A 25 minute drive from Cairns heading inland towards Mareeba lies the township of Kuranda. Centered around tourist activities, the township offers a cool respite to the tropical heat of Cairns. Here you can visit the Butterfly Sanctuary and see the famous Blue Ulysess, and also see some of the local wildlife. Many of the shops offer high quality souvenirs and Australiana gift lines as well as collectable paintings and phototographs from well-known local artists. The Kuranda markets are open Wednesday, Thursday, and Sundays from 9am-3pm and are a bargain hunter's mecca. For the sweet tooth, the Honey House offers a huge range of unique Australian bush honeys –- with free tastings.
Barron Gorge is a five-minute drive from Kuranda and offers magnificent views of the waterfalls and tropical rainforest. There are well signed walking trails. You can reach Kuranda by Sky Rail and the famous Kuranda Train –- a suggested option is to Sky Rail up and Kuranda Train back down -– there is some awesome scenery along the way.