Things To Do On A Day Trip From Cairns To Kuranda
The rainforest village of Kuranda is a great destination for a day trip from Cairns, easily accessible via road and train. Surrounded by World Heritage Rainforest, this rainforest village was the result of settlement by Europeans in search of gold as well as the introduction of the timber industry, and the railway from the seaport of Cairns made the village an easy location to get to back in the day. Today, this hippie, artsy village is a popular day trip destination from Cairns.
Kuranda Scenic Railway
Half the experience of Kuranda is getting there. You can drive to the village, but the best way to get to Kuranda is to take the Kuranda Scenic Railway from Cairns Central Station, departing at 8:30am and 9:30am daily. On purchasing the tickets from the ticket office in Cairns Station, you will be asked how long you want to spend in Kuranda and how you want to get there and back. I would recommend allowing yourself 3 hours or more to fully explore the village itself. Opt to travel to the village on the Scenic Railway, then travel back to Cairns on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, two very unique ways to see the ancient rainforest that surrounds the village.
Once in Kuranda, explore the large variety of art galleries, shops, and boutiques all selling interesting and quirky souvenirs and artwork and gifts. Kuranda is one of the best places to purchase original aboriginal artwork in Australia, but make sure you check where the pieces have come from before you buy any old boomerang, as you want to make sure the profits are going to the artists themselves. Three must-see stops on your visit are the Kuranda Village Centre, the Original Rainforest Market and the Kuranda Heritage Market, three great markets selling a mixture of items from jewellery, clothing, artwork, sweet treats, as well as boomerangs and didgeridoos.
Wildlife & Scenic Walks Around Kuranda
Alternatively, you can check out the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary located close to the Heritage Market, which houses over 2000 butterflies. Or you can take the scenic trail down to Barron Falls, a dramatic waterfall in the heart of the rainforest that has for decades attracted tourists to Kuranda.
Try The Local Cuisine
There are plenty of places to grab a bite to eat in Kuranda, and the Original Rainforest Market offers a good variety of cuisines as well as a mini golf course to keep everyone entertained. For coffee, head to Kuranda Rainforest Coffee shop, where you cannot only buy a cup of caffeinated joy, but also see the beans being processed right in front of you.
Ride over the rainforest
After an enjoyable few hours spent exploring the rainforest village of Kuranda, head down to the Skyrail entrance for your selected time and enjoy a journey back to Cairns like no other by riding over the ancient Queensland rainforest. The Skyrail offers breathtaking views of the ancient trees below that have been untouched by humans. It is the kind of journey that you won’t forget!