Kuranda and Rainforests


Today I am going to see a little bit of rainforest in Australia. I am visiting the hill town of Kuranda via a historic trail ride and returning to Cairns via a skyrail over the rainforest.

Kuranda Scenic Railway

I start by taking a two hour old-timey train ride to the rainforest town of Kuranda (Freshwater station to Kuranda station).

My first seat assigned has me awkwardly seated with a large family. Luckily the ride is not full and I can switch to empty seats in another car.

With the train windows open I get the crisp smell of nature and a cool breeze from water before we start ascending into the mountain range.

The train narrator tells us the story of how the tracks and tunnels were built. There are settlement towns that existed around the tunnels to support them being built, even a brewery/distillery at one time.

There are two bends and one stop (Barron Falls).

We make our stop at Barron Falls where we view the falls off into the distance and stretch our legs. It starts raining during this stop so we run back in to our seats after some quick photos.

Barron Falls from the train.

When the train history commentary is complete they play fun train songs such as “Runaway Train” by Soul Asylum.

We finally arrive at the station in Kuranda but it is pouring. I hang back to see if the rain lightens and order myself a ham toastie (grilled cheese toasted sandwich).

The town of Kuranda isn’t really a exciting destination for a couple hour trip. Kuranda has a hotel or two and mostly shopping and some kitschy sightseeing. I am able to purchase some souvenirs and clothing items that are much needed. Prices are not cheap by any means but hopefully they are good quality additions to my travel wardrobe.

There is a colorful area with cafes where people can purchase lunch. Unfortunately I had that very filling toastie so am not hungry.

There is a little nature path through a mini-rainforest. I spend a few minutes walking through there.

I’ve seen just about everything I want to see in Kuranda but I am early for my skyrail trip. The lines are short so they let me start my skyrail return trip early.

Skyrail Rainforest Cableway

View down below of the colorful train

Since the Kuranda village at the top was kind of boring and uneventful I had little hope for the skyrail. The skyrail is basically a gondola that takes you over a rainforest. I am pleasantly surprised when I get a private car and start moving. I immediately start hearing the sounds of birds in nature and have the most magnificent views of the rainforest. It’s been raining on and off all day but the cable way goes so long that I am able to escape the rain. The route is 7.5km long.

There are stops on the way down and one gives a vantage point of a beautiful waterfall. The waterfall Barron Falls is the same one I saw during my trail stop, this time I get a better view.

I am back in my cablecar to finish my return journey. As I get closer to the station I am rewarded of great views of the coast.

Since I am back early I have a little while before my van arrives. I find a place to charge my phone inside the giftshop. With all the beautiful scenery I give my phone battery a large workout today.

After the van takes me back to my hostel I walk back toward town to get something to eat. I settle on this pizza from The Lush Pizza Co.

CHICK’N’PERI (chicken, onion, peppers with peri peri sauce)

I get a chance to wander around town after dark. Cairns is not a large and lively town but the peace and quiet suits me fine at this point in my travels.

Tomorrow I am off to my Great Barrier Reef cruise. Hopefully the weather is good.

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