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Region Main

Kuranda

Cairns Connect Overview
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.


Kuranda Scenic Rail

Population
Approximately 750

Distance from closest major city
27 km north west of Cairns.

History
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.

Feel 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.

Things to see
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.

Things to do
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

Rainforest 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.

The Aviary - Kuranda's zoological eco-attraction with 100's of native birds, in one of Australia's biggest walk-through free flight enclosures.

The 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.

The Ark is a new attraction featuring specialty stores and restaurants located on the main street of Kuranda.

Kuranda Rainforest Station 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.

Places 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


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