The skyrail leaves from Caravonica, just outside of Cairns, and covers 7.5km of rainforest views. It is a breathtaking experience. I had actually done the skyrail once before, when I was in the area for a conference in Port Douglas in 2006 (the perks of a conference in Port Douglas are another story), but that trip was rushed. Doing the journey on holiday and with Mr Bite instead of work colleagues was immeasurably better.
The skyrail has 114 gondolas and in peak periods I believe they are full. On a week day we had a gondola car to ourselves, and few people to share the rainforest stations with.
|Red Peak Station|
There are two rainforest stations on the journey from Cairns to Kuranda. The first, Red Peak Station, has an elevated boardwalk that was clouded in mist when we visited. The second, Barron Falls Station, offers views over the Barron Falls area.
Allowing time for short stops at the two stations, the skyrail journey takes 1.5 - 2 hours. Once reaching the top, you arrive at Kuranda Village, a small tourist-focused town with a casual atmosphere and hippy roots. We took the indirect route from the skyrail terminus to the town centre, taking in more rainforest along the way.
|Rainforest paths into Kuranda|
There are some paid attractions in Kuranda, including a bat sanctuary, butterfly park and bird park. We bypassed those to wander the historic markets and seek out somewhere for lunch. The main street is crowded with cafes and eating options, ranging from super casual to slightly fancy, and mostly somewhere in between.
We settled on the Village Vibe Cafe, which had sandwiches and paninis to appeal to Mr Bite and a beautiful sweet potato and walnut salad that appealed to me. They did great coffee too.
|Village Vibe Cafe, sweet potato and walnut salad|
If it had been open, there was also a vegan cafe in the markets, as well as a stall selling vegan 'bliss ball' truffles. I took a photo to share what could have been...
Kuranda also has various sculptures and artwork scattered about, which made wandering the streets more interesting. Why can't everywhere include similar public art?
Mid-afternoon, we boarded the Kuranda scenic railway to take us back to Cairns. This railway line opened in 1891 after years of tough construction work, but is used mostly for tourist purposes these days.
|Kuranda train station|
It is a slow, leisurely ride but takes in some beautiful views, including another vista of the Barron Falls (not in full stream on our visit) and some gorgeous shots as the train hugged around hillsides covered in trees.
|Barron Falls from the train|
It was a wonderful day out, and one I would recommend to everyone as a 'do one day' outing. The skyrail and railway trips are not cheap, approximately $100 per adult for both when we visited, but they are very much worth their cost.
|Kuranda scenic railway|
Details of the Cairns-Kuranda skyrail can be found at http://www.skyrail.com.au/.
Details of the Kuranda scenic railway can be found at http://www.ksr.com.
Information on Kuranda village can be found at http://www.kuranda.org.
This is, just to confirm, not a sponsored post.
What is on your highly recommended travel list?