Kuranda Scenic Railway Tours
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Winding its way through the ancient rainforests, dramatic gorges, and UNESCO World Heritage-listed landscapes of Queensland’s tropical north, the Kuranda Scenic Railway is one of Australia’s most spectacular train journeys. Running 23 miles (37 kilometers) from Cairns in the south to Kuranda in the north, the route is a thrilling one. As it passes through an impressive 15 tunnels and across 37 bridges, the railway affords panoramic views of the Barron Gorge National Park.
Most tours set out from Cairns, Port Douglas, or the northern beaches, from where it’s a two-hour one-way journey to the end of the line at Kuranda. Passengers can choose standard heritage carriages or the more luxurious Gold Class or Royale Class service, in which refreshments are served. For the best value, combine your tour with other North Queensland activities such as a ride on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, an Army Duck tour of the Rainforestation Nature Park, a helicopter ride over the Great Barrier Reef, or a visit to the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary.
Things to Know Before You Go
- English-language commentary is provided on the train.
- Luggage space is limited, so bring a day bag and be sure to pack sunscreen, insect repellent, and comfortable shoes if you plan on exploring the rainforest.
- Wheelchair access is available at all stations except Barron Falls station, but it must be requested in advance.
How to Get There
It’s possible to ride the Kuranda Scenic Railway in either direction, starting your journey at Cairns Station, Freshwater Station, or Kuranda Station. Cairns Station is located right in the center of Cairns, about five miles (eight kilometers) or a 1-hour train ride south of Cairns Airport.
When to Get There
The Kuranda Scenic Railway runs twice daily, with morning departures from Cairns and afternoon departures from Kuranda. Trains run year-round, but with no air-conditioning on-board the historic trains, it can get hot in summer.
Natural Landscapes of the Wet Tropics
The Kuranda Scenic Railway runs right through the heart of the UNESCO-protected Wet Tropics, climbing through the jungle-clad mountains of the Barron Gorge. Jump off along the way to marvel at the Barron Falls, admire Stoney Creek Falls, or take a hike through the ancient woodlands, looking out for wildlife such as rainbow lorikeets, wild orchids, and Lumholtz’s tree-kangaroos.
Address: Bunda St, Cairns, Queensland 4870, Australia
Hours: Open daily 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
8 Tours and Activities to Experience Kuranda Scenic Railway
You can reserve your spot today and pay when you're ready.
You can reserve your spot today and pay when you're ready.
Explore the lush beauty, amazing wildlife and rich heritage of Tropical North Queensland on this customizable full-day trip to Kuranda from Cairns. Travel to this enchanting rain forest village aboard the historic Kuranda Scenic Railway, and choose from a variety of activities including visits to the Tjupakai Aboriginal Cultural Park and Rainforestation Nature Park. Hang out with koalas and exotic birds, browse local markets and opt to include a delicious buffet lunch. At the end of the day, glide through the treetops back to Cairns on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway.
Journey to the rain forest village of Kuranda via two unique transit options on this memorable full-day tour from Cairns or Port Douglas. Skip the line and enjoy Gold Class service aboard the Kuranda Scenic Railway, winding through lush mountain passes and waterfall gorges along the way. In the opposite direction, glide above the treetops in a gondola and soak up spectacular views of the mountains and coastline on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. In Kuranda, enjoy leisure time to explore the heritage markets, learn about aboriginal culture or interact with native wildlife.
Experience the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Kuranda Rainforest on a full-day tour from Cairns. Take the Kuranda Scenic Railway to Kuranda where you first visit the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary, the largest flight aviary in Australia. Tour the Rainforestation Nature Park in an amphibious Army Duck vehicle, then see koalas, dingoes and more at the Koala and Wildlife Park. Take a dreamtime walk with a Pamagirri guide for the Pamagirri Aboriginal Experience, then feast on an Australian barbecue buffet lunch. Finally, return to Cairns on the scenic Skyrail Rainforest Cableway.
Take a day trip from Cairns to Kuranda on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, and return via the Kuranda Scenic Railway. Alternatively, make the 1-way journey by railway and return by skyrail. Enjoy a tranquil ride as you soar above the rainforest canopy, with views from Cairns all the way to the Great Barrier Reef, and spend free time in Kuranda Village. If you wish, upgrade your transport with admission to the Rainforestation Nature Park or Tjupakai Aboriginal Cultural Park — the latter option with or without lunch.
Cairns 4WD Waterfall and Rainforest Tour Including Kuranda Scenic Railway or Skyrail Rainforest Cableway
Escape the tourist trail for an off-road adventure in Australia’s tropical north on this full-day tour from Cairns. Hop aboard a 4WD for a thrilling tour of the Barron Gorge National Park and Kuranda National Park, exploring hidden trails not normally accessible to the public and admiring natural wonders like Surprise Falls and Lake Morris. After free time to enjoy lunch (own expense) and browse the markets in Kuranda Village, enjoy aerial views over the Kuranda rainforest with a ride on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway or Scenic Railway.
Experience the beautiful Kuranda rainforest on this train and ATV adventure. After a convenient hotel pickup, climb aboard the Kuranda Scenic Railway and marvel at picturesque views of waterfalls, ravines, and the spectacular Barron Gorge. Then, travel with a guide on a heart-thumping journey through the rainforest. Get outfitted with safety and rain gear, take a quick training session, and enjoy afternoon tea—all included in the tour price.
Cover all the best sights of Cairns, with a few special upgrades included, during this 8-day tour. Extras include a 40-minute scenic reef flight, a 4WD rain forest waterfall adventure, and a free day to explore. Seven nights of accommodation, all transportation, and meals per itinerary.
Get a comprehensive tour of the Cairns area on this 6-day tour that hits all the highlights and landmarks. Spend a full day exploring the Great Barrier Reef with an introductory dive, ride the Scenic Railway to Kuranda, and walk among the old-growth trees in the Daintree Rainforest. All transportation, meals per itinerary, and five nights' accommodation included.
Taking safety measures
Face masks provided for travelers
Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What are Kuranda Scenic Railway hours of operation?
Kuranda Scenic Railway hours of operation: Open daily 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.. Buy tickets in advance on Viator. If you book with Viator, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.
What's the best way to experience Kuranda Scenic Railway?
The best ways to experience Kuranda Scenic Railway are:
- Kuranda Scenic Railway Day Trip from Cairns
- Skip the Line Kuranda Scenic Railway Gold Class and Skyrail Rainforest Cableway
- Best of Kuranda Including Skyrail, Kuranda Scenic Railway and Rainforestation
- Skyrail Rainforest Cableway Day Trip from Cairns
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