The Tour Specialists Blog


Kuranda Train, Skyrail, Rainforest and Butterfly Sanctuary all in a day!

Jordan Squire on May 28th, 2021

I am the newest recruit at The Tour Specialists in Cairns and as such I have been out and about exploring and reviewing products so I may in turn advise our guests on all the great things to see and do here in beautiful Tropical North Queensland Australia Firstly, thank you very much to my hosts Value Day Tours part of the Down Under Tours group formy visit to Kuranda Village, it was a wonderful day and below I am going to tell you all about it!

We made our way to the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway Terminal at Smithfield to drop our car off and there we were greeted by the coach host/driver to take us to the Freshwater Train Station to jump on the world famous Kuranda Scenic Railway.

The commentary by our coach driver to the Freshwater Train Station was really informative telling us all about the history of the building of the tracks and rail system. Upon arrival at the train station we were greeted by a team member who provided us with clear instructions on where to go and how long we had to look around the gorgeous old station until the train arrived from Cairns, so we ordered some breakfast at the café while we waited.

We boarded the old heritage style (totally restored to former glory and known as one of the great train journeys of the world) train at 9:50am and were seated in a separate Gold Class cabin which was very spacious and comfortable, I highly recommend to everyone to upgrade to Gold Class. Just do it, you won’t be disappointed!

Kuranda Scenic Train Kuranda Train Snaking Up the Mountainside

Upon departure, we enjoyed the commentary on board the train from Freshwater and tales of the history in our region, I got some wonderful pictures of the front & the back of the train on our way to Kuranda as it wound its way around majestic mountains, past cascading waterfalls and the raging Barron River which was in full force due to the green season rains of late.

Kuranda Scenic Train Views from the Train

We enjoyed the drinks and light refreshments throughout the journey to Kuranda and the attentive service by the staff in Gold Class. We stopped midway for a wonderful photo opportunity at the Barron Gorge where we all alighted from the train and posed to the best of our ability for the cameras with big cheesy grins. The air was so fresh and pure and the trees and mountains so majestic - such a beautiful spot I will remember for a very long time.

Soon enough it was time to jump back on the train for the rest of our journey through many hand-hewn tunnels towards the Kuranda station. Upon arrival into Kuranda we enjoyed a leisurely stroll through the main street, we had a look at the local shops and artwork on display, a visit to the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary where we got to see the Ulysses and Cairns Birdwing butterflies amongst others, I even had a butterfly land on my head, but I wasn’t quick enough to snap a picture of it! I recommend taking your time here and going for a walk around and into the Laboratory and make sure you wear red, pink or white as these are the colours the butterflies are attracted to most.

The Butterfly Sanctuary Kuranda The Butterfly Sanctuary

Whilst in Kuranda there really is so much to see and do like the markets, the animal attractions where you can even cuddle a koala, pet a kangaroo or hold a huge python, see Aboriginal performances, take a hike around the region and even enjoy a boat cruise. So my recommendation is that you get up to the mountain on the very first train and spend as long as possible exploring this little rainforest village as much as you can!

We made our way back to the town centre and enjoyed a casual Aussie pub lunch and a cold beer, why not when you’re visiting the tropics! It was a short walk back to the Skyrail Terminal where we boarded our Gondola, before taking off and gliding high up above the Rainforest Tree Tops and even spotting a freshwater crocodile in the river from our height.

This experience was simply amazing! We had 360 degree views of the mountains, rivers and rainforests all around us, we felt so tiny and insignificant amongst the magnificent creations of Mother Nature. Thank goodness this is protected World Heritage Rainforests so it will be here for many future generations to come and enjoy.

Views of the coast line from Skyrail Views of the coast line from Skyrail

When we arrived at the first cableway stop at the Barron Falls station there were 3 different viewpoints each with individual spectacular scenery just perfect for photography. There is an interactive information centre here and you can also talk to some local Aboriginal rainforest rangers! Hopping back on the Skyrail Gondola where it was 15 minutes gliding over the treetops before arriving at Red Peak Station for another viewpoint and a good opportunity to stretch our legs.

Skyrail Gondola Views Amazing views of the Cairns coastline

We then boarded back on the Skyrail before making our way back to the Smithfield Terminal where we had parked our car and once we arrived at the last mountain top we were in awe with breathtaking 180 degree views of the Great Barrier Reef and Green Island in front of us and 180 degree views of spectacular rainforest behind us, you could see the entire coastline from Palm Cove to Trinity Inlet, there was also a big cruise ship docked at Yorkey’s Knob. Truly amazing!

We were blessed with incredible weather on the day as well. I’m so lucky to get to experience these wonderful products as a Tour Specialist. Thank you for such a wonderful day. Read more about the Kuranda day tours here and make a booking you’re your day out to see this wonderful Cairns attraction.

Jordan Squire

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