girl swimming at cairns lagoon

Things to do

Freshwater Swimming

Jump right in

There’s a wonderful swimming lagoon on the Cairns Esplanade – but that only scratches the surface of all the gorgeous swimming spots in Tropical North Queensland. Nature has provided a wonderful spectrum of magical places to get wet – many of them set against the beauty of the rainforest.

The Cardwell Spa Pools in the Girrigun National Park is a great place to start. This natural-fed swimming hole almost broke the internet when photos of its amazing aqua water went viral a few years ago. If green is more your scene, wander into the cool oasis of Mossman Gorge and slide off a smooth granite boulder into the emerald green, rainforest pools. Close to Cairns is Babinda Boulders, named after the large smooth boulders that dot the cool-water swimming hole. The Atherton Tablelands overflows with swimming spots, from the crystalline waters of volcanic Lake Eacham in Crater Lakes National Park to awe-inspiring waterfalls such as Zillie and Mungalli Falls, the perfect option if the idea of putting yourself under beautiful cascades and letting nature pummel away your cares appeals.

Prefer more action? Paddle the Mulgrave River or fossick for gemstones at O’Briens Creek.

The best thing of all is that you can also pitch a tent and stay right next to some of these extraordinary places. Enjoy.

Milky blue waters of the Cardwell Spa Pools

SUP your way down the Mossman River with Windswell Kite Surfing

Take a dip in the cascading pools of Stoney Creek Falls near Cairns

Sensational swimming holes

Tropical North Queensland is home to an extraordinary array of waterfalls, waterways and waterholes.

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