The Crystal Cascades swimming hole near Cairns is the perfect place to cool off from the tropical Queensland weather.
Situated within the tropical rainforest, it’s only a short 25 min drive from Cairns via Redlynch. The Crystal Cascades is a spot you must visit to enjoy the series of natural waterfalls and crocodile free freshwater swimming holes.
How to get to Crystal Cascades swimming hole
Location address: Redlynch Intake Rd, Lamb Range QLD 4870, Australia
The Crystal Cascades swimming hole is not accessible by public transport. You may be able to book it as part of a tour with some local tour companies.
The other options are you either drive there yourself or get there by taxi. However, getting back by taxi may be difficult as reception is minimal, if at all.
Just type ‘Crystal Cascades’ in Google Maps to find it yourself, it is a pleasant and stress-free drive.
Upon arriving at the Crystal Cascades swimming hole, you will come to free public parking. We didn’t have any issues finding a parking spot as there is plenty of space.
Crystal Cascades facilities
There are a few facilities for you to enjoy at the Crystal Cascades all absolutely free. There are barbecue facilities in case you want a make a full or half-day of it there so bring along some food.
A seated picnic area is also provided to enjoy those sizzling sausages or vegan burgers.
Bursting for the toilet or have screaming kids needing a wee? Toilets are situated near the parking area too which is handy after the drive and before you set off to leave again. There are also showers and changing rooms.
Sadly, dogs are not permitted at the Crystal Cascades announced by the Cairns Regional Council.
The Crystal Cascades swimming hole walk
Right next to the parking area you will find the entrance to the Crystal Cascades, which will take you around 30 min to complete via a 1.2 km walk. There is no entrance fee.
The walk there is on a manmade, well-maintained pathway so hiking shoes aren’t necessary, trainers or sandals (sliders) will do just fine.
Along the whole walk, you will have a sight to be grateful for with stunning green foliage gifted from the rainforest. Along with this will be the beautiful sounds of the waterfall near the creeks aiding you on your journey.
20 min into the walk is the main swimming hole. This is where all the action takes place and tourists and locals enjoy the most.
Crystal Cascades swimming hole activities
This is the best part of the Crystal Cascades; you can fly off a swing and crash into the refreshing pools.
There is even a natural waterslide which the waterfall stream glides you down and plunges you into the waters.
You will have so much fun here especially if you have children, its nature’s playground.
The best thing about this place is that it’s completely free and there are lots of locals there. It is not often you get a place like this which isn’t bombarded with tourists.
Enjoy more of the walk by continuing the rest of the journey and finding little more secluded spots along the way.
There are perfect spots for couples who just want to be more alone or the solo backpacker away from the groups of families.
Crystal Cascades Waterfall
If you walk another 10 – 15mins further up the stream you will find the Crystal Cascades Waterfall. This is where a lot of people swim and relax on the rocks.
Fairy Falls at the Crystal Cascades
There is a more secluded and secret waterfall called the Fairy Falls.
It is accessed from the other side of the car park but is a little more complicated to reach. You have to climb over terrain. We, unfortunately, didn’t visit here but please let us know how it is if you do visit.
A word of caution
Sadly, there have been a few deaths at the Crystal Cascades. The Cascades are particularly dangerous during the wet season.
To avoid any accidents and to have minimal risk, adhere to any warnings and safety messages through the Cairns Regional Council or ask for advice before you go.
Even though jumping off cliff edges and dropping from swings can be fun, always put safety first.
Where to stay near Crystal Cascades
Since Cairns is the nearest main place to visit, we would recommend staying there.
We stayed in an Airbnb for the week as it worked out much cheaper than any other accommodation such as hotels. We would recommend this for couples and friends. You usually get other amenities like a kitchen to use so you can save money by buying and making your own food.
Use our referral link to get $69 off your first trip.
Alternatively, for the solo backpacker book with Travellers Oasis. The location is great being only 700 m from the centre of Cairns. You can book a bed in a dorm room or have your own budget private room. Oh yes, it also has a pool for those nice hot days.
Since you will be staying near Cairns, check out other things to do there such as doing a day trip to Fitzroy Island. It’s a wonderful tropical island with some great snorkelling spots.