This railway line was opened in 1891, after having taken 5 years to build. The line is 34km long and climbs more than 300m. There are many tunnels, you pass waterfalls along the way.
And the train itself is real nice and old. The cars look really good, leather seats and all!
Everybody was hanging out the windows taking photos all the way down the mountains.
At one of the skyrail stops you have good views of Barron Falls. Since we don't really have any waterfalls in Denmark I always like to see them everywhere I go. I had hoped for a bit more water though, the water was almost just trickling down the rocks. When I got up to Kuranda I saw lots of postcards of the Falls. And in all the photos it had 100 times more water. So maybe next time I come I will be lucky and see it full of water.
From Kuranda you can walk down to a lookout over the falls,
Kuranda railway station
The station in Kuranda is probably one of the prettiest railway stations I've seen. It is all covered in tropical plants and ferns and the buildings are nice and look like real station buildings should.
From the station you can take the scenic train back to Cairns.
Stops on the skyrail
The skyrail has two stops on the way to Kuranda. This allows you to have a closer look at the rainforest plants. There are signs with the names of the plants and information on living conditions and things like that. Very good I thought.
- Jungle and Rain Forest
Tjapukai Aboriginal Culture park
In this Aboriginal culture park, you have a wide range of things to do and to explore. The most famous and visited is off course the traditional dance performance. You learn here more about the culture and their ways of life. Accompanied by a good explanation they show you several cultural dances.
Next to these dances, you can see some basket waving, and get some explanation about their way of life. Or do you want to feel like Crocodile Dundee and you want to throw a Boomerang and see if it comes back, or learn that they exist for lefties and righties. Or dream that you hit a kangaroo while you lance a spear towards a target.
Tjapukai is a place you can spend some time and you will not regret it.
Hot air balloon - Atherthon tablelands
This adventures was made for us, we booked this trip with 8 people and it got us up and running very early in the morning, but we were all ready for it. A bus came and picked us up and we found ourselves into a group of Chinese people and we were having lot's of fun in this early morning hour.
But there is something wrong because it's fogged and that is not a good sign and the sun is still not strong enough to break through this fog. They drove around for more then one hour but no, no chance of getting airborne today. No visibility is to risky and therefore they don't fly.
The irony is that an half hour after they cancelled the flight, the sun was baking the Atherthon Tablelands and it was more then 30 degrees. Mmmm dreaming of what could have been ....
The Kuranda Scenic Train
1h 45min of relaxing and enjoying the sceneries around you, that is what you get if you board the Kuranda Scenic train. You see several waterfalls next to your way and you will have a nice view over the valley while you are riding this train against the valley walls.
There are great photo opportunities but it beats hands down getting the bus back towards Cairns.
The Kuranda Sky-rail
The skyrail is a nice way to explore the rainforest. How many times did we walk into a forest, probably countless times, but how often did we see these forests from above? No so often I guess and there fore the Kuranda sky-rail is the perfect opportunity to do so. When you embark, you get a nice leaflet that tells you a lot of the things that you can see below you.
The sky-rail runs over the rainforest and it's a 7.5 km long gondola cableway and therefore also the longest in the world. The Sky-rail leaves in the Kuranda Station (366 m) towards the Barron Falls and from there it goes to Red Peak Station (545 meter) and goes onwards to the Caravonica Lakes Station (5 meters above Sea level).
Jack the Ripper
This was a huge saltwater croc kept at the Rainforest station. He was known as Jack the Ripper because he didn't seem to like females. He was put in a compund with three females for him to 'socialise' with and by the next morning he had killed them all.
This is a park at Kuranda which has a collection of animals in captivity for conservation and also has tours thru the rainforest in a Duck (Amphibious vehicle).
Here's a picture of a well disguised lizard on a tree in the forest.
I absolutely recommend a visit to the bird park at Kuranda. To describe it as a walk through aviary is selling it too short, but neither is it an open park. A bit of a cross between the two. It is basically a small rainforest with trees up to about 12 feet tall, all covered over with unobtrusive wire, and inside the rainforest there is a small waterfall, little ponds, free food for the birds, they have their own hollows in trees for nests or they can build their own, they can wander among the visitors on the ground, or watch them from their tree perches. They can land on visitors, but only if they choose, and the birds themselves look extremely healthy and happy. This would have to be the best ever example of a small bird park that I've ever visited. There must be 80 - 100 different species of birds in here (mostly Australian, mostly tropical) and the colours are amazing....see travelogue for more.
- Family Travel
Tropical Butterfly House
It's hard for me to say which attraction I enjoyed more: the butterfly house or the huge bird world walk through aviary of tropical birds....they were both so great.
There are absolutely hundreds of butterflies in here, and, you guessed it, the brightest, biggest and prettiest butterflies are also the fastest and the ones which just won't stay put when you're trying to take their photo.....I was determined to catch the elusive and very famous turquoise blue Ulysses butterfly with my digital camera....see travelogue to see if I managed it.....
- Jungle and Rain Forest
- Family Travel
When I was in Cairns I took the skyrail up to Kuranda. It was well worth the money and we had excellent views of the rainforest and animals - sulphur crested cockatoo, azure butterfly. Beautiful!
- Jungle and Rain Forest
Colour in the Forest
While we were travelling over the forest in the skyrail I was captivated by this splash of colour in the midst of all the greenery.
My journey back to Cairns was on the Mountain Railway. This crawls down from the mountains alongside ravines and thru tunnels.
- Save up to 50% off Hotels Everyday
- Expedia.com Photos, Reviews and the Guaranteed Lowest Prices
- Save money, Book now!
- Booking.com Excellent choice, Low rates