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 who 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.
By Olly Gaspar, traveler, travel blogger & photographer for 5+ years with 600+ published travel guides. I visit every place I write about & share real tips from what I learn.
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.
Also nearby: Stoney Creek Falls
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.
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 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.
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.
Best Cairns Outdoor Experiences
Not sure which outdoor experiences & natural attractions to visit for your next adventure to Cairns?
Whilst living in Cairns I have been on over 20 different tours and worked with countless tour operators. This is a summary of my favourite tours & bookable experiences in Cairns.
2. Great Barrier Reef by Catamaran Top-Pick
Visit the outer reef and snorkel or scuba dive at two pristine reef locations. You might even get lucky and meet the local Maori Wrasse like we did in the photo.
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.
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.
Alternatively, check out my Port Douglas accommodation guide for more ideas on where to stay in Far North Queensland.
1. Crystalbrook Riley Luxury
If luxury and location are what you're after, you can't beat this 5-star resort right in the heart of Cairns Esplanade.
2. Fitzroy Island Resort Mid-Range
Sleep out on one of the picturesque Great Barrier Reef Islands! Staying at Fitzroy often works out cheaper than staying in town & means you get more time to explore the reef, beaches, and rainforest walking trails.
3. Gilligan's Backpackers Budget
The best backpacker option for a great vibe in Cairns. Great place to meet like-minded travelers & features a pool, air-con rooms, a huge shared kitchen, & a great common area.
4. Pepper's Beach Club Palm Cove
Stay at the best beach resort in the heart of Palm Cove on Cairns's Northern Beaches!
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!
- 60+ Things to do in Cairns - my ultimate Cairns and FNQ travel resource covering the best activities, hidden gems, and unmissable experiences.
- Cairns Hiking Guide - a huge list of epic rainforest, waterfall, and lookout hikes in Cairns.
- Cairns Waterfalls - a huge list of epic waterfalls that I've visited in Cairns and the surrounding tropics.
- Cairns Islands - discover my favorite Great Barrier Reef islands near Cairns and Port Douglas.
- Cairns Tours - my roundup of the best tours you can book in Cairns and FNQ, from the Great Barrier Reef to the Daintree Rainforest.
- Cairns Packing List - tips on what to pack for a trip to Far North Queensland.
- Top Things to Do in Port Douglas - a comprehensive guide to the sleepy Far North Queensland town of Port Douglas.
- Epic 5-Day Cairns Itinerary - my suggested adventure itinerary if you only have 5 days to spend in Cairns.
- Cape Tribulation Travel Guide - discover where the rainforest meets the reef at one of my favourite places in Australia.
- Magnetic Island Travel Guide - your ultimate resource for visiting "Maggie" near Townsville.
- Best Things to do in the Atherton Tablelands - my guide to one of Far North Queensland's most underrated adventure destinations.
- Accommodation Resources: Discover where to stay in Cairns, the best hotels in Port Douglas and my Cape Tribulation accommodation guide.