Sarah Latham Fairy Falls Crystal Cascades Redlynch Cairns

What is within a 50km radius from Cairns? With Coronavirus restrictions easing in Queensland as we continue to flatten the curve, Queenslanders are now able to enjoy recreational activities up to a 50 km radius outside of their home.

While everyone is surely stocking up on their picnic essentials to have a lunch down at the beach, a lot of people I know (and myself included!) have been googling to find out exactly what areas around Cairns are covered by a 50 km radius.

Read on for Cairns activities that are within 50km of your home! (assuming, of course, that your home is in Cairns).

Girl standing on road looking up at pyramid shaped mountain
Walsh’s Pyramid

1. Crystal Cascades

Located 20km out of the Cairns CBD, Crystal Cascades fits into the 50km Cairns radius cut off as a part of Queensland’s easing Coronavirus restrictions. One of the best Cairns waterfalls within 50km of Cairns, you can choose to walk out to the top waterfall or cool off at one of the smaller water pools along the way.

Sarah Latham Crystal Cascades Cairns
Crystal Cascades

2. Fairy Falls

While you’re at Crystal Cascades you can also enjoy Fairy Falls. Another one of Cairns best waterfalls near Cairns City, this waterfall can be found from the same carpark as Crystal Cascades. Instead of walking straight through the main entrance of Crystal Cascades, turn to your left and at the top of the carpark you will see a rainforest trail leading you on. Suggested read: How to get to Fairy Falls. Fairy Falls can be found at the end of this trail (a few rock hops are required) and is also within the 50 km radius from Cairns!

Fairy Falls near Crystal Cascades near Cairns
Fairy Falls

3. Stoney Creek

Following the waterfalls trend, don’t forget that Stoney Creek is now open to those who want to relax by the water while maintaining social distancing this weekend. Located only 15km out of the Cairns CBD, Stoney Creek is another waterfall/creek that is accessible within 50 km radius of Cairns.

Stoney Creek Sarah Latham Cairns
Stoney Creek

4. Glacier Rock

In addition to Stoney Creek being one of the best waterfalls in Cairns, you can also start the hike to Glacier Rock, one of the best hikes in Cairns, from here if you wanted to include a rainforest hike as a part of your social distancing day out. As the entrance to Glacier Rock is in the same area as Stoney Creek, just 15km out of Cairns CBD, this is also included within the 50 km around Cairns area.

Glacier Rock Hike Douglas Track Sarah Latham
Glacier Rock hike

5. White Rock Peak

If you’re looking for a great view over Cairns (a good reminder that we are all in this together), you have to add White Rock Peak to your COVID19 restrictions easing list. Over looking White Rock and Mt Sheridan, White Rock Peak is easily within 50km from Cairns. You can access the start of this hike (again, one of the best in Cairns) from Lake Morris Road.

White Rock Peak within a 50km radius from Cairns
White Rock Peak

6. Rex Lookout

On the verge of the 50km rule, Rex Lookout is located 43km outside of Cairns but is worth the drive just for the stunning view along the Cairns coastline and out to the Coral Sea. Cairns is the only place in the world where two natural World Heritage sites meet, the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics Rainforest, so why not take this new found freedom to soak in the view across them both?

Sarah Latham Rex Lookout Cairns Port Douglas Drive
Rex Lookout

7. Palm Cove

Ah, one of the most picturesque and relaxing beaches in Cairns – Palm Cove can now accept more than just joggers along its palm fringed shores. 27km (or about 30 minutes by car) out of the Cairns CBD, this beach fits within the 50km radius from Cairns. See you (from an appropriate distance away) there soon.

Palm Cove Sarah Latham
Palm Cove views

8. Isabella Falls

Ah, the hidden gem of Cairns waterfalls, Isabella Falls is tucked away within Edmonton and therefore if you live in Edmonton is well within 50 km from Edmonton, but is also only 14km from Cairns city. You really don’t believe you’re only a few hundred metres from suburban Cairns when you’re here.

Isabella Falls Edmonton Cairns Sarah Latham
Isabella Falls

9. Blue Arrow

Situated beside the Cairns Airport for pretty much the entire hike (which at 8km in length so it does make you question just how many turns this hike made you do for you to still be next to the same runway), the Blue Arrow is an Cairns inner-city hike that’s starting point is only a short 4.5km outside of the Cairns CBD.

Sarah Latham Blue Arrow Hike Cairns
Blue Arrow Lookout

10. The Pyramid

30km outside of the Cairns CBD, The Pyramid (also known as Walsh’s Pyramid) is a great Cairns hike for those who like a challenge. In addition to being within the 50km radius limit, you can also take in the breathtaking view of the tropical rainforest surrounds from 922m above!

Walshs Pyramid Sarah Latham
Views across Cairns from Walsh’s Pyramid

11. Barron Gorge Hydroelectric Power Station

Located within the suburb of Kamerunga, Barron Gorge Hydroelectric Power Station is only 20km outside of Cairns City. While the name might sound odd to be on a list of things to do in Cairns, it’s a beautiful walk along the road and through the rainforest up to the Hydroelectric Power Station. After a particularly rainy day, you may also be delighted with Surprise Creek Falls in flood.

12. Barron Falls Lookout

A quick trip up the Kuranda range, turn left, follow the signs and you’ll find yourself at Barron Falls lookout. A stop on the popular Kuranda Scenic Railway, this spot overlooks a Gorge that is a part of the oldest tropical rainforest on Earth, and millions of years in the making. At only 32km out of the Cairns CBD (and only 35km out of Mareeba for those looking for what is included in a 50 km radius around Mareeba – suggested read: Cairns to Mareeba Road Trip) this is a great spot to visit whether dry or in flood.

Barron Falls dry Kuranda Cairns Sarah Latham
Barron Falls when dry

13. Kuranda Village

And while you’re up at the top of the Kuranda Range (and only 26km out of the Cairns CBD) why not enjoy your day by wandering through the quaint but eclectic township of Kuranda Village? Here you can wander through the wildlife parks, like the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary, or through the local shops and markets. If you want to stretch your legs further go for a walk along Barron River and see if you can spot any freshwater crocodiles.

14. Cairns Botanic Gardens

The Cairns Botanic Gardens are one of the best places in inner-city Cairns to go if you want to take a break and reconnect with nature. Less than 5km away from the Cairns CBD, you can walk through the lush rainforest and admire the spectacularly grown and cultivated plants. Click here for opening hours.

Sarah Latham Cairns Botanic Gardens
Cairns Botanic Gardens

15. Fitzroy Island

If you have a boat (and I wish I had a boat big enough right now!) make your way sharpish to Fitzroy Island. Here you can hike to the summit, snorkel the Great Barrier Reef or just laze out at Nudey Beach. Fitzroy Island is only 31km from Cairns city, so if you have the means to get there, take full advantage of it! (Pls)

Girl floating in water at Fitzroy Island Cairns
Nudey Beach, Fitzroy Island

16. Earl Hill

The Earl Hill Summit Track is located in Trinity Park, a 19km drive from Cairns city. A very popular locals track, Earl Hill is steep with views that overlook the Coral Sea. A great way to get your heart pumping, the endorphins flowing and it’s within the 50km Cairns radius.

17. Behana Gorge

Beautiful Behana Gorge is a great mixture of hike and waterfall. After a 45 minute walk across rolling (and steep) hills, you are greeted with a spectacular waterfall. The water is icy fresh and the scenery is stunning.

Behana Gorge Cairns
Clamshell Falls, Behana Gorge

18. Have a picnic!

And finally, support your favourite local restaurant by grabbing a take-away and enjoying it on the beach, park or esplanade. Cue the setting sun, a relaxing atmosphere and your household, a friend or just yourself solo, and you’ve got a pretty good isolation activity sorted!

Cairns Esplanade Lagoon
Cairns Esplanade

While we may be confined to a 50km radius around Cairns for now, it won’t be much longer if we all do the right thing. If you are looking for more things to do in Cairns in prep for when Cairns is re-opened again here is 101 Things To Do in Cairns.

And for more ideas you can also check out the below: