Kuranda
Natural Attractions & National Parks

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Our most recommended Kuranda Natural Attractions & National Parks

Cairns: Self-Guided Kuranda Day Trip, Scenic Rail & Skyrail

1. Cairns: Self-Guided Kuranda Day Trip, Scenic Rail & Skyrail

On this 7-hour excursion, visit Kuranda village in pristine World Heritage-listed rainforest. Be picked up from your hotel and travel to the train station. Take the Kuranda Scenic Railway and marvel at mountains on the way. Rising from sea level to 328 meters, pass waterfalls into the Barron Gorge. Explore the markets, shops, and walking trails, or take a river cruise (seasonal) for 2.5 hours. Discover the food stalls and cafés, or dine with the water dragons at Frog’s Restaurant famous for its sauces and dressings. Take the famous Skyrail down, spanning 7.5km over the rainforest canopy. Spot native wildlife, including the cassowary, the world's 3rd-largest flightless bird. Next, take the 2:00 PM Skyrail back to the bottom (Skyrail Smithfield station). Embark on a fascinating journey of discovery over and deep into the world’s oldest, continually-surviving tropical rainforest. The iconic Skyrail experience is a must-do Cairns attraction of Australia’s World-Heritage listed tropical rainforest, immersing you in one of the most botanically fascinating areas on earth. At the end of your Skyrail experience, be picked up again by bus at 3:30 PM to be brought back to the hotel.

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Kuranda, Skyrail and Scenic Rail Experience

2. Kuranda, Skyrail and Scenic Rail Experience

The itinerary is as follows: Hotel pickups commence from Cairns Beaches at 8:30 AM, 9:45 AM from Palm Cove, and Cairns at 10:00 AM. Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. Transfer to Caravonica Lakes to board Skyrail Rainforest Cableway  for your journey to Kuranda. Once aboard you will be amazed as you glide silently over the rainforest. There are 2 stations en route where you can alight and enjoy a walk through the rain forest to spectacular lookouts or visit the CSIRO Interpretive Center. Arrive in Kuranda. You have approximately 3 hours free time to explore the many and varied shops, as well as the Heritage Markets which operate daily. 2:00 PM: Kuranda Scenic Rail. Board the famous train for an amazing journey, as you travel one of the world's most scenic rail routes, through hand-hewn tunnels and over bridges spanning spectacular gorges. Please note: if Gold Class requested, Kuranda Scenic Rail will be 3.30 PM not  2.00 PM, and return transfer will depart at 5.00 PM not 3.30 PM. 3:30 PM: Coach departs for Cairns and Cairns Beaches.

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Kuranda: 1-Hour Rainforest ATV Tour

3. Kuranda: 1-Hour Rainforest ATV Tour

Explore a secluded estate atop the majestic Barron Falls on a personalized ATV tour with a friendly local tour guide. The estate, owned by a local family since 1969, is surrounded by a UNESCO World Heritage Rainforest and is home to the elusive cassowary and other Australian wildlife. You’ll feel secure and prepared after receiving a training session at the beginning of the tour. Confidently ride through the rainforest and take in the atmosphere of this vibrant flora. Follow the ancient timber logger tracks and discover unique trees. As you venture through the forest, your tour guide will share amazing facts and stories from the history of the pioneers. Get your blood pumping as you ride through the water of a permanent creek crossing. Bite into a piece of fresh fruit straight from the tree. The property houses a gorgeous orchard of 600+ trees. If you're lucky, you may be able to spot a cassowary. This blue-headed flightless bird is related to ostriches and emus and makes its home in these rain forests. Although it’s incredibly rare to see these elusive birds in the wild, several cassowaries make their home on the estate, and many visitors have had the chance to lay eyes on this rare and beautiful bird.

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Barron Gorge: Half-Day Barron River White-Water Rafting

4. Barron Gorge: Half-Day Barron River White-Water Rafting

Experience white-water rafting in Barron Gorge National Park, known for its rugged rainforest mountains, steep ravines, and the falls carved out over thousands of years by the Barron River. Enjoy complimentary transfers from Cairns or Port Douglas before heading to the national park. Meet your guide at Lake Placid, and get ready for your river rafting tour on the river. Enjoy the area’s scenic beauty and a combination of calm water and a series of white-water rapids as well. Spend two hours navigating rapids up to grade three. No experience is necessary, making this a good choice for beginning rafters. There is also plenty of excitement for the more experienced.

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From Cairns and Northern Beaches: Rainforest River Tubing

5. From Cairns and Northern Beaches: Rainforest River Tubing

Get an adrenaline rush on a fantastic river tubing activity in a beautiful rainforest close to Cairns. Escape the usual tourist path and join the locals in the Behana Gorge, where a canopy of trees arch over gently tumbling waters, or experience the small rapids of the Mulgrave River in safety. Navigate the river fully supervised by a minimum of two guides on the water at all times. Suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels, the activity requires no previous experience and includes all safety equipment. Spend a couple of hours floating down a pristine stream in the rainforest and soak up the sights, sounds, and smells of the natural surroundings.

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N. Queensland: Best of the Kuranda Rainforest Full-Day Tour

6. N. Queensland: Best of the Kuranda Rainforest Full-Day Tour

Start your immersion into the culture and nature of the Kuranda Rainforest with a ride aboard the Kuranda Scenic Railway. Wind through the mountains and rainforest to the village of Kuranda.  Upon arrival, experience Australia's largest butterfly aviary at the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary with 1,500 tropical butterflies, including the vibrant green Cairns Birdwing. Next, travel by shuttle to the Rainforestation Nature Park for a barbecue buffet lunch.  After lunch, explore the rainforest by 6WD amphibious vehicle as you climb aboard a World War II Army Duck that can drive over land and in water. Search for wildlife as you learn about the plants and trees of the surrounding rainforest. Then, sample some exotic fruits and locally-made ice cream at the Tropical Treats fruit orchard.  Learn about Aboriginal culture at the Pamagirri Aboriginal Experience and watch spear-throwing demonstrations and traditional dances. Try your hand at throwing a boomerang, and hear all about the didgeridoo. Then, get up close to Australian animals including koalas, dingoes and the endangered Cassowary and Lumholtz's Tree Kangaroo. See typical Australian critters including wombats, crocodiles, lizards and birds. Feed the kangaroos and wallabies by hand. Then, travel back to Cairns on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway and ride over the canopy of the pristine rainforest. Transfer back to your accommodation at the end of the tour services.

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From Cairns: Full-Day Kuranda Army Duck Experience Tour

7. From Cairns: Full-Day Kuranda Army Duck Experience Tour

Start your day with a ride on the Kuranda Scenic Railway, winding through tunnels and over bridges on this magnificent journey, passing Stoney Creek and Barron Falls. Once in Kuranda, you will travel to Rainforestation Nature Park via shuttle. Explore the rainforest on a 6-wheel drive World War II Army Duck amphibious vehicle over land and water. Your experienced duck driver will help you search for wildlife and teach you about the plants and trees that make up the surrounding rainforest. After your tour, you can sample exotic fruits and locally made ice cream at a Tropical Treats fruit orchard.  Then, take the shuttle bus from Rainforestation Nature Park to Kuranda Village. Once in the village, you have free time to explore the markets and shops. At the end of your day, you will travel back to Cairns via the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway over a pristine rainforest with the canopy just meters beneath you. It is recommend you spend time at the two stations en route: Red Peak Station and Barron Falls Stations. Upon arrival in Cairns, you will be transferred back to your accommodation. 

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Kuranda Scenic Railway and Palm Cove Tour

8. Kuranda Scenic Railway and Palm Cove Tour

Following pick-up from your accommodation anywhere in Port Douglas, commencing at 8:30 AM, journey in a small group of only 12 guests for guaranteed personal service and entertaining commentary. Travel down the Captain Cook Highway, known as the second most scenic highway in Australia, and learn the history of the region, along with local issues and stories about the wildlife.  Arrive at beautiful Freshwater Station and board the historic Kuranda scenic railway. Then, head through the rainforest and take in a breathtaking scenery of waterfalls and 15 dramatic tunnels carved through the rocks. Upon arrival in Kuranda, explore the 'Village in the Rainforest', famous for its colorful arts and crafts markets, open every day. Browse the wide variety of Aboriginal artifacts, such as handmade leather goods, wood and jewelry. Stop at a café for lunch and listen to the busker, or try some local snacks such as macadamia nuts, honey, mango wine, homemade sweets or delicious homemade ice cream. Next, head up the coast to Palm Cove, where you will be taken along the palm-fringed esplanade. Then, stop for a drink of your choice and get some staggering views of the picturesque beach. Stroll amongst the stores and galleries, or take a walk along the beach and let the kids play in the playground. Return to Port Douglas with new friends and great memories, before getting dropped off at your accommodation or chosen restaurant on request.  

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N. Queensland: Kuranda Rainforest Full-Day Tour

9. N. Queensland: Kuranda Rainforest Full-Day Tour

Explore the depths of the Kuranda Rainforest with rides on the railway, Skyrail Rainforest Cableway and 6-wheel-drive amphibious Army Duck vehicle! Experience this enchanting region of Australia and see its wildlife, lush scenery, and aboriginal culture. Board the Kuranda Scenic Railway for a spectacular journey with stunning views of the Coral Sea, Cairns City, and more. Take the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway over pristine rainforest and skim the forest canopy just beneath you! See kangaroos, wombats, koalas, and crocodiles up close and personal. Explore the rainforest on a 6-wheel-drive World War II Army Duck amphibious vehicle, over land and water. Your experienced Duck Driver will help you search for wildlife and teach you about the plants and trees that make up the surrounding rainforest. After your Duck tour, you can sample exotic fruits and locally made ice cream at the Tropical Treats fruit orchard. The Koala & Wildlife Park offers the opportunity to get up close with native Australian wildlife including wombats, crocodiles, lizards and birds. You can hand feed kangaroos and wallabies. Included also is the world-famous BBQ lunch. Go for a dreamtime walk and learn about Aboriginal culture with spear-throwing demonstrations and ritualistic dances. Take the opportunity to try your hand at boomerang throwing, then visit Kuranda's markets and art galleries, or even the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary. Optional extra: For your Kuranda Scenic Railway journey you are able to upgrade from Heritage Class to Gold Class. Gold Class includes the following: Dedicated host service, souvenir trip guide, moist towellete, individual seating, lounge-style chairs, ambient, historical décor, including timber look flooring, historical photographs and cedar interior. Kuranda Scenic Railway gift pack including Kuranda Scenic Railway badge, pen and postcard. Queensland and local Tablelands produce such as Gallo Dairyland Cheese, Skybury Coffee, Wondaree Macadamias, Mango to Go (100% pure mango treat), freshly baked muffins with local fruit, Sirromet wines and Great Northern Brewing Company Super Crisp Lager.

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Cairns: Australian Butterfly Sanctuary

10. Cairns: Australian Butterfly Sanctuary

The Australian Butterfly Sanctuary provides a world-class wildlife experience in the heart of Kuranda. The all-weather experience is home to over 1,500 magnificent tropical butterflies. All butterflies in the sanctuary are local rainforest species, while the undisputed stars are the fluoro green Cairns Birdwings. Wear something bright (red, white, or hot pink are best) and let these beautiful creatures flutter all over you. Enjoy a self-guided tour of the aviary. Learn to identify each of the butterfly species, as the guides explain a butterfly’s life cycle and its behavior.  Entry also includes a self-guided food plant walk, which educates about the food plants grown on-site that are used to feed the caterpillars.  Visit the breeding laboratory, which houses up to 4,000 caterpillars. An opportunity to view first-hand the breeding laboratory through special viewing windows, where you will see the caterpillars in their varying stages of development. Watch as the laboratory staff collects eggs daily and “hand-raise” the caterpillars right through to the chrysalis stage, until they are released as beautiful butterflies into the sanctuary.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Kuranda

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What people are saying about Kuranda

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 76 reviews

From the bus pick up to the bus drop off, it was a highly professional and fun experience. Tom and Carlos went way above and beyond. They were both highly attentive, kind, encouraging and humorous. They made the experience highly safe and fun. My friend and I severely struggled but they were exceedingly helpful. A fun experience. A certain level of fitness required.

This was a lovely experience and our tour guide shared some great knowledge about the area and the history of Skyrail and Kuranda. Timing was good and the day was not rushed. Totally recommend.

So glad we picked this activity, the whole family had a great time. Our guide was fantastic and took the best photos we had all trip. We will be back 10/10.

Was spectacular and well worth it. Our driver, Jun was exceptional. Thank you

I would highly recommend very professional luxury bus