Soaring through the treetops of Barron Gorge National Park, the 4.7-mile-long (7.5-kilometer) Skyrail Rainforest Cableway offers an unforgettable outdoor experience. Glide over North Queensland’s UNESCO World Heritage–listed tropical rain forest and enjoy unbeatable aerial views over its forests, gorges, and waterfalls.
A one-way ride on the scenic Skyrail Rainforest Cableway takes around 90 minutes, including the ranger-guided boardwalk tours available at Red Peak Station. Two ticket types are available: Standard (in regular panoramic gondolas that seat six people) or Diamond View (in special glass-floor gondolas that seat five).
Tours that include the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway typically run from Cairns, Port Douglas, or the Northern Beaches. A popular choice for a day tour is to ride the Skyrail to Kuranda, then return via the Kuranda Scenic Railway. Myriad packages also include Kuranda attractions such as Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park, Birdworld aviary, or Koala Gardens. You can also combine a Skyrail ride with a thrilling helicopter flight over the Great Barrier Reef, tickets to Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures, or an Army Duck Rainforest Tour.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Gondolas leave every 15 minutes but advance booking is highly recommended, especially during peak times.
- Wear comfortable shoes, a hat, and sunscreen, especially if you plan on enjoying the boardwalk tours, but pack light—large bags and luggage are prohibited on the gondolas.
- Restrooms, snack bars, and gift shops are available at each station.
- The Skyrail is accessible to wheelchair users, and complimentary wheelchair rental is available upon request.
How to Get There
The main starting point for the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway is the Smithfield Terminal, about a 15-minute drive northwest of Cairns or a 50-minute drive south of Port Douglas. Shuttle buses run from Cairns, the Northern Beaches (excluding Holloways Beach, Machans Beach, and Yorkeys Knob), and Port Douglas, but most guided tours include round-trip transportation from your hotel. You can also board the Skyrail at Kuranda station and follow the same route in reverse.
When to Get There
The Skyrail Rainforest Cableway runs year-round. The busiest time is during the peak summer season (December and January), when opting for an early-morning time slot will help you avoid the crowds and the hottest part of the day. The gondolas are fully enclosed and umbrellas are available at the stations during rainy days, so don’t be put off by the weather—in fact, the rain forest is often even more impressive on a rainy or misty day.
The Skyrail Experience
After setting out from Smithfield Station, enjoy views that stretch as far as Cairns, the Coral Sea, and the start of the Great Barrier Reef. After around 10 minutes in the air, arrive at the Red Peak Rainforest Station, where you can explore the rain forest on an optional ranger-guided walking tour (included in the ticket price). Continue on the Skyrail to Barron Falls Station, where lookout points afford dramatic views over Barron Falls and Barron Gorge National Park, and the Rainforest Interpretation Centre offers insight into the region’s unique geology. Finally, arrive at Kuranda Terminal, where you can spend time discovering Kuranda Village, perhaps enjoying lunch at a restaurant looking out over the rain forest, browsing the traditional markets, or visiting one of the wildlife reserves.