Kuranda Scenic Railway
The Kuranda Scenic Railway is a unique and beautiful 1 hour and 55 minute train journey between Cairns and Kuranda with a stopover at Freshwater, that runs in both directions. While travelling in the nostalgic and elegant carriages, you will be treated with great views of the rainforest, mountains, Barron Gorge, the iconic postcard perfect Stoney Creek Falls and views down the ranges into the northern suburbs and green fields of Cairns. Not only are the trains and scenery beautiful, the historic Kuranda and Freshwater stations along the journey are truly stunning pieces of architecture. After taking the Skyrail up to Kuranda, we caught the scenic railway back down to Freshwater station and hopped onto the all included shuttle bus that took us to our car in the Skyrail parking lot. The Kuranda Scenic Railway is another MUST DO while in Far North Queensland.
Rainforest Interpretation Center
In another fifteen minutes of hovering over this incredible site of millions of trees and plants, we arrived at the Barron Falls Station where again we were able to walk around a boardwalk to see and read about various plants and trees. At this station is the Rainforest Interpretation Center where there are a number of displays on the rainforest and its inhabitants both animal and vegetative. We learned that Australia's rainforests are the oldest continually surviving rainforests one earth, dating back 120 million years. This rainforest occupies 900,000 hectares. Australia's rainforests have 2,800 plant species, of which 380 are considered threatened. Seven hundred of them are not found anywhere else in the world. Also calling the rainforest home is the Southern Carrowary, the largest flightless bird of Australia, two types of tree kangaroos, the primitive Musky Rat kangaroo, the largest butterfly of the continent, the Cairns Birdwing. There are three lookouts that provide a great view of Barron Gorge and Falls. We spent a good deal of time wandering here, before boarding another gondola for the balance of the journey.
7. Get engaged in an adventure sport Of the best white-water rafting rapids in Australia on the Barron River and Tully River will make your adventure spirit to ignite. Bungy jump at AJ Hackett’s or ride their Minjin Jungle Swing. Other activities in the area include quad biking, horse-riding and hang-gliding as well.
Skyrail Rainforest Cableway
The Skyrail Rainforest Cableway is a 7.5 kilometre (4.6 mile) cable car journey venturing above the canopy of the lush, hilly and sensational Barron Gorge National park, connecting Cairns with the historic and idyllic village of Kuranda. There are two stops along the way, Red Peak Station and Barron Falls Station. At Red Peak Station, you will stop there for around twenty to thirty minutes and will be able to explore some spectacular rainforest scenery on the boardwalk including some very large and ancient trees. There was a guided tour when we were there, which was very informative. The next stop, Barron Falls station, allows you a similar amount of time to savour in the environment there, which includes lush rainforest, historic displays and the views of the awe inspiring Barron Falls, which drops way down into the Barron Gorge. The trip up to Kuranda (including the two stops) is 1.5 hours while the trip back down to Cairns is 2-2.5 hours. A MUST DO while in Far North Queensland.
Dundee's Restaurant on the Waterfront
Dundee's Restaurant on the waterfront is a bustling and modern restaurant along the Cairns marina serving up a large menu of high quality meals, including plenty of local seafood and great Aussie meals. The prices are a little on the high side, but the great food, service, atmosphere and energy more than make up for it. If you are adventurous, why not try their popular Seafood platter (2 or more people) or their bush tucker options, including the Kangaroo satay and the Crocodile Satay. We went there on our last night in Cairns for dinner (A Monday Night) before going home, and managed to walk straight in.
Rainforest Skyrail Mid-Station
Another day, another tour. Today we set out for the Rainforest Skyrail Cableway and Kuranda Railway. Once again, Andrew drove us to the resort to catch our shuttle, but then ran back home to transport all of the others to the airport. We will be the only guests for the rest of our stay. After boarding it took about fifteen minutes to reach the Red Peak station, the highest point on the cableway at 545 meters or 1,788 feet high, where you get out and explore the rainforest at this point along boardwalks. Umbrellas are provided for those who did not think to bring one. A guide met us and offered us a free walking tour as he pointed out a number of trees and facts about them and this area of the rainforest in general. He was quite impressive with his knowledge. After he completed his tour, we were free to roam the area before boarding another gondola to the next section.