Kuranda - Tropical North Queensland Holiday Destination
Kuranda is a picture perfect village located amidst the natural beauty of World Heritage Rainforest. The town is located 25km to the north-west of Cairns and has had an amazing history which is quite astounding for such a small town. It is close to Skeleton Creek which was once a place of an indigenous Aboriginal massacre, a timber cutters town throughout most of the early 1900s, a haven for hippies in the late 60's and now a tourist retreat.
It's a beautiful place to visit for a day or spend a whole week relaxing in the Cairns Highlands. There's plenty to see and do in one day and then also a great to explore the Atherton Tablelands as well as the coastal cities like Cairns and Palm Cove. People enjoy the cooler temperatures in the highlands and find it a great retreat from the humidity of the coast.
There is an array of accommodation types to choose from in Kuranda. There's eco cabins, bed and breakfasts, luxury rainforest resorts, cheap backpacker hostels and camping sites for those who don't mind roughing it a bit. The accommodation prices are varied and there will be something to suit everyone.
Things To Do & Places To Visit In Kuranda
There's much to do and especially see in Kuranda with many of the activities centering around the gorgeous flora and fauna of the area.
Skyrail Rainforest Cableway
A visit to Kuranda is not complete without travelling along one of the world's largest gondola cableway the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. The journey is 7.5km and will take around 90 minutes and will pass through and above some of the most beautiful natural rainforest in the world. You can hop off at two points and view the beautiful vistas below. Gliding just metres above the rainforest canopy in comfortable six-person gondola cabins, the Skyrail journey immerses you in an intimate rainforest experience where you'll see, hear, smell and become part of the tropical rainforest environment.
Kuranda Scenic Railway
Many visitors to Cairns choose to hop on board the Kuranda Scenic Railway for a day trip to the hinterland town or if you're already staying in town you can climb aboard the historic train for a journey into the Barron Gorge National Park while you have beautiful views of the Coral Sea and Cairns coast. The Kuranda Station itself is a must see as it was built back in 1913 and is one of the earliest of its kind in Queensland.
Kuranda Heritage Market
Make sure you take a stroll through the Kuranda Heritage Market, which is a sight in itself as it is a market set in the rainforest. The market is open daily and has a huge array of undercover stalls that sell locally produced food, arts and craft, jewellery, gemstones, clothing, paintings and much more. There's also a number of places to stop and have a refreshing drink or snack to keep you going!
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One would think it wasn't possible to view over 1500 spectacular species of tropical butterflies in just 20 minutes but the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary offers guests just that. Walk through the biggest free flying butterfly enclosure and gaze upon the rainbow of colours these creatures make. The icon of the town is the Ulysses Butterfly which is a brilliant electric blue and make sure you also find the fluoro green and yellow of the Cairns Birdwing.
Over 500 birds call Birdworld home making it the largest single collection of free flying birds in Australia. Walk through the park which has been designed so that you can view these magnificent birds in their natural habitats. There's rumbling waterfalls and massive lakes that are home for the waterbirds and rainforest canopy for those that live high up in the tree tops. You can even see the endangered Cassowary which is an opportunity not to be missed. Because there are no fences or walls you might even get very lucky with a close encounter from one of the birds which makes for a great photo op!
Nestled in mountaintop rainforest splendour just to the west of Cairns, Kuranda has been enchanting visitors for years. Accessible by train, cableway or road, the charming Village in the Rainforest' presents a bevy of tropical delights. We offer a large variety of Kuranda packages catering to every schedule and incorporating the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, Kuranda Scenic Railway, Tjapukai Cultural Park and Rainforestation.
Perhaps Australia's most iconic animal, the koalas are at their best at Koala Gardens in the heart of Kuranda - the combination of animals and environment make for a great day out for both adults and families with kids alike!
Three enjoyable Cairns wildlife attractions for one low price - what's not to love? Visit all three of Koala Gardens, Birdworld Kuranda and the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary for one of the most comprehensive and best value wildlife experiences available in tropical north QLD.
The Rainforestation Nature Park is located just outside the village of Kuranda and is set on over 100 acres of World Heritage Rainforest. There's much to experience at the wildlife park like the interesting and unique Army Duck Rainforest Tour which will give you a fantastic journey through the park onboard an amphibious World War II Army Duck. From onboard The Duck you will pass through the park and then float into the water where you'll get to view fish, eels and even turtles.
The park also offers the Pamagirri Aboriginal Experience where you can educate yourself on the aboriginal culture of this area. Join a guided Dreamtime Walk, watch a traditional dance and have a go and throwing a real boomerang. Next, you can join another tour through the Koala and Wildlife Park which will take you past some of Australia's most wonderful native animals like wombats, dingoes, crocs, cassowary and many more. You can hand feed kangaroos and wallabies and have your picture taken with a koala.
The Skyrail Rainforest Cableway near Cairns is an eco-journey that few places in the world can come close to equalling. Riding on it is a unique experience, as you venture over, within, and under the canopy of a tropical rainforest, where you can smell, see and hear the essence of the diverse eco-systems within the various levels of the spectacular habitats.
Getting to Kuranda
There are two ways you can get to Kuranda. Either choose to drive a half an hour west of Cairns on the Kennedy highway which will take you up to the Kuranda Range. You can also board the Kuran Scenic Rail for a truly unique experience that takes you out of Cairns through Barron Gorge National Park and past some of old tunnels and bridges made by Queensland Pioneers. If you're after something a little more state of the art then hop on board the Caravonica Terminal which is located 15 minutes outside of Cairns and travel to Kuranda using the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. It takes around 90 minutes and will take you high above the rainforest and give you beautiful views of the coastal region of Cairns.