This one day tour will be taking you on an historic amphibious Army Duck tour vehicle, have you seeing amazing wildlife, koala photo and hand feed kangaroos and wallabies.
You’ll be immersing yourself in Aboriginal culture, go shopping through the famous markets of Kuranda and journeying back on Australia’s award winning Skyrail Rainforest Cableway as you view stunning scenery from your gondola whilst soaring above the rainforest canopy.
…At the Rainforestation Nature & Wildlife Park, Kuranda you will be able to have a photo next to a koala and a not so cuddly crocodile. Get up nice and close to the native Australian wildlife as you hand feed the kangaroos and wallabies and meet the resident VIP saltwater crocodile, “Jack the Ripper”.
You will be immersed in Indigenous culture at the Pamagirri Aboriginal Experience. This is a fascinating opportunity to learn the skills and customs of the local Pamagirri Indigenous tribes. You will not only learn how they have survived in the rainforest using plants for food and medicine, but you’ll even get to throw a spear, a boomerang and blow a note on a didgeridoo.
Tour the World Heritage rainforest in a unique historic World War II amphibious Army Duck vehicle. Your tour guide will take you on a journey through the lush undergrowth of this prehistoric rainforest both on land and on the water.
You will be able to spend time shopping in Kuranda “The village in the rainforest” at the world renowned Kuranda markets or see further Kuranda attractions.
For a grand finale you will return by Skyrail Rainforest Cableway as you soar in your gondola over the rainforest canopy with views out to the Coral Sea, the Barron Gorge and the amazing gushing waterfall of the Barron Falls.
A wonderful day of amazing sights and culture surrounded by the best that nature has to offer in this pristine rainforest. You will learn so much and have great fun doing it. A superb day for all the family that will be remembered for years to come.
Scenic coach ride up the mountain ranges of Kuranda. Your day will start with your tour bus picking you up from your Cairns accommodation at around 8:30am. You will be given a more precise time when you book.
If you are staying outside the Cairns transfer region then you can drive to Freshwater Station where you will be picked up by the tour bus around 8:45am.
Your tour bus will then take you on a scenic journey through the rainforest of this World Heritage site as you wind up the escarpment from Cairns to Kuranda and the Tablelands at an elevation of 330m (1083 ft).
The Koala and Wildlife Park at Rainforestation Nature Park has some wonderful furry animals, reptiles and insect residents. From the little marsupial quolls to the massive 1.5m (6ft) rare cassowary birds there is wildlife that will appeal to everyone. You will be able to have a photo standing next to a cuddly koala or a small crocodile (photo extra cost). What a great souvenir of your day!
See lizards, turtles and toads and get up close to wallabies and kangaroos as you hand feed them. You’ll meet the bad boy of the Wildlife Park “Jack the Ripper” who is a hulking 5m (17ft) load of trouble. He gained his name from the reputation of having killed his last 12 girlfriends.
Please note: There are only a limited number of places in Australia where you can actually hold and cuddle a Koala... the good news is you can still do it in Tropical North Queensland! So we highly recommend you take that opportunity.
Your ranger tour guide will give you an interesting and fun commentary on the inhabitants, including pointing out all their characteristics and idiosyncracies.
This is an amazing 30 minute cultural tour as you immerse yourself in Aboriginal culture. The Pamagirri Aboriginal Experience is led by your Indigenous Pamagirri tour guide as you are taken on a journey of learning and understanding on how the Pamagirri tribe have lived and survived in this World Heritage rainforest for the last 50,000 years.
Dancing and music is a large part of Indigenous culture as it passes down through the generations. You will see Aboriginal dancers in their traditional dress with their body paints made from plants in the rainforest. You will see how didgeridoos were used in ceremonies and you’ll have a chance to try it out and make the guttural noises for yourself.
Your Pamagirri tour guide will show you how they have survived off the flora and fauna of the rainforest for food and medicine and how they fashioned tools for hunting. Your tour guide will demonstrate how to use a spear using a woomera and how to throw a boomerang so that it comes back to you. Again for a bit of fun and education you will then have a chance to try these skills for yourself.
Pamagirri Rainforest Walkabout Walk
The Rainforestation Nature Park now offers the Pamagirri Rainforest Walkabout Walk. This a guided walk with a Pamagirri guide through the Rainforest. You will learn about the various plant species and how they are used as remedies, as well as fruits and berries. Your guide will also share with valuable information on tools and other artefacts used by the Pamagirri people. The Pamagirri Rainforest Walkabout Walk is an extra cost option and is payable direct to Rainforestation Nature Park on the day of your visit. The Pamagirri Rainforest Walkabout Walk is at 1:00pm and goes for 30 minutes
This tour has to be one of the most unique ways to visit the rainforest of this World Heritage Site. Your tour vehicle is an historic World War II amphibious army vehicle that’s nicknamed a “Duck”.
Your Army Duck tour vehicle is the perfect way to explore this World Heritage rainforest with its combination of 6 wheels, a rudder and a propeller, it is just as at home on land as it is on water. Your journey of rainforest discovery will take about 45 minutes to 1 hour. You will be taken into the depths of this pristine ancient rainforest whilst your driver and tour guide will keep you informed about all the amazing scenery that you are passing through. The flora and fauna that you are passing through belongs to the oldest surviving rainforest in the world and dates back to over 150 million years ago.
This World Heritage site, despite only taking up 0.1% of the total land mass of Australia, has an amazing diversity of animals and insects. It boasts an amazing 3% of reptiles, frogs and marsupials, 7% of bird species, 90% of bats and butterflies and around 12,000 types of insects in this pristine rainforest area.
With only a press of a button the propeller will be lowered on your unique Army Duck tour vehicle and you will be gently cruising along the rainforest creek exploring the river banks. Look out for a basking turtle, a sunning python, fish and eels.
Rainforestation has a fleet of 12 Army Duck vehicles. These were constructed in Detroit as a military vehicle for World War II between 1942 and 1944. They should rightly be called “Dukw” but “Duck” is the nickname that stuck. Each of the letters denotes a meaning. “D” indicates that it was designed in 1942, the “U” shows that it is a utility vehicle, the “K”means that it is an all-wheel drive and “W” indicates that it has two powered rear axles.
Although initially developed for military use its flexible use has meant that civilian organisations also found them indispensable and as such they are also used by rescue, fire and police departments. The Australian Army even loaned their Ducks to the Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition. They are used locally in Cape York to help in supplying remote islands and lighthouses.
Many Ducks have also been used for disaster relief work. They were used post Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and also for the Hunter Valley Floods in Australia.
Each Duck tour vehicle is 93m (31ft) long and can accommodate 30 passengers. They are constructed out of steel and have the wonderful combination of having 6 wheels together with a propeller and a rudder. The Rainforestation Duck tour vehicle fleet run on LPG. They incorporate some unique engineering features which includes a high capacity bilge system and driver adjustable tyre pressures that can be deflated or inflated when needed.
After your Army Duck rainforest tour you can then decide what to do next:
Which restaurants are open and table availability will be dependent on the demand on the day.
Rainforestation has three restaurant areas:
Kuranda really is a jewel of place set like an emerald in the crown surrounded by the natural beauty of the rainforest. This quaint village has a relaxed vibe and creative feel and has attracted visitors for good reason for over a century. Known for its wonderful quirkiness you will wander around the streets with their wonderfully sculpted metal street furnishings and browse through the amazing variety of wares being sold. There are two markets, which are filled with wonderful items to buy as souvenirs and gifts. From the multi-coloured Australian opals to indigenous artefacts of hand crafted boomerangs and digeridoos to crocodile skins and Crocodile Dundee hats. There is beautiful jewellery, a large selection of clothes, many hand-made and items to decorate your home.
Your tour coach will bring you here at 1:00pm if you want lunch in Kuranda. If you are lunching at Rainforestation then the tour bus will transfer you to Kuranda at 2:00pm.
Depending which transfer you decide to take you will have approximately one hour and fifteen, or half an hour to explore.
For those not lunching in Kuranda you will have time to explore these other attractions (extra cost).
If you love butterflies then why not visit the largest collection of them in Australia? The Kuranda Australian Butterfly Sanctuary is home to 2,000 butterflies under a massive enclosure. With an astounding 60% of all butterfly species found in this pristine World Heritage rainforest its fitting that the Butterfly Sanctuary is located here. As you walk around keep an eye out for the electric blue of a flitting Ulysses Butterfly, the unofficial emblem of the area in North Queensland or the fluoro green of the local butterfly named aptly Cairns Birds Wing. If you are wearing pink, white or red colours, you might have them land on you thinking that you are a big walking flower.
This World Heritage rainforest area has an amazing amount of biodiversity. This small area contains 7% of the total bird species in Australia. At Bird World, Kuranda you can view 45 species of tropical birds, from the massive 1.8 m (6ft) rare Cassowary bird to the cheeky rainbow lorikeets to Galahs and the brilliant Amazonian Macaws. All are housed under a massive landscaped enclosure with a waterfall, ponds and trees.
This is a perfect trip to take if you don’t want to do much except soak up the beauty of your surroundings. The scenery will come to you as you tour around the river banks of the Barron River on your tour cruise boat. Marvel at the majestic trees of the rainforest, and on the banks lookout for a basking wild crocodile, a languid turtle, water dragons or a drying Darter Bird with their wings outspread.
Kuranda markets are known to the world for their eclectic wares and range of unique goods.
Kuranda is known locally as a bohemian place where artists and artisans have resided since over a century ago.
The Kuranda markets have been so successful that they now have two! Find a unique souvenir or a just find a treat for yourself, something for the house, or just something to wear.
You can sip coffee made from local coffee beans from the nearby Tablelands or refresh yourself with a drink of freshly made coconut juice from local coconuts.
At 2:25pm you will start walking to Kuranda Skyrail Station which is only a 5 minute walk to arrive at 2:30pm.
Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, Cairns, Australia is one of the world’s foremost environmental award winning experiences located in the World Heritage listed tropical rainforest, Kuranda. It has been voted Australia’s Best Major Tourist Attraction and has scooped many tourism awards.
Your amazing cableway journey will take you over 7.5 kms of pristine World Heritage tropical rainforest canopy. You will glide in your gondola like a bird only metres above one of the most diverse areas in the world.
You will descend from Kuranda at an elevation of 328m (1076ft) back to the lowlands. Your view as you descend will have panoramic views across the Coral Sea to the Great Barrier reef.
This is the only place in the world where the rainforest meets the reef so you will be seeing it from a bird’s eye view.
Along the way there are two stations where you can stop off and admire the view.
After 10 minutes you will reach this stop off station.
The Red Peak Station is at an elevation of 545m (1788ft) above sea level with stunning views.
At this Skyrail station there is a 175m (574ft) boardwalk that will take you along the base of the rainforest trees and chance for you to look up, not down. You cannot but be impressed by the sheer magnitude and splendour of nature as ancient rainforest trees tower over you.
At this stop off you have the opportunity to join a complimentary guided tour. Your tour guide rangers are happy to answer any questions and to give you information in a fun and easy-to-understand way. Your tour guide will show you rare flora and fauna showing you some species that are so so rare that they are only found in this rainforest pocket.
When you have finished at this station just pick up the next Skyrail gondola to the next Skyrail Station.
The Barron Falls Station, is set at an elevation of 125m (410 ft) and located above the Barron Gorge with stunning, dramatic views across the amazing gushing waters of the Barron Falls.
As you look down into the steep granite sides of the Barron Gorge with the thick rainforest lushly framing it. This stunning scenery will take your breath away.
This Barron Falls Station has three separate lookout areas. These are not for the faint hearted as they are located at the top of the Barron Gorge cliffs. You have ring-side viewing of the Barron Falls and in Green Season from December to March this is a dramatic torrent of gushing water crashing to the depths below. The water spray will settle on your hair on nose and you can almost inhale the freshness of the amazing scenery. A total sensory experience.
You will arrive at the base station at Smithfield, Cairns at 4:30pm where you will be met by your tour bus. You will then be taken back to your Cairns accommodation or to your car at Freshwater Station. You will be back for around 5:00pm.
On request, you can upgrade your Skyrail class to Diamond View.
Skyrail Diamond View
It’s not called Diamond View without a reason. Imagine sitting inside a diamond as you float like a giant bubble over the top of the rainforest canopy. These specially designed gondolas are transparent and seamless, with literally 360 degree views from every angle. Brilliant if you have a camera – you can take photos from every angle!
Each of the Diamond view gondolas has a capacity of 5 passengers and you will have your own separate access.
If you wish to upgrade please advise your Tour Specialist on booking.
Pick up by your coach transfer from Cairns accommodation: 7:45am (approx)
Arrive Rainforestation: 9:00 am
Koala and Wildlife Park: 9:15am – 10:00am
Pamagirri Aboriginal Experience: 10:15am – 11:00am
Rainforest Duck Tour: 11:15am – 12:15pm
Lunch in Kuranda Village (catch the 1:00pm bus to Kuranda)
Pamagirri Rainforest Walkabout Walk: 1:00pm - 1:30pm (catch the 2:00pm bus to Kuranda)
Lunch at Rainforestation (catch the 2:00pm bus to Kuranda)
Skyrail departure departure 4:00pm
Back at Cairns accommodation by coach transfer: 5:30pm (appox.)
Departs Cairns 7:45am - Returns Cairns 5:30pm
January - December
Excludes Christmas Day
9.5 hours (approx)
Languages: the Army Duck tour and the Pamagirri Aboriginal experience have pamphlets available in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, French, Spanish, German and Italian
Comfortable shoes & clothing (if you decide to visit the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary you should wear a bright colurful shirt to attract a maximum of butterflies), money for souvenirs, Koala or Croc photo, snack and lunch
All cancellations must be in writing. Please note that all cancellations will incur an administration fee. Please see our terms and conditions for details prior to booking.
Operator’s Cancellation Policy:
100% cancellation fee applies to all day tours cancelled within 24 hours prior to departure or no show
Prices are AUD, per adult and include all levies fees and taxes.
Tour Code: 166