Hikes & Trails

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About Hikes & Trails For Cairns

If you are active and enjoy getting out into nature it is very easy in Cairns.

You will need a car to get to the starts of the walks as our Public Transport does not include these areas in their zones. I suggest for your comfort to always carry insect repellent when you are walking in the tropics or visiting tropical gardens.  Remember to also always wear covered shoes, a hat, bring a bottle of water and some snacks, and your camera. 


The Red Arrow:

This is our most popular walking track for local football and fitness fanatics.  It is very busy before and after working hours and this is also a great time to do the track as during the middle of the day it can get very sticky especially in the summer months.  The Red Arrow is a 1.5 km track with narrow sections and steps.  I expect an average time to allow would be 40 minutes.  Expect to see views of the airport, city, ocean and mangroves.

This walk can be accessed by a regular bus service to the Flecker Botanical Gardens.

If you are very fit and allow more time you could do the Blue Arrow track

that takes a longer loop of 7.5 km's with rough and steep sections.  

The Botanical Gardens are open daily from 7.30am to 5.30pm with a very nice little Café & Restaurant that opens daily from 7.30am to 5.30pm.

If you have time you could spend quite a bit of time in this area as the Botanical Gardens are a superb example of tropical plants including Aboriginal Plant foods and medicine plants.  And, the Centenary Lakes is also in this vicinity and has picnic areas and bushland settings.  Edge Hill suburb is nearby where it is also possible to enjoy a special lunch or shopping in the limited but quality boutiques.   


Airport Mangrove Boardwalk:

We have a Boardwalk located on the Airport Drive where you can experience a Mangrove forest.  Make sure to bring your camera and insect repellent.  The boardwalks are raised on timber decking.  You can expect to see mudskippers, garfish, crabs and other interesting marine life.  Expect to also see birds, snails and spiders.  The northern boardwalk extends over a creek with a viewing platform.  Allow about 30 minutes for the shorter northern walk 0.8 km, and 40 minutes for the longer southern walk 1.2 km.  The southern walk has a canopy tower near Swampy Creek and allows you to explore different mangrove forests.  Look for the signs on the airport drive for the Jack Barnes Bicentennial Mangrove Boardwalk. 


Crystal Cascades:

During our stinger season when we have jelly fish in the beaches all of the local Cairns people head out to Crystals to cool down.  Here we have beautiful icy clear rainforest waters bubbling over smooth rocks with swimming holes and natural jacuzzis depending on water levels.  Any time of the year is a perfect time to witness this superb area.  There does not need to be a lot of walking involved but you can see the beautiful rainforest fringed cascades as you wander up a safe path with rails for about 1 km.

You will need to ask a local how to get here. 


Barron Gorge:

The Barron Gorge National park is probably one of the most photographed areas in the region.  This gorge is where all of the torrential floodwaters converge to create the famous Barron Falls.  You can expect beautiful views and vistas of the World Heritage National Park and a variety of wildlife.

You will definitely need a hat and plenty of water and snacks.  From Cairns there is a walk up to Kuranda however this is a little tricky to find and is popular with local people who are very familiar with the area.  The entrance to the 5 km Douglas Track is located behind Rainforest Estate.  You would need to contact the National Parks and Wildlife information desk on 40523096 for more information about this walk.  It is also possible to take the walk from Kuranda down the mountain.  The entrance is located 5 km from Kuranda.