In your Cairns rental car, there’s so much to see and do when you that it’s difficult to know where to start. So why not visit some of our favourite local waterfalls and explore our wonderful World heritage Rainforests at the same time?
Just under a 20-minute drive in your Cairns hire car along the Cairns Western Arterial Road brings you to Lake Placid with its crystal clear water. Located in the lower reaches of the Barron River, this is an amazing part of our country and within easy distance of Cairns CBD. An interesting point is that it’s not a lake but a broad stretch of the Barron River. It's surrounded by mountains and untouched rainforests.
Although swimming or fishing isn’t recommended at Lake Placid, it’s a fabulous spot for a BBQ (there are free BBQs on site). There's also plenty of walking tracks. There’s also the Lake Placid Rainforest Retreat which is a pet-friendly and kid-friendly caravan park located on Lake Placid Road.
From Lake Placid, it’s just a 6-minute drive in your Cairns rental car along Stoney Creek Rd. Here you will arrive at Stoney Creek & Old Weir Falls with numerous swimming holes. Once you’ve parked your hire car it’s just a short walk to the creek. You can take your first dip under the bridge that crosses the creek.
If you follow this track over the bridge you’ll find some fabulous private swimming holes along the way. After 25 minutes of walking, you’ll then find Old Weir Falls. If you want a quick dip then just stay at Stoney Creek and swim under the bridge. If you're all keen and want to stretch your legs then Old Weir Falls is calling!
The locals love this place, so if you’re visiting during the summer, get there during the week.
If you’re starting from Stoney Creek, you need to head south in your Cairns hire car. Cruise along the Redlynch Intake Rd for 20 minutes until you reach the Crystal Cascades. Fairy Falls is a local gem that’s hidden away behind the pools at the Crystal Cascades. If you don’t know it’s there, you’ll miss a wonderful experience.
So, park your hire car in the carpark at the Crystal Cascades and look for a trail on the left side of the carpark. Walk for no more than 10 mins, continue following this trail, it bends left and goes along the creek. You’ll soon reach a deep pool where you’ll find Fairy Falls. It’s a great place to cool off after a hot day hiking and if you can avoid the crowds – all the better!
If you’re starting from Stoney Creek in your Cairns rental car, then you need to head northwest along the Barron Gorge Rd. After about 15 minutes you'll reach the Barron Gorge Hydroelectric Power Station. The station takes water from the Barron River to make hydroelectric power and then returns this water to the river. It was built in 1935 and was Australia’s first underground power station.
You can also reach the power station by taking a 3km scenic walk along Barron Gorge Road from Lake Placid. There’s a bridge across the river that leads to the Power Station giving you spectacular views of the river. Also check out Surprise Creek Falls which cascades nearly 250m into the gorge, not far from the Hydro Station. Then jump back in your ride for the day and cruise to your next spot
Barron Falls is one of the largest waterfalls near Cairns with a 250 m drop into the Barron River. It starts in the rainforests of Mount Hypipamee and winds 60 km across the Atherton Tablelands. Then cascades into the Barron Gorge and flowing into the Coral Sea.
From the hydroelectric Station, it’s a 35-minute drive back into the outer suburbs of Cairns along Barron Gorge Rd- National HWY 1. Then it's a left turn onto Fallon Road in Kuranda, this takes you to Barron Falls.
Barron Falls is located in the Barron Gorge National Park and the Barron Falls Lookout is one of the best ways to view these falls. It’s just a short 250m walk from the carpark, where you left your Cairns rental car. It's a beautiful walk along a boarded walkway through the fabulous World Heritage rainforest canopy.
The best time to visit Barron Falls is during the rainy season from December to March as the sight of these falls in full flood is spectacular!
For more information on scenic drives around Cairns in your rental car, don’t hesitate to call us on 0447 809 899 or BOOK ONLINE today.