Fairyland in Kuranda is an actual rainforest area where back in the early 1900's visitors arrived by the scenic train from Cairns to explore the beautiful forest.It must have been difficult to climb up embankments in long dresses and suits with ties etc during that period, but they did wear sensible boots.
Most areas around Kuranda railway station now have boardwalks and stairways that take you down to the Barron River or the Barron Falls and through the jungle walk. I like the Fairyland rainforest at the top of the Kuranda range near the Billabong,you need a car to get there but well worth it.
I love the remote feeling of the forest and the flora & fauna are amazing,especially if you sit still and be quite.Lots of birds,frogs and friendly pythons..don't forget to wear protective clothing,take water and insect repellent.
In the afternoon I visited Kuranda a village in the rainforest.
I took the sky rail (a cable car) on the way down. It runs for 7.5km yes 7 and a half km.
Amazing views of the rainforest, the different types of trees, there are also gorges and a waterfall. Your ticket fee include a leaflet explaining the types of plants and trees you encounter on the way.
A great experience... shame I always do this things alone.
In most of Australia its illegal for the public to hold koalas. Queensland is the only state that allows it. Here at the Koala Gardens I actually had the opportunity to hold a koala! They also have a petting zoo with kangaroos and wallabies, as well as other native Australian animals living within.
One of the not to be missed things today includes a scenic trip to the village of Kuranda from Cairns. We took the sky rail to get there, and the scenic train ride down the mountain to return. Cost was very reasonable. Once in Kuranda, there are many little shops and museums to check out at your leisure. The views getting there are awesome!
After our lunch in Kuranda we left the village via the Barron Falls Road and reached a car park after about 3 km’s.
There starts a boardwalk through the rainforest, which has been constructed really ingenious above the forest floor with ‘hair pins’ and some bridges. Along the path are some information boards. After crossing the railway at the Barron Falls Railway Station the boardwalk descended to two viewing platforms.
From these lookouts we had indeed a splendid frontal view of the Barron Falls, although the amount of water coming down was not too impressive.
The boardwalk is about 500 metres long (one way) and is easy to walk, even wheelchair enabled.
Just 1 kilometre further along Barron Falls Road is Wrights Lookout with fantastic views through the Barron Gorge to the plains, Cairns and the Coral Sea.
We had our rental car to get to Kuranda and it did mean we had to drive to Smithfield along the Captain Cook Highway. There started the windy and sometimes steep road to the village. Halfway this mountain road was a look out with great views of Cairns and the Coral Sea. It did take about 45 minutes to reach Kuranda on a height of 328 metres and because of its situation in the mountains the temperature was much more pleasant.
Kuranda is ‘famous’ for its markets, nothing more than a lot of booths and little shops, selling typical Australian souvenirs and crafts. To be honest we didn’t like that kind of stuff too much.
Along Coondoo Street - the main street in Kuranda - are a couple of art galleries. Specially Doongal Aboriginal Art had some stunning local made art: paintings, didgeridoos, boomerangs and painted emu eggs and much more. You can not miss this remarkable boat-like shop (www.doongal.com.au).
Strolling around Kuranda we were very surprised by the abundant green vegetation with lots of impressive trees along Coondoo Street, colourful flowers, rainforest along the Barron River behind the railway station. We now understand why Kuranda calls itself: “Village in the Rainforest”.
We enjoyed our visit to Kuranda very much and perhaps were most surprised it was not as overcrowded by tourists as we thought it would be. Just a pleasant town in a pleasant setting.