Kuranda - Tropical North Queensland
Known as the 'Village in the Rainforest'*, Kuranda boasts a relaxing atmosphere set amongst luscious rainforest and mountain backdrop. This rainforest escape is only a short drive from the Atherton Tablelands and Port Douglas.
Famous for the Kuranda Scenic Railway (which is an absolute must when visiting the area), Kuranda is surrounded by World Heritage Rainforest and cascading waterfalls making for spectacular views.
Don't just stop at the Scenic Railway either, take in the mountain views on the Kuranda Scenic Cableway for an exciting look at the rainforest from above, go shopping for local arts and crafts in Kuranda Village, or relax and take in a cruise along the Barron River.
Kuranda Day Tours from Port Douglas
Kuranda Scenic Railway & Skyrail Tour from Port Douglas
Skyrail Rainforest Cableway: Take the time to appreciate this unique rainforest experience. Panoramic views of the Coral Sea open before you as you glide over the rainforest. Nestled in mountain top rainforest splendour just to the west of Cairns, Kuranda has been enchanting visitors for years. Accessible by train, cableway or road, the charming 'Village in the Rainforest' presents a bevy of tropical delights.
Kuranda Self Drive Tour including Skyrail and Scenic Railway
Explore Kuranda at your own pace on a self-drive tour from Port Douglas, where all you need to do is make your way to the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway Base Station at Barron Falls and the rest is taken care of for you - now that’s a holiday! A perfect way to explore Kuranda.
Things to do in Kuranda
Kuranda Scenic Railway
Taking the Scenic Railway is a wonderful way to experience the tropical rainforest while making your way up the mountain to the Kuranda village. You’ll meander through lush greenery, hand-hewn tunnels, over towering bridges and through the spectacular Barron Gorge on one of the most unique rail journeys in Australia. The Kuranda Scenic Railway operates twice daily, departing from Cairns Station.
Book tickets and tours for the Kuranda Scenic Railway from Port Douglas here.
Skyrail Rainforest Cableway
Take a journey up above the rainforest canopy aboard the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, where you’ll travel 7.5km over World Heritage Listed Tropical Rainforest. The cable carts glide only metres above the treetops and descend through canopy layers to give passengers the ultimate rainforest experience. It’s a 1 and a half hour scenic journey from Cairns up to Kuranda, or 2 and a half hours for a return trip.
Book tickets and tours for the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway from Port Douglas here.
Australian Venom Zoo
Take one of the personalised, educational tours at the Australian Venom Zoo to see an amazing collection of Australian Tarantulas, Scorpions, Centipedes, Lizards & Snakes. There are venomous animals here that you will not see in any other zoo on earth. Some of these species’ venom hold vital links to curing some of the world’s deadliest diseases.
Barron Falls Shuttle bus
Part of the Barron Gorge National Park, the spectacular Barron Falls is where the Barron River plunges from the Atherton Tablelands down to the Cairns coastal plain. Both the Kuranda Scenic Railway and the Skyrail offer great passing views of the falls and have lookout platforms from the stations at Barron Gorge. You can access all of the lookout platforms via walking tracks through the surrounding rainforest.
Kuranda Koala Gardens
Kuranda’s newest wildlife attraction; Kuranda Koala Gardens gives you the opportunity to see Freshwater Crocodiles, Kangaroos, Snakes, Wombats and of course, Koalas. This is one of the few places where you can still cuddle a Koala and get a photo of the experience.
Kuranda Riverboat Rainforest Cruises
Hop aboard one of the Riverboat Cruises that runs 5 times a day up and down the Barron River. The guides share their vast knowledge of the local habitat while you get the chance to see Freshwater Crocodiles, Turtles, Snakes, Water Dragons, fish and over 100 species of tropical birds.
The wildlife rescue centre at Kuranda specialises in preserving and caring for Australia’s unique arboreal animals, which includes bats, possums and gliders. BatReach is a volunteer organisation that opens its public education facility to the public Tuesday through to Saturday asking only for donations for entry.
You’ll discover some of the world’s most precious and beautiful birds at Birdworld Kuranda, flying around you in a spacious rainforest habitat. See 80 different species including Amazonian Macaws, Rainbow Lorikeets, Galahs, Cockatoos and even the endangered Cassowary in a naturally landscaped environment complete with waterfalls, ponds and native plants. You may even find a feathered friend taking a ride on your shoulder.
In the heart of sleepy Kuranda Village is the largest butterfly flight aviary in Australia. There are over 1500 tropical butterflies that call the Butterfly Sanctuary home, all of which are local rainforest species. There are guided tours through the aviary and laboratory every day that showcase the variety of species, their life cycles and behaviour.
Rainforestation Nature Park
Only 5 minutes out of Kuranda and set on 100 acres of World Heritage Rainforest is the Rainforestation Nature Park. There’s a range of activities on offer here to entertain the whole family. Learn about Aboriginal culture with the interactive Pamagirri Experience, take a guided boardwalk tour of the rainforest to see Koalas, Crocodiles and a host of other native wildlife, walk through the Tropical Fruit Orchid or even take an Army Duck Rainforest Tour. At the end of it all you can enjoy a delicious meal at the authentic Colonial Restaurant overlooking the picturesque lake.
Getting to Kuranda
The journey to Kuranda should only take about an hour by car. From Port Douglas turn left onto the Captain Cook Highway and follow it south for about 45km. Turn right onto the Kennedy Highway which will take you for a beautiful scenic drive through the rainforest up into the mountains. From here you’ll see signs directing you where to turn for Kuranda village.