Kuranda is a small town in Far North Queensland in the Daintree National Park. As it is located very close to Cairns and the journey is scenic, it is an extremely popular day trip: the village is overflowing with visitors during the middle of each day.
- 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 two-hour trip 300 meters up and 34 kilometers out from Cairns. One or two services daily in each direction. One-way S$34, return $48, reservations recommended.
- Catch the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway from just outside Cairns for great views of the rainforest canopy. One-way is $36 adults and $18 children, return is $52 adults and $26 children. Transfers from both Cairns and Port Douglas are available.
- Catch the the shuttle bus between Cairns and Kuranda ($2 one way). Information about the shuttles is available from the Kuranda Visitor Information Centre. E-mail: [email protected]. Tel.: 07 4093 9311. Fax.: 07 4093 7630 .
Many visitors combine the scenic railway and the cableway, travelling to Kuranda on one and returning on the other. There are no discounts offered above the one-way fares. 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.
Kuranda is a small village, although somewhat hilly. Walking 3 kilometres 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.
The wildlife exhibits run a 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 [email protected] 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 protected] 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 [email protected] 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 market. They run everyday not just Sundays, that was in the past, and have a wide range of crafts or flea markets. Its juts a short walk from the Skyrail or the Train to the village.
Be aware nothing much in the way of shops and markets opens until after the first train arrives around 10am 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
- Kuranda Online Offers a booking srvice for a wide range of tours, not just one operator. They have a quick turnaround