Kuranda

Tour Guides

Wikipedia: Kuranda is a town on the Atherton Tableland in Far North Queensland, Australia. It is located 330 metres AHD at 16°49′S 145°36′E and is 25 kilometres from Cairns. It is a town of 650 people and is surrounded by rainforest. The rainforest around Kuranda has been home to the Djabugay people for over 10,000 years. Europeans began to explore the area throughout the nineteenth century. Kuranda was first settled in 1885 and surveyed by Thomas Behan in 1888. Construction of the now famous railway from Cairns to Herberton began in 1887 and the line reached Kuranda in 1891. The current railway station was built in 1915.

The town receives thousands of tourists each week who arrive on the Kuranda Scenic Railway from Cairns, the Skyrail gondola cableway, or by coach on the Kuranda Range Road. Attractions in the town include a regular market, consisting of a range of arts and crafts stalls as well as restaurants. Kuranda is a major centre for opals and didgeridoos. It was also the first home of the Tjapukai Indigenous Dance Theatre, established by former New Yorkers Judy and Don Freeman, together with indigenous dancer and actor, David Hudson. The theatre is now located adjacent the Skyrail base station at Caravonica. Kuranda is home to a bird park, butterfly sanctuary, a bat rehabilitation centre, snake and venom park and koala sanctuary. As mentioned, the town is surrounded by rainforest rich in wildlife, with numerous walks and lookouts, such as to the Barron Falls.

Skyrail Rainforest Cableway: This is a world first in environmental tourism taking you on an amazing experience over Australia's World Heritage listed Tropical Rainforest canopy and deep into the forest. The Skyrail experience, spanning 7.5kms over pristine rainforest, allows you to explore the wonders of an ancient tropical rainforest and learn about one of the most botanically fascinating and diverse areas on earth. 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 Village: The picturesque mountain retreat of Kuranda Village is just 25km northwest of Cairns in Far North Queensland, Australia and is surrounded by World Heritage Rainforest. Visitors can travel to Kuranda on Kuranda's Historic Scenic Railway or by car or bus, via the spectacular Kuranda Range Road or over the rainforest on Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. Kuranda has come a long way from its initial origins as a centre for those choosing an alternative lifestyle in the late 60's. Historic Buildings from the villages past now house a variety of upmarket restaurants, cafes and bars. It is still laid back, but with a style and sophistication that sets it apart from other Cairns Highlands Venues and Attractions.

Rainforestation Nature Park: A 40 hectare tourist attraction set in a midst of World Heritage Rainforest only five minutes drive from Kuranda Village and half an hour from Cairns in Tropical North Queensland. Operating since 1976, the locally owned and operated Rainforestation offers an experience for the whole family with three main attractions, two restaurants and a Tropical Treats Juice Bar. In addition Rainforestation is available for exclusive offsite dinners and outings with a difference.

Kuranda Scenic Railway: Our world famous railway experience is amust-do when visiting Cairns and Tropical North Queensland, Australia. You will discover the pioneering history of the tropical north from way back in the late 1800's, be astounded by a magnificent engineering feat and explore some of the great characters involved in the construction of this great railway.

Holiday Company Descriptions

Freedom Australia: Board the Kuranda train for an historic journey taking you through the scenic countryside behind Cairns. Arrive at the cultural rainforest village of Kuranda with time to wander through the various stalls of the colourful Kuranda Markets. Later, board the Skyrail Cableway that takes you above the canopy of the tropical rainforest of the Barron Gorge National Park. Visit the famous Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park where the legends of the Dreamtime are brought to life.

Adventures Abroad: Today we travel by road to Kakadu National Park. We cross the South Alligator River and explore the World Heritage area of Ubirr Rock where we climb up though the ancient Aboriginal Rock Art Galleries to the lookout for the famous view over surrounding wetlands. We also visit the Bowali Visitor Centre with its informative displays. The name 'Kakadu' comes from an Aboriginal floodplain language called Gagudju which was one of the languages spoken in the north of the park at the beginning of the twentieth century. Although languages such as Gagudju and Limilngan are no longer regularly spoken, descendants of these language groups are still living in Kakadu. Located at the northern fringe of the Northern Territory, Kakadu is the largest terrestrial national park in Australia. It comprises almost 8,000 square miles of spectacular wildlife habitat, which ranges from the high stone plateau to forest woodland, monsoon rainforest to open savanna-like flood plains dotted with billabongs, mangrove-fringed estuaries to coastal beaches of the Arafura Sea. At the heart of Kakadu is the South Alligator River, so named by a 19th century explorer who mistook the native crocodiles for alligators.

Best at Australia: Whilst in this region trips to the Reef and Rainforest are a must and we have booked a Reef & Rainforest day tour package, which can be used at anytime during your stay. Today we would suggest you take the rainforest day tour, as the Rail departure point is close to Cairns. Downunder tours will pick you up from your hotel and continue to the Kuranda scenic train for a spectacular journey through the mountains to the village of Kuranda. Once in Kuranda stroll through the village and markets stopping for lunch (own expense). On your return experience the magnificent Skyrail cable car and glide over the canopy's of the rainforest. The day is complete with a visit to Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park for a fascinating insight into Aboriginal history.

Thomas Cook: Join the Kuranda scenic railway as it winds through the dense tropical forests. This afternoon, board the Skyrail, the world's largest gondola cableway, for an amazing ride just above the rainforest canopy, before visiting the Tjapukai Aboriginal Culture Park to meet some of the local Aboriginal people and discover more about their rich cultural heritage.

Horizon Tours: Enjoy a great day touring the naturally air-conditioned Tablelands. Combine the Kuranda Scenic Train and/or Skyrail and travel to Kuranda Village , a quaint little township in the rainforest. Famous for its arts, crafts and indigenous artefacts, Kuranda also boasts attractions such as the Butterfly Sanctuary, Koala Gardens and Birdworld. The Original Kuranda Markets are held Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays, while the Heritage Markets are open daily. Beyond Kuranda, our experienced driver guide will show you the amazing Tablelands - an elevated plateau of diverse beauty, contrasting scenery and fertile farmlands producing a wide range of crops - such as coffee, macadamia nuts, tropical fruits, peanuts, maize, sugar cane and boutique wineries!

Holiday Accommodation


Cedar Park Rainforest Resort: This is a romantic and secluded natue retreat surrounded by the wet tropic world heritage rainforest, offers opportunities for adventure vacations, unique and romantic wedding and honeymoon experiences, rainforest bush walks and exiting birding in a tropical rainforest setting.

The location is 12km from Kuranda (the famous "Village in the Rainforest") and 6km gravel road through the Forest (accessible to conventional Vehicles).



Cairns B&B: Cairns Reef and Rainforest Bed and Breakfast Accommodation is one of the newest registered B&B in Australia's Far North Queensland. Your holiday accommodation worries are over when you book with us. We are set in a tropical rainforest location yet only minutes from Cairns City.