With its lovely blue watered lakes and epic scenery, it’s no surprise why Crater Lakes National Park is often on the agenda for people looking for things to do in Cairns. The lakes (Lake Barrine and Lake Eacham) were formed thousands of years ago from volcanic activity. Groundwater that was super heated by molten magma created massive explosions that formed into volcanic craters, filled up with water and are now the lakes that you see today.
At Lake Eacham, many people enjoy picnicking, swimming and also bush walking, with a range of tracks and trails provided to give visitors the opportunity to explore. Looking for things to do with kids? Families often frequent the park and lakes not only because of their open space and endless opportunities of discovery, but for the reason that children can also enjoy the wildlife that resides in or around both lakes. Some of the animals that can be found around the lakes are musky-rat kangaroos, red-legged pademelons, bandicoots, fish, a range of bird species and even the odd turtle. This region is rich with wildlife and the lake is quite large, so often people prefer to hop in a canoe or kayak and float around the lake at their own pace. Bike riding is also a popular activity as families can take a bike ride through the park and enjoy the scenery of the blue lake and surrounding rainforest.
Equally as beautiful as Lake Eacham, Lake Barrine provides a range of activities for everyone visiting. Formed over 17,000 years ago, the lake sits at around 1km wide and boasts a shoreline of almost 4.5km. Walking tracks can be found all around the lake and swimming is often a popular past time for those wanting to take a dip in the cool waters. There is also a boat cruise and selection of tours that operate around Lake Barrine, which is a great way to view the volcanic brim and ecology of the area. Bird watching enthusiasts will also have a field day at Crater Lakes, with an abundance of species that inhabit the waters and fringes of the forest.
Crater Lakes National Park is great for the whole family, couples or groups of friends to enjoy for a day trip of discovery and adventure. For those are feeling a little hungry, we also recommend Lake Barrine Tea House Restaurant, a cute little tea house that boasts some stunning lake views and is notorious for their tea and scones. If you feel like you need more time to explore Crater Lakes, there is also an affordable cottage bed and breakfast at Lake Barrine, ideal as a central hub for exploration of these stunning volcanic marvels.