Summary: A hidden waterfall reached by an unmarked track from the Crystal Cascades carpark, Fairy Falls is a picturesque cascade and a secluded swimming hole.

Fairy Falls is no longer really a secret waterfall, as there are many blogs and waterfalls that tell you how to get to this hidden cascade, which is near the popular Crystal Cascades. It is still a lot less busy than Crystal Cascades, and offers a secluded spot for a swim. The Dowah Creek flows over a number of boulders, forming small cascades that drop into a shallow pool.

AWAT1000 LR Fairy Falls - a secret waterfall at the Crystal Cascades

Above these smaller cascades is Fairy Falls, where the water plunges into a deep pool in a narrow gorge, surrounded by steep cliffs on three sides.

AWAT1013 LR Fairy Falls - a secret waterfall at the Crystal Cascades

Swimming at Fairy Falls

The deep pool below the waterfall is deep and perfect for a refreshing swim (the swmming hole is shaded for most of the day). However, the small pool only really suitable for a few people at a time, so it’s best to go eatly or late in the day.

Getting to Fairy Falls

Crystal Cascade is at the end of Redlynch Intake Road, which is about 20km (20min) from Cairns. From the large carpark, look for the obvious but unmarked trail on the left side of the car park. A sign warns of the dangers of the stinging tree (called gympie-gympies by the Indigenous Gubbi Gubbi people) – a sting fro the leves has been described as “like being burnt with hot acid and electrocuted at the same time”.

You can walk up the creek for about 300m, or follow a rough path that follows the creek on the left-hand side. As you reach the waterfall, you need to carefully scramble up the rocks to get above the lower cascades.

AWAT0999 LR Fairy Falls - a secret waterfall at the Crystal Cascades

It’s about 400m (10min) each way; you can visit the waterfall in half an hour, or allow more time if going for a swim.

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