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Things to do in

Kuranda

Our most recommended things to do in Kuranda

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

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

Explore the village of Kuranda in a 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. Soar over waterfalls and over Barron Gorge on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. 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.

Cairns: Skyrail Cableway to Kuranda and Rail tickets

2. Cairns: Skyrail Cableway to Kuranda and Rail tickets

Drive to the Skyrail Smithfield Terminal, where a representative will check you in and issue you with the Kuranda Boarding Pass. This includes a detailed itinerary with a time schedule, as well as your Kuranda Scenic Railway and Skyrail Cableway tickets. Board the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway and enjoy an unforgettable journey through the world’s oldest continually surviving tropical rainforest, stopping along the way to explore. Once you arrive in Kuranda, you'll have free time to see this unique village. Use the discount vouchers on your Kuranda Boarding Pass, or visit the heritage markets. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants where you can purchase refreshments.  Return to Cairns on the Kuranda Scenic Railway. Admire the views as the train winds its way from Kuranda to Freshwater Station, passing spectacular waterfalls and through Barron Gorge. Disembark at Freshwater Station to board the bus back to your car at the Skyrail terminal.

Cairns: Skyrail, Kuranda and Rail Tour with Hotel Transfer

3. Cairns: Skyrail, Kuranda and Rail Tour with Hotel Transfer

Explore the Cairns World Heritage Rainforest on this tour with hotel pickup and drop-off in Cairns. Expereince the beauty of the rainforest from above on a ride to the town of Kuranda on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. Spend free time in Kuranda before returning on the Kuranda Scenic Rail train. Be picked up from the comfort of your cairns accommodation in the morning. Relax on the drive to the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. Board Skyrail Rainforest Cableway and glide silently over the rainforest on your journey to Kuranda. Stop at two stations on the cableway where you can go for a walk in the rainforest to spectacular lookouts or visit the CSIRO Interpretive Center. Once you arrive in Kuranda. Have free time to explore the many and varied shops, as well as the Heritage Markets which operate daily. Board the famous Kuranda Scenic Rail train for ride over one of the world's most scenic rail routes. Cruise through hand-hewn tunnels and over bridges spanning stunning gorges. Catch your coach back to your accommodation in Cairns.

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.

From Cairns: Full-Day Kuranda Army Duck Experience Tour

5. 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. 

Cairns: Reef Flight, Skyrail & Kuranda Scenic Rail Combo

6. Cairns: Reef Flight, Skyrail & Kuranda Scenic Rail Combo

On this full-day excursion, you'll see the best of the Great Barrier Reef on this 40-minute scenic flight in a high wing aircraft. You'll see Cairns, Green Island, Arlington Reef, Upolu Reef, Double Island and Palm Cove. After exploring the reef, you’ll head back toward the mainland with views of the North Queensland coastline. With window seats guaranteed, take in the stunning views as your professional pilot provides you with expert commentary along the way. After your scenic flight, you'll be taken to ride the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, where you'll soar above 7.5 kilometers of pristine rainforest canopy in a cable car. Visit the beautiful town of Kuranda, nestled in the pristine World Heritage-listed rainforest. You'll have 2.5-hours of free time to explore the eclectic village, local markets, shops and walking trails or sit back and enjoy a bite to eat at one of the many amazing food stalls or cafes that the town has to offer.  Take the historic Kuranda Scenic Railway and marvel at the views of the surrounding mountains along the way. Rising from sea level to 328 meters, the journey to Kuranda passes spectacular waterfalls and then will take you into the stunning Barron Gorge. At the end of your day, make your way back to your accommodation. Alternatively, transfers can be booked during check-in at Skyrail Smithfield Station for an additional cost of $11.50 per adult. Your combo will also include a free transfer courtesy bus from your centrally located Cairns accommodation.

From Port Douglas: Small Group Rainforest and Kuranda Tour

7. From Port Douglas: Small Group Rainforest and Kuranda Tour

Spend an afternoon exploring the rainforest and a small village within it with a small group and a guide. After a late-morning pickup from your hotel, head down the Captain Cook Highway to the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. Enjoy the journey over the rainforest and stop at 2 stations along the way to experience this World Heritage Rainforest. After your arrival in Kuranda, a guide will meet you and show you around the Kuranda Village. Visit the vibrant markets, see the best places to eat, and visit some small animal parks. After 2 hours, jump onboard the Kuranda Scenic Train and head down the mountain, viewing 15 tunnels and waterfalls along the way. On arrival at Freshwater Station, you'll then head to Palm Cove, a beautiful beachside village where you can stop for a cocktail or 2, or take a walk on the beach and pier. Head back to Port Douglas for 6:45 PM. (Palm Cove stopover only available for the 11:00 AM departure)

From Port Douglas: Kuranda Village with Scenic Railway

8. From Port Douglas: Kuranda Village with Scenic Railway

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 among the stores and galleries, or take a walk along the beach and let the kids play in the playground (only with the 11:00 AM departure). Return to Port Douglas with new friends and great memories, before getting dropped off at your accommodation or chosen restaurant on request.  

Kuranda: 1-Hour Rainforest ATV Tour

9. 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.

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.

Other Sightseeing Options in Kuranda

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What people are saying about Kuranda

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 1,713 reviews

An amazing day! Would have loved another hour in Kuranda but still great. Take your time on the skyrail and enjoy the breathtaking views and the AR app on your phone. The butterfly garden is for sure worth adding to your trip but we found the Duck Tour to be not worth the time as you just circle around a small lagoon. I definitely recommned upgrading the rail pass to the Gold Class on the train. The rail staff were awesome!

This is a great day out to the wonderful village of Kuranda! The train trip on the way up was wonderful but the trip back on the Skyrail was even better. Plenty of restaurants, shops and markets in Kuranda so take your time and enjoy them.

Fantastic from start to finish. Magnificent scenery. Kuranda markets were amazing and there here plenty of them. Make sure you visit when they are on - not always so busy there. Lovely township.

Great day out the sky rail and the train are must doo as on a beautiful day the scenery is amazing.

Beautiful experience. Value for money. One of the things that shouldnt be missed when in cairns.