Cairns is an adventure lover’s den. From snorkeling, diving to parasailing and helicopter rides there are plenty of thrill-induced activities that attract tourists. To add on to the list, hiking in Cairns is another exhilarating activity that every nature lover is fond of. There is surreal beauty which one can explore through adventurous trails through forests, waterfalls, and cliffs and no one should miss out on that.
Best Time For Hiking In Cairns
The best time for hiking in Cairns is between April to September. The weather is moderately warm, dry and pleasant for outdoor activities like trekking, camping and hiking.
10 Best Trails For Hiking In Cairns
We have shortlisted top 10 hiking trails in and near Cairns. Get your hiking gear ready and enjoy the stunning views of the adventurous trekking tracks.
1. Crystal Cascades
Located in the Far North Region, Crystal Cascade is a fascinating place for hikers and nature lovers. Nestled amid forests, this gorgeous cascade splashes cold water while plunging and creates a rock bottom natural spa pool. It is 20 km from Cairns and takes about 3-4 hours to reach there. It is an absolute scenic hike but if you are exhausted after the hike, do chill out in the natural pool, dip your feet and refresh your mind.
Time taken: 3-4 hours
2. Earl Hill Summit Track
Perfect for walking, nature trails and bird watching, Earl Hill Summit Track is popular among local and tourist hikers. This is a 3 km hiking track and the stunning view from the top is refreshing and gorgeous. Featuring bush and narrow bush track; the hike to Earl Hill Summit Track is completed in about 30 minutes and offers a great view of Trinity Bay, Trinity Park, Yorke’s Marina and Half Moon Bay.
Time taken: 30 minutes
3. Barron Gorge National Park
The hiking trail to Barron Gorge National Park is originally infested by tribal Djabugay Aboriginal people and offers spectacular views and wildlife. Located 18 km from Cairns, hiking to Barron Gorge National Park is fun and thrilling and takes about 30 minutes to 6 hours, depending on fitness level, endurance, and stamina of hikers. The most striking part of this hiking in Cairns is the sight of Barron Falls, which is accessed by an elevated boardwalk.
Time taken: Half an hour to 6 hours
4. Red Arrow
As interesting as the name suggests, this track is another popular hike in Cairns and the 1.3 km trail ultimately leads to Mt. Whitfield Conservation Park in Cairns. In an about halfway, the track is divided into two parts namely Red Arrow Walk and Blue Arrow Walk. The hike takes about 40 minutes to an hour to complete and occasional steep ascends in between make it one of the challenging hikes in Cairns. Throughout your hike, enjoy the fabulous vistas of the Cairns city, Trinity Bay and the Coral Sea.
Time taken: 40 minutes to 1 hour
5. Babinda Boulders
Featuring large granite boulders and tiny waterfalls around Babinda Creek, this place is known for supreme scenic beauty and hiking to this place enhances the charm quotient of the place manifold. There is a sprawling picnic area and swimming pool, where you can hang out during day excursions and for those who wish to spend the night under the starry sky; there are camping facilities as well. For those who love adventure and thrill, can hike upstream from the creek through Wooroonooran National Park and hike for another 7 hours to reach Mount Bartle Frere.
Time taken: 30 minutes
6. Mount Bartle Frere
Mount Bartle Frere is one of the most popular and sought-after trails in Cairns. Located 75 km from Cairns, this is the highest peak in Queensland and trekking up to the top takes about 6-8 hours. While hiking Bellenden Ker Range, you have to travel through Wooroonooran National Park-one of the World Heritage Listed rainforests. Though the hike is tiring and challenging, the jaw-dropping view from the top is worth everything.
Time taken: 6-8 hours
7. Copperlode Dam Road
This is a 3 km long strenuous trail which takes about an hour to complete. Copperlode Dam Road is one of the most popular hikes in Cairns, which people usually take to reach Crystal Cascades. It is a strenuous and fairly difficult terrain for hike and requires physical fitness and endurance. Enjoy the view of the coast and Coral Sea as you hike through the dense rainforests and scrublands.
Time taken: 1.5- 2 hours
Suggested Read: 10 Australia Travel Tips To Swear By For A Smooth Vacay
8. Nandroya Falls
Located within Wooroonooran National Park, Nandroya Falls is a 6-km long grade 3 circuit hike and the land was originally inhabited by Ma:Mu Aboriginal people. Surrounded by dense forests, Nandroya Falls is located in the wet tropical region so the hikers often experience random rainfall. This is one of the most beautiful hikes from Cairns and takes about 3 hours to complete and one may get lucky to spot bright butterflies, platypus, and musky rat kangaroo.
Time taken: 3 hours
9. Glacier Rock
Famed as a spectacular viewpoint in Kuranda, glacier rock is one of the most difficult hikes in Cairns. The hiking takes about 3-4 hours and the breath-taking views of the forested and rocky trail and Cairns city is a great reward. It is a steep upward climb and the sight of Stoney Creek Fall at the end of the trail is spellbinding. Finish this challenging hike and take a dip there to invigorate the mind and body.
Time taken: 3-4 hours
10. Walsh’s Pyramid
After hiking for 922 meters, up Walsh’s Pyramid- the tallest freestanding natural pyramid in the world, one can enjoy stunning panoramic views and all these experiences have made it one of the best trails for hiking in Cairns. Adorned with bushy scrublands and eucalyptus forests, the hiking is loaded with ultimate fun and thrill. Carry dry foods and drinking water, as you will hardly see any shop on the way to the mountaintop.
Time taken: 2-3 hours
Hiking in Cairns is always a delight and adventure. The breath-taking views of the natural marvels make hiking a charming activity and the leaves the hikers in awe. So once you plan a trip to Australia with TravelTriangle, include these hiking adventures in your Cairns itinerary.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Hiking In Cairns
What is the best time to visit Cairns?
April to September is the best time to visit Cairns. The weather during these months is pleasant and soothing; neither hot nor cold and perfect for all kinds of outdoor adventure activities.
What are the things to do in Cairns?
The popular things to do in Cairns are a cruise to the Great Barrier Reef, snorkelling, scuba diving, deep-sea fishing, parasailing, helicopter ride, trekking, and sunset cruise.
Which are the best places to stay in Cairns?
The best places to stay in Cairns are Rydges Esplanade, Mantra Esplanade, Novotel, Cairns Harbour Lights, and Cairns Colonial Club.
What needs to be carried for hiking in Cairns?
The essential things to be carried for hiking in Cairns are a backpack, drinking water, first-aid kit, hiking boots, navigation tools and maps, and multi-use Swiss knife.
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