Results 1-10of 12 Reviews
by Tim G
September 20, 2002
The ride itself is wonderful as you peer down into the canopy, seeing plenty of birds and clouds of butterflies as well as the wonderful scenery. I'd suggest using the way up to focus your attention on the forest below, and the way back to enjoy the scenic views across the mountains and out to sea.
The first stop is Red Peak Station, where you get great views across the Barron River valley. Here you are in the heart of the tropical rainforest that you have been enjoying on the way up.
The second stop is Barron Falls Station, highlighted of course by Barron Falls and Barron Gorge. Quite impressive, and very beautiful.
At the top you find yourself in Kuranda, a pleasant enough town with lots of good aboriginal art galleries, souvenir shops, and restaurants. There's lots of good walks in this area too. Check out the maps when you get off the skyrail. You can take river cruises up here too.
The overall experience is quite nice. This is a good, easy way to see and appreciate the rainforest - if you don't have the time or desire to do some hiking and camping in the Tablelands, then do this. If you are doing those things you still might find this a good introduction to it all.
Roundtrip on the skyrail is $46 AUS adult, $23 child. To take the skyrail up and the train back it's $63 adult, $31 child. There are other packages also. Check out their website here for more info.
From journal Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef
October 19, 2006
From journal Where the Rainforest Meets the Reef
Kailua Kona, Hawaii
March 12, 2006
From journal Awesome Australia
March 18, 2005
Tours available within the Butterfly Sanctuary provide good information about the life cycle, mating habits, eggs (which they can recognize well enough to know what variety it is), and how they collect them each day. I was advised by someone to wear a red or pink shirt to attract the butterflies. Don’t know if they were any more attracted to me than others, but the idea made sense.
Birdworld offers the opportunity to be surrounded in an aviary by free-flying birds. A variety of native birds, from the cassowary (my favorite) to macaws and black swans. You can also feed the colorful lorikeets, who do not like to be petted.
Kuranda should have been a two-day trip. I also walked around the path that meanders through the rainforest and along the river. Still, this left me no time for a river cruise, 4WD nature tour, aboriginal dance troupe, or a visit to the herb farm.
Skyrail is a completely different view of Kuranda and the surrounding rainforest. Skimming just barely above the tops of the trees, I found myself looking down at bird’s nests and large clusters of epiphytes with all the tiny new leaves sprouting up from the very top. Looking across the mountaintops, I could even see out to the Great Barrier Reef. What a panoramic view! I even looked behind me seeing how far I’d come on this cable ride. I have never been on one this long.
There are two points that you have the option of getting off for few minutes and taking the next car. Both stops need a minimum of 20 minutes each, making the entire trip about 1 1/4 hours in duration.
The first stop is Red Peak Station, where there is 175-metre boardwalk with interpretive signs. There is also a bench with a clock above, indicating when the next ranger led tour is which is usually every 20 minutes. There is also an interpretive center which shows various wildlife and plantlife you may encounter and their parts in the ecosystem.
Barron Falls Station offers spectacular views of Barron Falls. Walk along the boardwalk to see the large flat pools that flow over the jagged rocks. Continue along the path were you can view the falls reaching the bottom pool. This stop provides a rather top-to-bottom overview of these magnificent falls and the incredible terrain beneath them. Here, too, is an interpretive center to gain more insight to the area.
From here, hop into the gondola for another 10 minutes and reach the bottom, where return transportation awaits.
From journal Reef to Rainforest
July 17, 2002
The award-winning Skyrail Rainforest Cableway (open daily from 8AM to 5PM), which opened in 1995, begins at the Caravonica Terminal near Smithfield, a town about 9 miles northwest of Cairns. You can buy your ticket ahead of time, but we had no problem in purchasing at the terminal. Along the 4.7-mile route of the cableway, there are 36 towers supporting the 114 gondola cabins that glide continuously throughout the day. These towers were placed with the utilization of helicopters to minimize the disturbance of the rainforest. Each pod-like gondola can seat six persons, has glass windows that slide open slightly, and is well maintained for a smooth ride over the treetops.
Red Peak Station is the highest point on the cableway at 1788 feet. The boardwalk here is located along the forest floor in the middle of the thick rainforest. Rangers can give brief guided tours at this first intermediate stop, or you can enjoy the lush scenery and informative signs at your own pace.
Next up is the Barron Falls Station, which has nice lookouts of the picturesque Barron River, Gorge and Falls. There is a Rainforest Interpretative Centre, with colorful and educational displays and computers that are popular with the kids.
After the Skyrail crosses over the Barron River, you land at the Kuranda Terminal. The Kuranda Railway Station is not far from this last Skyrail terminal. There is a free shuttle between the Kuranda Terminal and the village, but the distance covered is so short that walking is an easier option. Once you are in the village of Kuranda, there are a multitude of excursions. This list includes a bird aviary, butterfly sanctuary, and rainforest nature park. The various markets sell all sorts of local handcrafted goods. There are even bizarre souvenirs like coin pouches made from kangaroo scrotum or cane toad carcasses (I am not kidding!). Shops selling slightly simpler souvenirs are connected to the top (Kuranda) and bottom (Caravonica) terminals of Skyrail.
From journal Bill in Australia - CAIRNS and QUEENSLAND
August 26, 2001
The Skyrail was built in 1994, following a 7 year approval process from over 20 goverment agencies. The four stations and 32 towers were all built in existing clearings so no rainforest would be disturbed. Helicopters flew in the towers and materials, rather than building roads.
The ride from Cairns to Kuranda takes about 1.5 hours including time to stop and look around at each station. The ride is 4.7 miles long and the highest point 1788 feet.
Tickets one way are about $15 US. If you can time it correctly, you can get a combo Skyrail/Steam Train pass. (An additional $15 US) We rode the Skyrail to Kuranda and then took the 100 year old Kuranda Scenic Railway back through the rainforest into Cairns Center.
At the first stop on your cable ride, Red Peak Station, there are complimentary guided walks with a ranger. You'll also find exhibits with the rainforest seeds and fruits that you can touch. When you reach the Barron Falls Stations stop, you be able to walk out to the the scenic Barron Falls look out. You'll also find the Rainforest Interpretive Centre with video and computer displays.
The last stop is Kuranda. There's a short walk to the Kuranda Scenic Railway. You can also walk into the town where you'll find the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary, Birdworld and many little shops and cafes.
Riding a cable car over the raiforest canopy is almost surreal. It's an experience that you'll probably never have anywhere else. I highly recommend this adventure.
From journal 12 Days in Oz - Cairns