i’m not the type of traveller that goes to a new location without prior research. so before i made my way to cairns, i searched on the internet (especially tripadvisor), in order to find hot tourist spots and popular activities nearby.
in tropical north queensland, one of the most advertised attraction is the amazing rainforest. there are many locations where you can find beautiful rainforest but kuranda would have to be the most popular and most accessible from cairns. the village is located in the middle of the world heritage rainforest – 1000 feet above cairns – and there are many ways you can get there.
one of the option is to travel via skyrail which is a gondola ride that departs from caravonica terminal which is fifteen minutes from cairns city. the gondola ride takes about one and a half hour and there are two scenic stops where you can decide to get off and explore.
the second option is travelling via the kuranda scenic railway which does trips between freshwater station and kuranda. the ride is about two hours long and offers lovely scenic views throughout. there is, however, no air conditioning in the carriages, unless you travel via gold class. so, in the summer time, it does get very hot. and of course, you can always drive there.
kuranda offers a number of different activities such as the nature walks and village market as well as birdworld, butterfly sanctuary, and koala gardens. we only managed to fit in the koala gardens during our trip to kuranda but we managed to see the adorable koalas as well as pet and take photos of kangaroos and wallabies.
the rest of the day was spent on the walking tracks which took us into a beautiful conservation park and along the banks of barron river. i suggest wearing proper walking shoes as the last part of the walk is on unpaved roads and can get slightly muddy.
kuranda makes an excellent day trip. the skyrail and scenic railway is worthwhile, if you are interested in scenery and nature. it’s slightly expensive but an overall good experience. they also offer a wide range of accommodation if one day isn’t enough.