The hidden secret swimming spots around Cairns are number 21 on Australian Traveller’s ‘100 amazing places you haven’t been to yet‘. Nominated by: Carla Grossetti, food and travel journalist.

“There are dozens of hidden swimming spots around Cairns,” confirms Carla Grossetti. “You could easily spend a happy weekend exploring them,” she says, cooling off between stops along the tropical food trail, bedding down in cosy B&Bs, timber treehouses, luxurious beach resorts, holiday parks and eco lodges. “It’s such an enchanting way to admire the countryside.” Grossetti shares her favourites with us.

Fairy Falls: “Despite being located right near to Crystal Cascades (a popular local waterhole), this spot is hidden so deeply in the tropical jungle that you need to be a bit adventurous to find it. Turn your back to the Crystal Cascades’ car park, head into the forest where there is an opening between the trees. You must keep the creek on your right, climb over boulders until you reach the most beautiful tranquil deep plunge pool. It is called Fairy Falls because it is so magical,” she says.

Josephine Falls: “This is a gorgeous, deep green pool, complete with tiered cascade waterfall and ‘Slide Rock’ (nicknamed for obvious reasons), an hour south of Cairns in Wooroonooran National Park.”

Stoney Creek Falls: “A shallow, family-friendly swimming hole 15 minutes’ north of Cairns, at the end of Stoney Creek Road, Kamerunga.”

Behana Gorge: “It’s a bit of a walk, but you’ll be rewarded with a deep, cool pool and pretty waterfall, tucked in at the base of the iconic Pyramid mountain in Gordonvale some 30 minutes’ south of Cairns.”

Granite Gorge Nature Park: “The privately owned park, 12 kilometres west of Mareeba on Chewko Road is dotted with boulders so big that the river has pooled into deep waterholes in between them. Rock hop, canoe, hike and go caving at Granite Gorge, and even camp the night afterwards (from $14 a night) or stay in a cabin (from $95 a night).”

Australian Traveller Issue 62

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