The best walking trails and tracks for kids across the Cairns region
TropicNow has done the easy (and sometimes hard) yards to collate the best walks to do with kids around the Cairns region.
From rainforest rambles to mountaintop scrambles, our glorious region is criss-crossed with heavenly hikes.
But you don’t have to be Indiana Jones to explore our Great Outdoors. While there are plenty of challenging footslogs for hardcore hikers, the Far North boasts a tonne of tracks and trails for the entire family.
Whether they’re into the joys of the jungle or wildlife watching, TropicNow’s list of the best bushwalks for kids includes treks for all tastes. Ditch the screen time for green time, and get outside!
This being the wonderful – yet wild – tropics, the usual caveats apply:
- bring plenty of water, sunscreen, proper walking shoes and insect repellent
- be on the lookout for stinging trees, wait-a-while, snakes and leeches.
And if you need to cool down after a morning walk, you can always check out TropicNow's comprehensive guide to the best swimming spots in the Cairns region.
1. Behana Gorge, 6km return
It’s a 45-minute hike to get to the gorge (longer if your little one stops to inspect every leaf and lizard along the way), but it’s well worth the effort.
Off the tourist track, green and serene, the track rewards walkers with blissfully cool pools, waterfalls and – for the bigger kids – boulders to jump off.
The sealed trail makes it easy on legs young and old; otherwise, bring your mountain bike for a bush ride.
Learn more about Behana Gorge here.
2. Kearneys Falls, Goldsborough Valley, 1.7km return
Whether you’re daytripping or dossing down for the night, the Goldsborough Valley is ripe for a ramble, and the Wajil Walk is a winner with the kids.
From the campground, the gently graded trail wends through the rainforest to the glorious, granite Kearneys Falls, with nature-spotting opportunities and interpretive signs telling the tales of the Dulabed Malanbarra Yidinji Aboriginal people along the way.
3. Lake Eacham circuit, Atherton Tablelands, 3km
The simple, scenic tramp around the rim of Lake Eacham is a wonderful walk for wildlife lovers of all ages: keep an eye out for musky-rat kangaroos and tropical birds, or peer into the crystal waters for a glimpse of turtles and fish.
For littler legs, try the short Children’s Walk, an easy stroll dotted with interactive activity stations.
4. Ivan Evans Walk, Bayview Heights, 2.4km return
Bushwalking in the ’burbs? Absolutely!
This track, which leads to a jungly lookout over Trinity Inlet, has long been a favourite with Cairns families looking to stretch their legs without leaving town.
With creek crossings, steep hills to scramble up and boulders to hop, the Ivan Evans is a great adventure for active kids.
5. Nandroya Falls Circuit, Wooroonooran National Park (Palmerston section), 6.6km
A night under the stars beside the idyllic Henrietta Creek is blissful enough, but when your wee ones get a case of the wanders, amble over the campground’s footbridge to this track.
The full trail is long, but upon reaching the first fork, veer left for the more moderate 1.5km walk to the base of the sheer 50m-drop falls. It’s a gorgeous, lost-in-the-jungle spot for a swim.
6. White Rock Peak, 3.5km return
Venture past pylons, over fallen trees and deep into thick jungle to cop a splendid panoramic view of Cairns, the inlet and a thick blanket of sugarcane farms.
The track is rough but far from impassable; it’s a bushwhacking dream come true for mini-explorers.
The trail takes a bit of getting to (click here for directions) but once you’re up, you won’t want to come down.