on March 12, 2006
This is a great day trip. Getting to and from this rainforest town, surrounded by a 40,000 year old mountain range, is the best part. You can go back and forth by train or Skyrail but do both - take the train up and Skyrail back. This can be arranged at the Cairns Railroad station. For a small fee they will even pick you up! The train trip was beautiful, rumbling past many waterfalls and through many, many tunnels. The tracks are more than 100 years old, an engineering wonder and tribute to man. Although the town of Kuranda was a little too commercialized for us, its train station alone was worth the trip. Lured by their "markets", which we thought would be filled with local crafts and goods and owned by the Aborigine people. Instead these markets were more like malls and tourist traps. The prices were high and competition keen. Skip the markets and enjoy the town, take a riverboat tour down the Barron River which includes an interesting commentary on the flora and fauna of the area. Perhaps visit the Butterly Sanctuary (although they are flying all around you for free)or Birdworld and don't miss having a great Guinness Meat Pie and a pint at the air conditioned Kuranda Hotel. A few hours in town should be enough for anyone unless you want to do all of the visitor activities or go on one of the many hiking trails that surround the village. (It was too hot and humid for that when we were there!)Save the best for last and return on the Skyrail. This 7.5km-gondola ride gives you a birds-eye view over and through the rainforest. Mid-way you will have the opportunity to leave the gondola and walk through a small museum and the rainforest itself via an elevated walkway. There are also views of the waterfalls and Kuranda train across the valley. Once back on board you will begin the descent back toward towns with spectacular views of Cairns to the South and Cape Tribulation to the North.
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