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Whether you’re in Cairns on holiday, or a seasoned local wanting to get out and about to explore the many hidden gems of our beautiful Far North, we’ve got the list for you! 13 of our favourite hidden places in FNQ to play, stay, and getaway!

Hiking and Swimming

1. Henrietta Creek

Apparently this cute little swimming spot is not so well-known. Those keen for a hike can follow a path from there to Nandroya falls.
Getting there: 10 mins past Mamu on the Palmerston Highway.

2. Davies Creek

Smooth and large granite rocks, this eucalypt woodland hideaway is very much off the beaten track. With campgrounds, swimming holes, waterfalls and mountain bike tracks, it really has it all.
Getting there: Off Davies Creek road between Kuranda and Mareeba.

3. Windin Falls

Look this place up on Instagram and you will see it has the ultimate view! An infinity pool at the top of the falls overlooks a lush valley with steep mountains rising up on either side.
Getting there: Drive 10 mins on Old Cairns Track past Lamins Hill Lookout near Malanda, until you see a sign for the falls. 2 hrs walk return from there.

4. Glacier Rock

An uphill walkover the Scenic Rail track, ending at Glacier Rock with a lovely view over the Barron River and surrounding suburbs.
Getting there: Trail starts at the end of the Douglas Track Road in Kamerunga.

5. Hartley’s Creek

Interesting rock formations, small falls and swimming pools, and a rope swing. While you’re there, check out Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures, it’s the best place to see crocodiles and local wildlife in Tropical North Queensland.
Getting there: Park at the turn-off located on the left, about 500m past Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures and walk from there.

6. Trevethan Falls

A beautiful cascading waterfall with plenty of pools to swim in.
Getting there: Half hour south of Cooktown. Take the Amos Bay turn-off from Mulligan Highway and follow the signage. 4WD recommended.

7. Babinda Boulders

A short 25 min stroll to Devil’s Pool and Boulders Gorge Lookout will leave you refreshingly satisfied.
Getting there: 9 mins east of Babinda.

Staying A While

8. Etty Bay Camping

A quaint little family-friendly seaside vista with camping sites or cabins available. The resident cassowaries are one of the reasons this place is a must-visit.
Getting there: 15 mins south of Innisfail.

9. Acton Ridge Farmstay

Give the family a farm experience complete with egg collecting and calf feeding, without having to sleep in a tent.
Getting there: Off Nash Road, between Millaa Millaa and Tarzali.

10. Possum Valley Rainforest Cottages

This property has two cottages in a rainforest setting. There is plenty of wildlife – possums of course, but also platypus and Lumholtz tree kangaroo.
Getting there: Between Ravenshoe and Herberton. See directions on their website.

11. Chillagoe Observatory and Eco Lodge

This accommodation has both camping and cabin options, and an observatory. Tours can be arranged to local attractions such as the caves, balancing rock, and historic mining town. And for another outback option, check out the Undara lava tubes further to the south!
Getting there: Chillagoe, 3 hrs west of Cairns.

12. Home Rule Rainforest Lodge

With 100 acres this property boasts plenty of space to find a good campsite. There’s a croc-free creek for swimming, and a waterfall. Plenty of wildlife including bettongs and possums, and the multi-day trek to Cedar Bay commences from here also.
Getting there: 30 mins south of Cooktown at Wallaby Creek.

13. Daintree Peaks ECO Stays

Enjoy a little Daintree getaway by staying in a cabin on 25 acres of tranquil rainforest with minimal impacts on our beautiful ecosystem. Discover the wonders of the tropics right here and explore to your heart’s content.
Getting there: 2 hours north of Cairns via Captain Cook Highway, following Cape Tribulation Road once past Mossman.

Always read the signs, local warnings and heed advice to avoid flooded roads, stinging trees, flash floods, swimming with crocs and the like. This information has been gathered in good faith but please research your intended destination further in your planning process.