Things To Do In Kuranda

rainforest market

A Day Trip From Cairns To Kuranda

The rainforest village of Kuranda is a great destination for a day trip from Cairns. 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 back in the day.

Today, this hippie, artsy village is a popular day trip destination from Cairns, easily accessible via road and train.

railway through rainforest

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. The train departs 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!

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rainforest market

Kuranda Markets

Once in Kuranda, you have free reign to explore the large variety of art galleries, shops, and boutiques in the village all selling interesting and quirky souvenirs and artwork and gifts. In fact, 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. If you’re like me, you’ll 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

If market browsing isn’t your thing, you can also 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.

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river in rainforest

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!

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cable car going over rainforest

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, acres of rainforest that have been untouched by humans. It is certainly the kind of journey that you won’t forget!

Travelling around Australia? If you are looking for ideas to help plan your trip, explore the Travel section for plenty of inspiration on what to do around Australia!



  1. Ian Gair
    October 22, 2018 / 7:15 pm

    Brief and to the point but apart from the Sky ride I am not sure that the inevitable humidity and what seems to be a tourist nick knack heaven does it for me

  2. February 17, 2019 / 12:06 pm

    This sounds amazing! Will definitely be making a visit here, do you know how much the train is from Cairns roughly? And once in Kuranda, is everything in walking distance?

    • Hi there!
      February 17, 2019 / 5:41 pm

      It is amazing! I loved it, you go really deep into the rainforest. It is around $126 for an adult from Cairns, but that includes the Skyrail as well (more info here Yes Kuranda is really small so once you’re there you can easily get to everything!

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