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The best thing to do on a hot day is go for a swim. In Far North Queensland, we’re lucky to be blessed with a number of pristine natural swimming locations. From sunny beaches to peaceful creeks, magical waterfalls to massive lakes and everything in between, there’s plenty to be discovered for a day of fun in the water. If the kids are looking for somewhere new, maybe a secret swimming hole might excite them.

If you’ve lived here for a while, you’re probably familiar with Lake Tinaroo, Crystal Cascades and the northern beaches – and while they are beautiful spots, sometimes you just want to escape the crowds and try something new. Here are some secret swimming holes in the Cairns area that are waiting for you to discover them.

Secret Swimming Holes 

1. Fairy Falls

Fairy Falls truly lives up to its name. These magical falls plunge into a deep freshwater pool, surrounded by towering mossy boulders. Park in the Crystal Cascades parking lot, but instead of heading down the normal route, follow a trail from the corner of the parking lot. Fairy Falls isn’t far in, but it does require a bit of rock hopping to get there.

2. Halls Falls

A stunning pool between two waterfalls just a short walk from the car park, what more could you want? You’ll find Halls Falls located in the Herberton Range National Park.

3. Ponytail Falls

A  breath-taking single-drop waterfall is nestled in the rainforest on the Tully River. It’s perfect for those humid days, and it’s absolutely gorgeous too.

4. Behana Gorge

Behana Gorge has long been regarded as a ‘secret’ spot, and you probably won’t find many tourists. The walk there is relatively easy but steep at points, but you’re rewarded with a refreshing swimming hole at the end.

5. Little Mulgrave Swimhole

The river here is shallow and gentle, making it perfect for the littlest members of the family.

6. Souita Falls

Lush vegetation surrounds Souita Falls, tucked away in the Misty Mountains area and featuring two gorgeous waterfalls. You’ll truly feel as if you’ve stepped into a fantasy movie.

7. Kearneys Falls

The gently graded Wajil Walk in Goldsborough Valley will lead you straight to Kearneys Falls through gorgeous scenery.


These are only 7 of the secret swimming holes in the Far North, let us know at PakMag if there are others you have found.