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Stoney Creek Falls Cairns – The Kuranda Scenic Rail Waterfall

Stoney Creek Falls Cairns – The Kuranda Scenic Rail Waterfall

Olly Gaspar

By Olly Gaspar, full-time traveler for 6 years. I visit every place I write about & share real tips, photos, & advice from my trips.

Stoney Creek Falls is a popular waterfall walking track and swimming hole near Cairns.

There is a lot of confusion about Stoney Creek Falls. That’s because there are numerous waterfalls along Stoney Creek with this name.

The main two options are a short scenic walk to Old Weir Falls, a refreshing dip in the swimming hole near the car park, or a longer hike to Stoney Creek Falls, the famous waterfall on the Kuranda Scenic Rail journey.

After hiking to over 30 waterfalls in Cairns and visiting all of the cascades along the many walking tracks on Stoney Creek, I’ve written this updated guide, covering all the options for your visit.

The Best Cairns Waterfall Experiences

Visiting Cairns and want to see the best waterfalls in the region on a day trip? Below are my recommended options that you can book today.

Josephine falls waterfall rock slide

1. Tablelands Waterfall Wilderness Tour Top Pick

Explore Atherton Tableland's majestic waterfalls & rainforest, visiting some of my favourites including Millaa Millaa & Josephine Falls.

Crystal cascades waterfall and swimming hole near cairns

2. Epic Waterfall Canyoning Trip

An epic canyoning & zip-line tour out of Cairns through Behana Gorge or the popular Crystal Canyons (Crystal Cascades).

Millaa millaa waterfall

3. Comprehensive Tablelands Waterfall Tour Budget

A comprehensive and cost-effective World Heritage Daintree Rainforest tour to Josephine Falls, Dinner Falls, and Millaa Millaa.

The Three Main Waterfalls Along Stoney Creek

To clear things up, there are several waterfalls along Stoney Creek. Each are accessible via the Stoney Creek swimming hole car park (pinned below).

  1. Old Weir Falls - this is the most popular waterfall at Stoney Creek and is easily accessible via a short rainforest hiking trail that is easy to follow. It features a deep swimming hole, making it a great option if you're looking for a place to swim.
  2. Small Waterfall - as the name suggests, this is a small cascade upstream of Old Weir Falls on the way to the official Stoney Creek Falls below.
  3. Stoney Creek Falls - this is the official waterfall on Stoney Creek beside the Kuranda Scenic Rail line. There is also a swimming hole at the bottom but getting here requires much more experience.

Note that there are several more significantly smaller cascades on the way up to Stoney Creek. We went off trail to follow the creek on the way down and discovered 5 more!

Stoney creek falls, cairns
Stoney creek falls
Small waterfall on stoney creek
Small Waterfall
Old weir falls at stoney creek, cairns
Old weir falls

Where is Stoney Creek from Cairns?

Stoney Creek is reached via a short, 20-minute drive from Cairns CBD down the Western Arterial Road. You'll need to turn onto Stoney Creek Road (Kamerunga) which leads through the rainforest to the car park. The car park accommodates up to around 15 cars. There's no fee to park your car here but it can get busy!

From here, the track is clearly visible on the right, and immediately leads onto a concrete footbridge, where it's possible to fork off to the nearby swimming hole or continue to Old Weir Falls or the Stoney Creek Falls walking track.

There are no public transport routes to Stoney Creek and the closest bus stop is about 2 km walk away at Impey St near Lake Placid Rd. Therefore, if you want to get here and the other waterfalls and swimming holes in the region, I recommend renting a car or booking one of the tours above.

Map location of stoney creek in cairns
Car in the rainforest near cairns

Car Rentals in Far North Queensland

Cairns is one of the most popular travel destinations in Australia and car rentals quickly book out!

I've missed out on cars before & recommend booking well in advance. I always use DiscoverCars as they compare the widest range of rentals across dealerships in the Far North.

Stoney Creek Swimming Hole

Everyone knows that Cairns can get hot! As a result, it's not hard to see why Stoney Creek has become such a local favourite.

The great thing about Stoney Creek is that there is a deep, swimming hole just minutes from the car park, making it one of the best places to cool off close to Cairns.

To get here, cross the concrete footbridge and take the left track at the fork immediately after. Alternatively, you can also cross underneath the bridge and follow the shallow creek for about 3 minutes to the waterhole.

Stoney creek swimming hole near cairns
Stoney creek swimming hole

The swimming hole is wide and roughly 2 metres deep in the deepest section.

Although this is a great spot to swim and cool off, it can get very busy in summer, especially on weekends. Consider visiting early or on weekdays to avoid the crowds.

Did you know that the Stoney Creek car park is the starting point for the Glacier Rock lookout track and is only a 15-minute drive from Fairy Falls and the Crystal Cascades?

Stoney creek swimming hole cairns

The Stoney Creek Walking Track to Old Weir Falls

If the swimming hole is crowded, or you'd prefer a short hike to a larger, more secluded waterfall, then take the walking track to Old Weir Falls. This is accessed by taking the straight track from the footbridge fork leading up a wide, dirt track.

Stoney creek falls walking track cairns

This track is the Stoney Creek Walking track, which after about 20 minutes reaches Old Weir Falls. This track follows the creek up the side of a rounded hill and finishes just above the waterfall.

There is a large fallen tree that rests just above the waterfall, framing it nicely. Old Weir waterfall itself cascades roughly 8 metres down a rocky face onto a sand-lined shore.

Old weir falls at stoney creek, cairns
Old weir falls

Although the water isn't as deep here, it's still a great place to cool down and enjoy the serenity. There is also a deeper swimming hole just above Old Weir and a few more spots scattered along the track.

Stoney creek falls cairns

Stoney Creek Falls - Longer Hike to Kuranda Scenic Rail Waterfall

If you're looking to get to the official Stoney Creek Falls waterfall behind the Kuranda Scenic Rail line, then this is a bit more of a mission. Keep in mind that the Scenic Rail line is off limits and I am in no way condoning walking on their land or structures.

There is a sign pointing towards the "Douglas Track" and Glacier Rock almost immediately after the concrete footbridge.

Sign to douglas track near stoney creek

The track to Stoney Creek Falls begins by turning right here. Then, approximately 100 meters along this track, there is a mostly overgrown and unmarked track leading into the rainforest to the left.

A little further on, this track opens up and is easier to follow. There are also sporadic pink markers along the way. Soon, the track reaches "Small Waterfall", a tiny cascade with a decently deep pool to swim in. The track follows on the left side of this waterfall, climbing up the small rocky section.

River crossing on stoney creek
Small waterfall on stoney creek

After 1.2 kilometers, the track crosses the creek and enters back into the forest. There are pink markers on the other side of the creek marking the way. This track then continues through the forest, winding its way up to the ridgeline before a final steep ascent to the railway line.

Creek crossing in cairns rainforest

Stoney Creek Falls is just a few hundred meters from the railway line.

Stoney creek falls, cairns
Stoney creek falls, cairns

Hiking tip: Here is the route that I took on my Strava. Just keep in mind that this track is mostly unmarked. Furthermore, we didn't take the proper route on the descent and chose to rock hop down the creek instead to look for more waterfalls.

Where to Stay In Cairns

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.

Girl sunbathing at crystalbrook riley resort in cairns

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.

Fitzroy island wharf

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.

Gilligans backpacker resort

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.

Peppers beach club four mile beach port douglas

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 Adventure & Waterfall Guides

I hope that this quick guide to visiting the different waterfalls along Stoney Creek Falls near Cairns. I've spent several months exploring and documenting travel guides for this region. Below are more useful guides you can check out for free.

Pinterest pin for hiking to stoney creek falls, cairns
Thanks for Reading

I'm Olly Gaspar, adventure traveler from Australia. I’ve spent the last six years traveling the world full-time, sharing my first-hand experiences & photography in over 700 travel guides on We Seek Travel. I visit every destination I write about to bring you unique travel itineraries, epic hiking routes, fun tour ideas, travel & photography gear ideas, & interesting places to stay.

I only make genuine, worthwhile recommendations based on my experience, expertise, & research. If you buy through my links, I may get a commission, supporting this website at no extra cost to you. Read my Publishing Ethics Statement.