss

Image source: To Catch Sight Of


Entrance to Fairy Falls trail, warning sign for stinging nettle in bottom left corner, dirt track disappearing into dense rainforest

Image source: To Catch Sight Of

Located at the end of Redlynch Intake Road in the Redlynch Valley, Fairy Falls is a brisk 25 minute drive from Cairns. 

As this is a lesser-known swimming spot, there’s no signage pointed toward Fairy Falls. After you’ve parked your car, head to the far left of the carpark where you’ll find a clearing beside a warning sign for stinging nettle. Follow this well-worn dirt track for about 10 minutes until you reach the creek, then stick to the creek until you reach another clearing with a small waterfall and a deep blue swimming pool.

Unfortunately, there is no public transport to the Fairy Falls, so a car is required. Checkout East Coast Tours for budget-friendly deals on campervan hires.


Close up of stinging nettle leaf, green, heart-shaped with pointed edges

Image source: To Catch Sight Of

Please heed the warning signs at entry and along the track. Queensland is prone to torrential rains during its wet season (summer) which can drastically impact walking tracks and water levels, as well as churn up underwater debris like rocks, branches and trees. 

Always wade out into the water you plan on jumping into first to check for depth, rocks, branches and other underwater debris. However, we stand with the signage at Fairy Falls/Crystal Cascades and advise against any unsafe activities.

Be sure to take note of the warning sign’s descriptions of the stinging nettle plant that meanders along the path to Fairy Falls. These will help visitors to identify and avoid their sting.

Discover more waterfall day trips, and chat to our friendly travel experts for help planning your Far North Queensland adventure.

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