Kuranda is a town on the Atherton Tableland in Far North Queensland,
Australia. It is located 330 metres AHD at 16°49'S 145°36'E
and is 25 kilometres from Cairns. It is a town of 650 people and is
surrounded by rainforest. The rainforest around Kuranda has been home
to the Djabugay people for over 10,000 years. Europeans began to explore
the area throughout the nineteenth century. Kuranda was first settled
in 1885 and surveyed by Thomas Behan in 1888. Construction of the now
famous railway from Cairns to Herberton began in 1887 and the line reached
Kuranda in 1891. The current railway station was built in 1915.
The town receives thousands of tourists
each week who arrive on the Kuranda Scenic Railway from Cairns, the
Skyrail gondola cableway, or by coach on the Kuranda Range Road. Attractions
in the town include a regular market, consisting of a range of arts
and crafts stalls as well as restaurants. Kuranda is a major centre
for opals and didgeridoos. It was also the first home of the Tjapukai
Indigenous Dance Theatre, established by former New Yorkers Judy and
Don Freeman, together with indigenous dancer and actor, David Hudson.
The theatre is now located adjacent the Skyrail base station at Caravonica.
Kuranda is home to a bird park, butterfly sanctuary, a bat rehabilitation
centre, snake and venom park and koala sanctuary. As mentioned, the
town is surrounded by rainforest rich in wildlife, with numerous walks
and lookouts, such as to the Barron Falls.
Rainforest Cableway: This is a world first in environmental tourism
taking you on an amazing experience over Australias World Heritage
listed Tropical Rainforest canopy and deep into the forest. The Skyrail
experience, spanning 7.5kms over pristine rainforest, allows you to
explore the wonders of an ancient tropical rainforest and learn about
one of the most botanically fascinating and diverse areas on earth.
Gliding just metres above the rainforest canopy in comfortable six-person
gondola cabins, the Skyrail journey immerses you in an intimate rainforest
experience where youll see, hear, smell and become part of the
tropical rainforest environment.
Village: The picturesque mountain retreat of Kuranda Village is
just 25km northwest of Cairns in Far North Queensland, Australia and
is surrounded by World Heritage Rainforest. Visitors can travel to Kuranda
on Kurandas Historic Scenic Railway or by car or bus, via the
spectacular Kuranda Range Road or over the rainforest on Skyrail Rainforest
Cableway. Kuranda has come a long way from its initial origins as a
centre for those choosing an alternative lifestyle in the late 60s.
Historic Buildings from the villages past now house a variety of upmarket
restaurants, cafes and bars. It is still laid back, but with a style
and sophistication that sets it apart from other Cairns Highlands Venues
Nature Park: A 40 hectare tourist attraction set in a midst of World
Heritage Rainforest only five minutes drive from Kuranda Village and
half an hour from Cairns in Tropical North Queensland. Operating since
1976, the locally owned and operated Rainforestation offers an experience
for the whole family with three main attractions, two restaurants and
a Tropical Treats Juice Bar. In addition Rainforestation is available
for exclusive offsite dinners and outings with a difference.
Scenic Railway: Our world famous railway experience is a must-do
when visiting Cairns and Tropical North Queensland, Australia. You will
discover the pioneering history of the tropical north from way back
in the late 1800's, be astounded by a magnificent engineering feat and
explore some of the great characters involved in the construction of
this great railway.
Heritage Market: While at the Kuranda Heritage Market you can also
enjoy the incredible BirdWorld with over 80 species of brilliant Australian
birds (including Cassowary) and exotic species from rainforests around
the world. Just a short walk away you can visit the Australian Butterfly
Sanctuary, the largest butterfly enclosure in Australia with over 2000
tropical butterflies. And for the full wildlife in the rainforest experience,
visit the new Koala Gardens, where you can see an assortment of Australian
animals in their natural surroundings.
Holiday Company Descriptions
of Distinction: Although today has been left free, it is hoped that
we will arrange an optional tour to take us along the Kuranda Scenic
Railway through spectacular scenery, past Stoney Creek and Barron Falls
to Kuranda Village. Once at Kuranda we will have the opportunity to
explore the village and visit the Kuranda Markets. The journey home
down the Kuranda range offers superb views of the Coral Sea.
Australia: Board the Kuranda train for an historic journey taking
you through the scenic countryside behind Cairns. Arrive at the cultural
rainforest village of Kuranda with time to wander through the various
stalls of the colourful Kuranda Markets. Later, board the Skyrail Cableway
that takes you above the canopy of the tropical rainforest of the Barron
Gorge National Park. Visit the famous Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park
where the legends of the Dreamtime are brought to life.
On arrival in Kuranda, enjoy some free time before the short journey
to Rainforestation - an array of rainforest experiences await you. Board
the amphibious Army Duck for a different look at the rainforest. An
experienced guide will show you unique tropical fruits, ancient rainforest
plants and point out our native rainforest animals. Join the Dreamtime
Walk for an insight into Aboriginal and Islander history. Try your hand
at boomerang throwing and enjoy a performance by the Pamagirri Dancers
who explain their history and culture through the humor and excitement
of their dance. A delicious barbecue lunch is included before visiting
the Koala and Wildlife Park. Cuddle a koala, smile at a crocodile and
hand feed the kangaroos.
Abroad: Today we travel by road to Kakadu National Park. We cross
the South Alligator River and explore the World Heritage area of Ubirr
Rock where we climb up though the ancient Aboriginal Rock Art Galleries
to the lookout for the famous view over surrounding wetlands. We also
visit the Bowali Visitor Centre with its informative displays. The name
'Kakadu' comes from an Aboriginal floodplain language called Gagudju
which was one of the languages spoken in the north of the park at the
beginning of the twentieth century. Although languages such as Gagudju
and Limilngan are no longer regularly spoken, descendants of these language
groups are still living in Kakadu. Located at the northern fringe of
the Northern Territory, Kakadu is the largest terrestrial national park
in Australia. It comprises almost 8,000 square miles of spectacular
wildlife habitat, which ranges from the high stone plateau to forest
woodland, monsoon rainforest to open savanna-like flood plains dotted
with billabongs, mangrove-fringed estuaries to coastal beaches of the
Arafura Sea. At the heart of Kakadu is the South Alligator River, so
named by a 19th century explorer who mistook the native crocodiles for
at Australia: Whilst in this region trips to the Reef and Rainforest
are a must and we have booked a Reef & Rainforest day tour package,
which can be used at anytime during your stay. Today we would suggest
you take the rainforest day tour, as the Rail departure point is close
to Cairns. Downunder tours will pick you up from your hotel and continue
to the Kuranda scenic train for a spectacular journey through the mountains
to the village of Kuranda. Once in Kuranda stroll through the village
and markets stopping for lunch (own expense). On your return experience
the magnificent Skyrail cable car and glide over the canopys of
the rainforest. The day is complete with a visit to Tjapukai Aboriginal
Cultural Park for a fascinating insight into Aboriginal history.
Cook: Join the Kuranda scenic railway as it winds through the dense
tropical forests. This afternoon, board the Skyrail, the world's largest
gondola cableway, for an amazing ride just above the rainforest canopy,
before visiting the Tjapukai Aboriginal Culture Park to meet some of
the local Aboriginal people and discover more about their rich cultural
Tours: Enjoy a great day touring the naturally air-conditioned Tablelands.
Combine the Kuranda Scenic Train and/or Skyrail and travel to Kuranda
Village , a quaint little township in the rainforest. Famous for its
arts, crafts and indigenous artefacts, Kuranda also boasts attractions
such as the Butterfly Sanctuary, Koala Gardens and Birdworld. The Original
Kuranda Markets are held Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays,
while the Heritage Markets are open daily. Beyond Kuranda, our experienced
driver guide will show you the amazing Tablelands - an elevated plateau
of diverse beauty, contrasting scenery and fertile farmlands producing
a wide range of crops - such as coffee, macadamia nuts, tropical fruits,
peanuts, maize, sugar cane and boutique wineries!
Hotel: An Australian oasis for vacationers and young professionals,
the Shangri-La Hotel - The Marina, acts as a virtual gateway between
Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef. Conveniently situated within five
minutes walking distance to the Cairns Convention Centre and only a
10 minutes drive from the Cairns International Airport, this hotel is
near shopping, entertainment and cultural venues. The hotel puts its'
best foot forward in the rainforest lobby, as vaulted ceilings and vast
architectural forms create an enchanting space for large intricate Japanese
lanterns, modern décor and a stunning Great Barrier Reef aquarium.
Park Rainforest Resort: This is a romantic and secluded natue retreat
surrounded by the wet tropic world heritage rainforest, offers opportunities
for adventure vacations, unique and romantic wedding and honeymoon experiences,
rainforest bush walks and exiting birding in a tropical rainforest setting.
The location is 12km from Kuranda (the famous "Village in the Rainforest")
and 6km gravel road through the Forest (accessible to conventional Vehicles).
Inn: This hotel is superbly located on the Cairns Esplanade only
a five-minute walk from the shopping, entertainment and business center
of Cairns. Featuring 237 comfortably appointed guestrooms, Holiday Inn
Cairns reflects the ambience of the Tropics with breathtaking views
overlooking the Coral Sea and rainforest clad mountains. The unique
rainforest Atrium is designed to represent a mini rainforest surrounded
by tropical plants, rock pools and Barramundi fish. The hotel also features
a relaxing Lobby Bar, bottle shop, swimming pool, heated spa, large
sundeck, fitness centre, tour desk, gift shop, 24-hour room service,
high-speed internet access, free undercover parking and Atriums Restaurant,
famous for its seafood and international cuisine.
B&B: Cairns Reef and Rainforest Bed and Breakfast Accommodation
is one of the newest registered B&B in Australia's Far North Queensland.
Your holiday accommodation worries are over when you book with us. We
are set in a tropical rainforest location yet only minutes from Cairns
Explore the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest from the
harborside Hilton Cairns hotel. With Cairns shopping on the doorstep,
the hotel offers a pool, well-equipped health club and spa, and 3 excellent
restaurants and bars. Set overlooking Trinity Bay and the marina, the
hotel is in a great location to visit Cairns attractions like the Great
Barrier Reef and the rainforest, or to try local golf courses and beach
International Hotel: Fabulous harbour and mountain views, spacious
Cairns hotel rooms. Stay in the very heart of all that Cairns, nestled
between two World Heritage areas - the Wet Tropics Rainforest and the
Great Barrier Reef. Capturing the casual but stylish lifestyle of Cairns,
subtle and silent service and impeccable attention to detail awaits
you on your Cairns holiday or business trip. Our Cairns hotel offers
you a haven for relaxation where colonial charm meets tropical elegance.
Plaza: This hotel offers you "Affordable Luxury" in a
modern 4½ star, Boutique style hotel. The hotel features three
types of excellent accommodation including the superbly appointed deluxe
and executive rooms, and expansive suites. All rooms are complimented
with the luxury features and facilities you would expect from any 5
star hotel, including; bath tubs, air conditioning, free In House Movies
and Cable TV, modem access, 24 hr room service and reception, private
balconies, Mini-bar and refrigerators. Hotel security is first class
with single point key card entry, double locks, security viewers and
exterior surveillance cameras. Also featured in our boutique style hotel
is an extensive gymnasium, outdoor pool, guest laundry and undercover
parking which makes the Quality Hotel Sheridan Plaza the obvious choice
for the business person, holiday maker or travelling family.
Esplanade Hotel: Rydges Tradewinds Cairns is a 4.5 Star Hotel for
reef and rainforest discovery, ideally located on the Cairns Esplanade
overlooking the Coral Sea. Rydges Tradewinds is just a few minutes walk
along the Esplanade Boardwalk to the Cairns lagoon precinct, City Centre,
Restaurants, shopping and departure points for the Great Barrier Reef.
The hotel is just 6kms from the Cairns Domestic and International Airport.
The hotel offers a range of accommodation options to suit everyone,
from the corporate traveller to families. Dine inside or poolside in
the tropical ambience of Latitude 137 Restaurant & Bar. Enjoy a
cool drink on the deck of E Bar whilst watching the birdlife and sunset
over the Esplanade waterfront.
Gardens: These modern and stylish apartments cater for all guests
and have proven popular with visitors to Tropical North Queensland.
Here you can enjoy all that Cairns has to offer in convenient, comfortable
and quality accommodation. The Esplanade is one block away and the city
centre is just a 10 minute walk. Cairns is a sun and thrill seekers
paradise and is the gateway to the magnificent Great Barrier Reef. From
snorkeling, to white water rafting, four wheel driving to exploring
the rainforests, Cairns offers a plethora of attractions and activities.
The city boasts a range of shopping areas, restaurants, nightclubs and
art galleries. Activities and facilities in Cairns are endless and include
exceptional golf courses, the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway and for adventure
seekers, scuba diving, sailing and safari tours.
Resort and Spa: Reflecting the essence of the world heritage Barron
Gorge National Park, Kuranda Resort and Spa will remind you what it
is to truly relax and unwind. Revitalize your soul amidst the tranquil
surroundings, rejuvenate your body with luxurious Day Spa treatments
and enjoy the tropical ambience of Northern Queensland. Kuranda Resort
and Spa combines relaxation with adventure with a range of tour options.
Ride the Skyrail, sail out to the Great Barrier Reef, experience the
thrill of extreme White Water Rafting, or simply marvel at the beauty
of the world's oldest rainforest, the Daintree.