Drive from Cairns via the Captain Cook and Kennedy Highways. The trip takes approximately 40 minutes.
Hop on the Kuranda Scenic Railway for a (very) leisurely one- and a half hour trip 329 meters up and 34 kilometers out from Cairns. Two services daily in each direction. One-way $39, return $56, reservations recommended. Child and family rates do apply.
Catch the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway from just outside Cairns for great views of the rainforest canopy. One-way is $39 adults and $19.50 children, return is $56 adults and $28 children. Transfers from both Cairns, Cairns Beaches and Port Douglas are available. www.skyrail.com.au or email@example.com
Many visitors combine the Kuranda Scenic railway and the skyrail, travelling to Kuranda on one and returning on the other. From the scenery point of view, take the railway first in the morning and after that make the skyrail trip - take your time to stop and look around in the rainforrest stations on the way back to the coast. After arriving at the coast side (great views), you have the opportunity to visit the Tjapukai village to learn something about the Aborigine culture. You can to book both directions through either service, but if you are booking late, it is easier to book separately: they allocate each other a very small number of guarenteed seats.
As you need transport to get to either end often a trip to Kuranda is easiest booked with a tour company such as Tropic Wings or DownUnder Tours to help you get there. The base station of the skyrail is also a bus stop point for the busses which connect Cairns with the Northern Beaches.
Kuranda is a small village, although somewhat hilly. Walking about 1 kilometre will take you from one end of town to the other. Don't count on being able to walk quickly, as the streets tend to be packed with people.
A one-way courtesy bus between the skyrail and scenic railway stations at the south end of town and the wildlife attractions at the north of town. The bus departs every twenty minutes.
Birdworld, Heritage Markets, Rob Vievers Drive. tel 07 4093 9188. email firstname.lastname@example.org. Birdworld is a large mesh canopy, open to natural light in which you can wander among free flying birds armed with an identification sheet to pick them out. The birds are divided evenly between colourful parrots and drab quails and doves with the addition of some cassowaries fenced away from people wandering around the circuit. Entry is $14 for adults, $5 children and $29 for families with two adults and 2 children. A combined pass with the butterfly sanctuary and the Koala Gardens is $33 adults and $16 children.
Kuranda Koala Gardens, Heritage Markets, Rob Vievers Drive. tel 07 4093 9953. email email@example.com. The Koala Gardens is a small wildlife zoo housing Australian native animals. In addition to koalas there are kangeroos, crocodiles, snakes and lizards. Visitors can hold a koala and have their picture taken. Entry is $14 for adults, $7 for children.
Australian Butterfly Sanctuary, 8 Rob Vievers Drive. tel 07 4093 7575. fax 07 4093 8923. email firstname.lastname@example.org. The butterfly sanctuary is an aviary containing rainforest butterflies - Birdwings Ulysees and more, its great for Kids. Open 9:45am to 4:30pm, with guided tours from 10:00 to 3:15pm.
Kuranda is famous for its markets. They run everyday and have a wide range of crafts and locally made products. It's just a short walk from the Skyrail or the Kuranda Scenic Railway station to the village.
The shops and markets open from 9.00am and many close when the last train leaves at 3.30pm
Try the "Bottom Pub" just near Skyrail for a bit of local atmosphere - not bad