Kuranda has a certain bohemian feel to it. It is a small village,
located in a very beautiful part of the world. For three hours each
day it is mayhem with tourists coming in by the thousand on coaches,
trains and on the skyrail cablecar. The heart of town becomes a
hive of activity with markets, restaurants, shopping and wildlife
parks and then, all of a sudden everyone leaves. Kuranda is well
worth visiting and it is good to get to experience the two different
sides of the village if time permits.
from closest major city
27 km north west of Cairns.
Kuranda was established as a railway station in the mid 1800's
when logging and mining were large industries on the Atherton Tablelands. As an outpost, Kuranda became known as place to
stock up on goods and also to enjoy some culture and sophistication
at one of the local hotels.
of the town
Kuranda is a small, very beautiful tropical village hidden
amongst the rainforest. Set against a mountain backdrop and
on the banks of the Barron River, Kuranda is a very unique
place to visit.
Kuranda revolves around the Markets which operate on every day but
are larger on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. The Markets
are interesting however there is a lot to see in Kuranda apart from
the Markets. If you want to avoid the crowds plan to visit on a
non market day and enjoy all of the other sights at your own pace.
If you are a market buff, you will be in heaven on market days.
There are no shortage of things to see and do in Kuranda. The hardest
part is to fit them all into an afternoon, making it well worth
the while to spend as much time as you can or even the night in
Kuranda if time allows. The Kuranda train station is a tour in itself,
famous as the most beautiful train station in Australia. Some of
the attractions in Kuranda include Riverboat Cruises, the Aviary
and the world famous Butterfly Sanctuary. There are some good shops
to buy local arts and crafts and items such as opals, didgeridoos
and t-shirts. Kuranda is a town that specifically caters for tourists.
There is as much or as little to do as time permits. A visit to
the Barron Gorge lookout, especially after heavy rain, is spectacular.
It is hard to know where to start when it comes to things to do
in Kuranda. Getting there is half the enjoyment. There are a number
of options available, most include a combination of going up on
the Kuranda train and returning on the Skyrail cablecar (or the
other way around). Both forms of transport are good fun and give
a different perspective on the journey. It is possible to go up
and come down on the same operation. The Skyrail has won a number
of major tourism awards and in reality they are well deserved. It
is a truly unique experience and at the time of publication it was
the longest cable car in the world. There are two stations with
rainforest walks, toilets and Wet Tropics Interpretation Centres.
There are a number of excellent day tour operators that run scheduled
tours to Kuranda.
» Visit Tours To Go’s extensive range of Kuranda tours
Walk and Riverboat
- Kuranda Rainforest Tours conduct excellent tours on the Barron
River and in the surrounding rainforest. These tours are extremely
good value and the guides are both knowledgeable and friendly making
for a relaxing interlude in an otherwise busy day. River Cruises
and rainforest walks depart from a landing area by the river and
the Kuranda Railway Station.
- Kuranda's zoological eco-attraction with 100's of native birds,
in one of Australia's biggest walk-through free flight enclosures.
Australian Butterfly Sanctuary
is set in a rainforest enclosure, you can see Queensland's famed
tropical butterflies. They are colourful, active and easy to photograph.
is a new attraction featuring specialty stores and restaurants located
on the main street of Kuranda.
is a popular attraction located a few kilometres outside of Kuranda.
Regular shuttle buses operate daily from the heart of the village
to the station which is famous for it's amphibious army duck rides
through the rainforest. The Rainforestation is also a wild life
park with crocodiles, kangaroos and koalas. The attractions listed
above are a few recommendations but as always, talk to other people
that you meet. An unusual way to see Kuranda is on the back of a
Harley Davidson Motorcycle - give it a try.
to Eat and Stay
There is not a lot of accommodation available in Kuranda but there
are several smaller boutique style boarding houses and a caravan
park. There are a multitude of cafes, restaurants and takeaway food
shops to cater for all tastes. The Kuranda Bottom Pub is popular
with locals and visitors alike, offering affordable lunches in a
garden setting, adjacent to the Railway and Skyrail stations.
» Visit Cairns Dining’s Kuranda restaurants section