4.5 star rating: Recommended 262 Reviews

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  • Location: Cairns, Australia
  • Duration:  7.5 to 10 hours
Experience the rainforest beauty of Tropical North Queensland on a scenic day trip from Cairns. There are five options to choose from that provide different activities, so select what interests you most. All options include a journey on the historic Kuranda Scenic Railway and a ride on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. Other attractions include Tjupakai Aboriginal Cultural Park or Rainforestation Nature Park, and you’ll have free time in the village of Kuranda to browse its markets, have lunch or visit wildlife attractions like Birdworld or Kuranda Koala Gardens, where you can cuddle a koala! (Food, drinks and activities in Kuranda are at your own expense, unless otherwise stated.)

Highlights

  • Day trip to Kuranda from Cairns
  • Experience the wildlife, history and lush landscape of Tropical North Queensland
  • Enjoy spectacular views of Barron Falls on the Kuranda Scenic Railway
  • Ride the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway for aerial views of the verdant forest
  • Explore the markets and wildlife attractions of Kuranda during free time in the village
  • Choose from tour options that include Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park and Rainforestation Nature Park
  • Pickup and drop-off at Cairns and northern beaches hotels included

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What You Can Expect

Kuranda Scenic Railway Day Trip from Cairns

Kuranda Scenic Railway, Cairns

Discover Tropical North Queensland on a day trip from Cairns to Kuranda, a rainforest village known for its markets, wildlife attractions and lush surrounding landscape. In order to do what interests you most, you have your choice of the five tour options described below in the Itinerary section — make your selection when booking.

All tours include a one-way ride on the Kuranda Scenic Railway and a one-way ride on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway (direction of each depends on option selected), as well as hotel pickup and drop-off in Cairns and the northern beaches. All tours also include free time in Kuranda so you can explore the village however you wish. Shop at the markets, enjoy lunch at one of the many restaurants, or get up close and personal with Australian wildlife at Birdworld, the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary or Kuranda Koala Gardens, where you can cuddle with one of nature’s cutest creatures (food, drinks and entrance fees are at your own expense, unless stated otherwise).

Kuranda Scenic Railway: The one-way train ride is approximately 1.5 hours. Hear about the pioneering history of the region from the onboard commentary, and admire spectacular views of the landscape that includes mountains, waterfalls and rainforest. Pass through Barron Gorge National Park, stopping for a photo op at the gorge, and cross Stoney Creek Bridge. When you reach the Kuranda train station, notice its tropical gardens and heritage-listed building.

Skyrail Rainforest Cableway: Glide over the rainforest in a 6-passenger gondola, admiring unbeatable views as you pass over the peak of the mountain range. During the 4.5-mile (7.5-km) ride, stop twice along the way to hop out and explore the environment. Walk along a boardwalk on the forest floor, take photos from scenic lookouts and visit the interpretive center.

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Itinerary

Select one of the following tour options when booking. All options include a Kuranda Boarding Pass, which provides a written itinerary available in six languages, pre-allocated seating on the Kuranda Scenic Railway and express check-in at the Skyrail so you can go straight to the boarding area.

Scenic Railway – Kuranda – Skyrail (8.5 hours)
:
Your day starts with a short drive from your accommodation to the Freshwater train station, about 6 miles (10 km) northwest of central Cairns, to board the Kuranda Scenic Railway to Kuranda. After your free time in Kuranda, head to the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway for your aerial ride to the Caravonica Terminal, where you’ll be picked up and taken back to your accommodation.

Skyrail – Kuranda – Scenic Railway (10 hours):
After hotel pickup, you’ll be driven to the Freshwater train station, where you’ll check in and then transfer to the Caravonica Terminal of the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. Board the cableway for the aerial ride to Kuranda. After free time in town, board the Kuranda Scenic Railway for the train journey back to Freshwater, from where you’ll be returned to your accommodation.

Tjapukai – Skyrail – Kuranda – Scenic Railway (9 hours):
Your day trip begins with hotel pickup for the drive to Tjapukai Aboriginal Culture Park, about 10 miles (16 km) northwest of central Cairns. When you arrive, meet your indigenous guide who will lead you around the park’s attractions, including didgeridoo, bush food and fire-making demonstrations and a performance by the Tjapukai Dance Troupe. Throw a boomerang, listen to unique music and learn about Australia’s ancient cultures. You can get lunch on your own in the park, or wait until later in the day (own expense).

Then leave Tjapukai and walk to the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway station for the aerial ride to Kuranda. After almost two hours of free time in the village, board the Kuranda Scenic Railway for the train journey to the Freshwater station, from where you’ll be returned to your accommodation.

Tjapukai with Lunch – Skyrail – Kuranda – Scenic Railway (9 hours):
After hotel pickup, your day trip starts with the drive to Tjapukai Aboriginal Culture Park. When you arrive, meet your indigenous guide who will lead you around the park’s attractions, including didgeridoo, bush food and fire-making demonstrations and a performance by the Tjapukai Dance Troupe. Learn how to throw a boomerang, listen to unique music and hear about Australia’s ancient cultures. A buffet lunch at the park’s Boomerang Restaurant is included.

Next, walk to the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway station for the aerial ride to Kuranda. After about 1.5 hours of free time in the village, board the Kuranda Scenic Railway for the train journey to the Freshwater station, from where you’ll be returned to your accommodation.

Scenic Railway – Kuranda – Rainforestation – Skyrail (10 hours):
Your day trip starts with a short drive from your accommodation to the Freshwater train station, where you’ll board the Kuranda Scenic Railway to Kuranda. After about three hours of free time in Kuranda, you’ll be transferred by shuttle to Rainforestation Nature Park, 100 acres (40 hectares) of rainforest and lush gardens just outside of town.

See native Australian wildlife; ride the amphibious Army Duck for a tour of the rainforest and its inhabitants; explore the Dreamtime Walk for an introduction to Aboriginal culture; learn how to throw a boomerang; or watch a native dance performance. You can also visit the Koala and Wildlife Park to feed kangaroos by hand, be amused by lazy wombats or even hold a koala, if you wish (koala holding is at your own expense).

Afterward, take your shuttle back to Kuranda to board the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway for your aerial ride to the Caravonica Terminal, where you’ll be picked up and taken back to your accommodation.

Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2015

Excellent tour that allows you to experience some of the best that Cairns has to offer! Don't miss the opportunity to cuddle a Koala in Kuranda! The same place will also allow you to feed Kangaroos. Kuranda also has some of the best shops to get souvenirs that you won't find anyplace else. We loved the scenic railway. We also had a delicious outback grill lunch which you can have if you choose that in your options. The food there was really good. The only downside about our tour is that we were on a pretty tight schedule because there was so much to do in one day so we were a little rushed at some points. We would have liked the opportunity to spend a little more time exploring and shopping in Kuranda. Really fun time though. One thing to keep in mind is to plan accordingly because almost all shops in Kuranda close by 4:00pm and the skyrail only runs until about 4:30 or 5:00pm so if you miss it you will most likely be stranded.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2015

This was a fantastic tour. Lots of places and time to enjoy the sites. Great lunch too!

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Tour code: 2570KRPS

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