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The Tour Specialists Tour Blog

Apr 24

Why the Skyrail and Kuranda Scenic Railway really are great activities for a rainy day

Posted on April 24, 2019 by

We all love a bit of sunshine, especially on holiday, so it’s difficult not to be a little disappointed when that long-awaited time off finally arrives, and with it comes big, grey clouds and persistent showers.

In Cairns, we are used to getting on with life in the warm rain. After all, we have a green season that gives us several months a year of anything from light showers to torrential rain, but it also waters the rainforest and fills the lakes and reservoirs and send the nutrients out to feed the World famous Great Barrier Reef, without it, Tropical North Queensland wouldn’t be the wonderful, lush paradise it is today.

Whether you have decided to holiday in Cairns at the wettest time of the year, or you just happen to have picked a showery week to arrive, there is no need for the rain to dampen your spirits and wash away your sense of adventure when it comes to getting out and about.

I recently did one of the most popular Cairns tours in the area – a trip on the Skyrail and Kuranda Train and Scenic Railway – on a very rainy day and, while I have had the opportunity to enjoy it on beautiful sunny days as well, I have to say that the rain added an extra dimension to my Kuranda tour experience.

Photo Romi Hood – Kuranda Scenic Train

Keeping in mind the old saying, ‘there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing’, we did of course go kitted out with an umbrella, enclosed shoes and rain jackets. This certainly kept us drier and more comfortable than we would have been otherwise but much of what we experienced and enjoyed had nothing to do with our sensible clothing.

Photo Romi Hood

Firstly, there was the view of the cloud topped mountains and the Skyrail gondolas disappearing into the mist ahead of us. Seeing the low cloud cover, I thought that once we were swathed in swirling mist ourselves, we would see nothing at all around us but we had a very clear view of the freshly washed foliage below and could even see across to the gorges, where wisps of vapour drifted skywards, as though the rainforest was exhaling.
Another highlight was the quiet. Every sound was muffled and we felt as though we could be the only people left on Earth, until another ghostly gondola would come into view through the mist and pass us by on its way down the mountainside cableway.

Photo Courtesy of Down Under Tours

At each of the Skyrail station stops we disembarked and walked along the boardwalks in the middle of the rainforest. Everything looked shiny and the colours of the bark and leaves on the trees really jumped out at us, which was great for photos.

The other bonus of a lot of rain is that the waterfalls are a truly amazing sight. On dry, sunny days the mighty Barron Gorge Falls is a little trickle between the rocks of the gorge but what we saw was a thundering torrent of white water that is more than Instagram worthy.

Photo Romi Hood

The other waterfalls on the Kuranda trip, which can be viewed from the Kuranda Train and Scenic Railway, were just as spectacular and it was definitely worth dodging a few showers to see them in full flow.

Photo Romi Hood

Kuranda village itself has many restaurants, cafes and attractions with adequate shelter from the rain and everything stays open regardless of the showers.  Admittedly, we had to circumvent a few of the muddier puddles on our walk by the river but the only change to usual proceedings we noticed was that our favourite coffee shop had moved its tables undercover to keep the seats and cushions dry.

The Kuranda train journey back to Cairns was as picturesque as ever and I had never before seen so much water gushing over Stoney Creek Falls. The train passes right in front of this waterfall on a curved, lattice railway bridge and you get so close that you can often feel the spray of the falls on your face as you look out the window. Again, despite the cloud cover, we were still able to see across the mountains and down the valleys to Cairns, and everything looked fresher and greener than it does on drier days.

Photo Romi Hood

Naturally, I am not suggesting that anyone would actually wish for anything other than a sundrenched holiday in Cairns, but a few showers are certainly no reason to hide away in your hotel room.

In fact, as well as the Skyrail Gondola and Kuranda train, there are many other activities to enjoy on a rainy day including the Great Barrier Reef (the fish are already wet and you’ll have to get wet yourself if you want go snorkelling or diving in the sea with them), Cape Tribulation and the Daintree Rainforest (see the oldest living rainforest in the world looking renewed and refreshed), the Atherton Tablelands (with even more water spilling over those beautiful waterfalls), and let’s not forget white water rafting (need I say more?).

Come on up to see Cairns no matter what the weather forecast, you will be glad you did.

Book your Kuranda experience today 1300 761 612

Author: Romi Hood – Destination Specialist

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