Crystal Cascades Cairns, Australia

Crystal Cascades is one of the secrets of Cairns and Tropical North Queensland that locals wish they could hide from visitors. 

It is a secluded freshwater swimming hole, hidden in a wonderfully cool tropical rainforest accessible by self drivers or for those adventure seekers on our Cairns canyoning tours.

A series of small waterfalls flow into large pools surrounded by large impressive granite boulders.

Rainforest trees hang over the mountain water, keeping it cool and refreshing. There are also council managed and cleaned BBQ and picnic tables in the area with a toilet/change room block close-by.

For most, the only way of discovering the presence of Crystal Cascades is by being told by a local, or unwittingly following road signs to the unique surrounding places.

For further fresh water swimming hole options - check out our Tours with pick up available from your Cairns accommodation.

Crystal Cascades Cairns, Australia

How to get to Crystal Cascades Fresh Water Swimming Holes in Cairns
Even though Crystal Cascades is very popular with Cairns locals, it is not serviced by public transport but you can book an adrenaline pumping half day tour and enjoy some canyoning, abseiling and zip lining on our Cairns Canyoning tours.
Other ways to get to these Cairns swimming holes are by taxi, hitch hiking (which we do not recommend) or with your own rental car. Be warned however, there is no mobile phone reception in the area, so if you're hoping to call a cab to drive you back into town you may be in a spot of bother.
Distance from Cairns city centre is 17.5 kilometres and about 18 minutes driving time.
If you are begining your drive to Crystal Cascades from Cairns go north along Sheridan Street and turn left at James Street (which changes to Anderson Street at the roundabout near the cemetary). Continue along this road to the roundabout staying in the right hand lane and move thru travelling just a few hundred metres on Pease Street and turning right at Highway 91 or the Cairns Western Arterial and then left on Redlynch Connection Road. You need to stay in the left lane as you approach the roundabout following the Redlynch Intake road all the way to Crystal Cascades.
From the iconic Red Beret Pub, the swimming hole is about 10 kilometres away.
It a very scenic journey travelling thru this area as it is lush and green.
Please note:- It is very dangerous to jump off the high granite boulders and from trees into the waterhole.
The entry to the waterholes is from the public car park with a 1.2 kilometre well maintained pathway (about a 30 minute walk) Crystal Cascades is linked to the mighty Lake Morris (the city's resevoir which is a sight to see on it's own for another half day thing to do and see in Cairns).
Also there are no camping facilities at Crystal Cascades swimming hole however, there is a nice caravan park called Big4 Cairns Crystal Cascades and they have eco villas and family villas for overnight accommodation.  Alternatively stay in Cairns and drive to Crystal Cascades for a half day adventure.
This area is part of the Barron Gorge National Park. 
Questions about Crystal Cascades
1.) What time can you visit Crystal Cascades?
Visitors may enter the National Park from 5.00am to 9.00pm
2.) Are there crocodiles at Crystal Cascades?
To date there have been o sightings of crocodiles, this may be because it is cold moving mountain water a long way from the sea 
3.) Are there Barbeque facilities at Crystal Cascades?
Yes there are electric barbeques, picnic tables and toilet block
4.) Can we take dogs to Crystal Cascades?
No this is a National Park so no domestic animals are permitted
5.) Can I go fishing at Crystal Cascades?
Well, not really as the fish are really small and very friendly as are the eels - you could snorkel with them!
6.) Is it easy to walk to Crystal Cascades swimming holes
Yes once you leave the car park follow the well maintained trail to the series of water holes and waterfalls along the way  
7.) Can you jump into the swimming holes at Crystal Cascades?
Well, we think it is not wise to do so and unfortunately you cannot give good advice to all! Submerged rocks are not always visible and as you have no clue on the depth of the water at the time of year you are visiting, we strongly say NO to jumping off rocks into the Crystal Cascades swimming holes unless you are with an expert tour guide such as this group.

More Fresh Water Swimming Holes in Cairns and Far North Queensland

If a refreshing dip in a crystal clear swimming hole is what you are looking for - we have some more Cairns rainforest swimming holes for you to check out here!

Behana Gorge - Once you reach the parking lot at the Cairns Pyramid Mountain you then take a wonderful 45 minute hike into the cool rainforest to find Behana Gorge. This is the place the Cairns locals call "The Cairns Hike in Paradise". Self drive to this swimming hole or take a guided adrenaline tour that let's you experience Behana Gorge at another level.

Babinda Boulders - Located just 7 kilometres south of Cairns guests can make their own way to these swimming holes or join a guided tour that also encompass other sightseeing attractions of Cairns as well as time spent at Babinda Boulders.

Josephine Falls - Ranked as some of the most spectacular waterfalls in Far North Queensland Josephine Falls is a very popular backdrop for television movies and commercials. Pack a picnic, spend a half day or a full day in the Cairns rainforest. Or book a sightseeing tour that visits Josephine Falls and other Cairns waterfalls and swimming holes.

Lake Barrine - Have you ever swum in a volcano crater before? Well now is your chance at Lake Barrine on the Atherton Tablelands behind Cairns. Go for a drive in your own rental car or join a guided tour and see all of the attractions of the Atherton Tablelands with your expert guide.  

Cape Tribulation - Enjoy a refreshing dip at the secluded Emmagen Creek in a small group Cape Tribulation 4WD day tour with daily pick ups from your Cairns accommodation. Experience the world heritage rainforest with a guided day trip and informative guide - check out Billy Tea Bush Safaris.

Daintree - After a day exploring Daintree and visiting Cape Tribulation Beach, you have the opportunity to paddle a canoe in the Blue Lagoon and an optional swim in a natural rainforest waterhole. Check out some Daintree Rainforest tours and attractions.

Atherton Tablelands - A day exploring Cairns' Atherton Tablelands is a great way to experience unique rainforest and wildlife of the Crater Lakes.  Travelling along 4WD tracks you will also have an opportunity to swim in a natural rock pool before heading back to Cairns past Lake Morris Dam. Pick up from your Cairns Accommodation available daily.  Check out Wilderness Eco Safaris

Atherton Tablelands & Paronella - Experience the beauty of the waterfalls, crater lakes and further south to Paronella Park and Babinda Boulders with an optional swim during your day. Day trips depart daily from Cairns - check out more info here.

Atherton Tablelands (Cairns Backpacker Style) - Backpackers and adventure travellers can expect a day of fun on this full day experience, travelling to Cairns' Atherton Tablelands visiting Lake Eacham, Milla Milla Falls and Josephine Falls. Check out our Backpackers Rainforest & Waterfalls day trip with pick ups from Cairns.

Crystal Cascades | Abseiling Waterfall - Cairns Canyoning Tour

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Crystal Cascades Cairns Canyoning Tour | Abseiling, Cliff Jumping, Rock Sliding Adventure | Half Day Tour
  • Departs From: Meet at Allbout Cairns, 58 Grafton St, Cairns City
  • Duration:

    6 hours (approx)

Come canyoning in Crystal Cascades on our half day rainforest and waterfall tours. We will be abseiling, zip lining and canyoning in this wonderful region of Far North Queensland. Swim in crystal clear rock pools. Enjoy 2 - 3 hours with your friends and family seeing the wonderful nature of Tropical North Queensland rainforests behind Cairns.

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Paronella Park south of Cairns - Hydro Station Waterfalls

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Cairns Rainforest Tours | Waterfalls & Paronella Park | NEXP
  • Departs From:
  • Duration:

    10.5 hours (approx)

Discover Cairns' Atherton Tablelands waterfalls, crater lake, rainforests and venture south to Paronella Park and Babinda Boulders.

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