Things to do in
Kuranda Scenic Railway

Wind your way from Cairns to Kuranda on this scenic rail journey through the world heritage listed rainforest.

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Kuranda Scenic Railway: Our most recommended tours and activities

Cairns: Self-Guided Kuranda Day Trip, Scenic Rail & Skyrail

1. Cairns: Self-Guided Kuranda Day Trip, Scenic Rail & Skyrail

On this 7-hour excursion, visit Kuranda village in pristine World Heritage-listed rainforest. Be picked up from your hotel and travel to the train station. Take the Kuranda Scenic Railway and marvel at mountains on the way. Rising from sea level to 328 meters, pass waterfalls into the Barron Gorge. Explore the markets, shops, and walking trails, or take a river cruise (seasonal) for 2.5 hours. Discover the food stalls and cafés, or dine with the water dragons at Frog’s Restaurant famous for its sauces and dressings. Take the famous Skyrail down, spanning 7.5km over the rainforest canopy. Spot native wildlife, including the cassowary, the world's 3rd-largest flightless bird. Next, take the 2:00 PM Skyrail back to the bottom (Skyrail Smithfield station). Embark on a fascinating journey of discovery over and deep into the world’s oldest, continually-surviving tropical rainforest. The iconic Skyrail experience is a must-do Cairns attraction of Australia’s World-Heritage listed tropical rainforest, immersing you in one of the most botanically fascinating areas on earth. At the end of your Skyrail experience, be picked up again by bus at 3:30 PM to be brought back to the hotel.

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Kuranda, Skyrail and Scenic Rail Experience

2. Kuranda, Skyrail and Scenic Rail Experience

The itinerary is as follows: Hotel pickups commence from Cairns Beaches at 8:30 AM, 9:45 AM from Palm Cove, and Cairns at 10:00 AM. Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. Transfer to Caravonica Lakes to board Skyrail Rainforest Cableway  for your journey to Kuranda. Once aboard you will be amazed as you glide silently over the rainforest. There are 2 stations en route where you can alight and enjoy a walk through the rain forest to spectacular lookouts or visit the CSIRO Interpretive Center. Arrive in Kuranda. You have approximately 3 hours free time to explore the many and varied shops, as well as the Heritage Markets which operate daily. 2:00 PM: Kuranda Scenic Rail. Board the famous train for an amazing journey, as you travel one of the world's most scenic rail routes, through hand-hewn tunnels and over bridges spanning spectacular gorges. Please note: if Gold Class requested, Kuranda Scenic Rail will be 3.30 PM not  2.00 PM, and return transfer will depart at 5.00 PM not 3.30 PM. 3:30 PM: Coach departs for Cairns and Cairns Beaches.

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Self-Drive Kuranda Experience: Skyrail and Scenic Rail

3. Self-Drive Kuranda Experience: Skyrail and Scenic Rail

Getting around by car? The Kuranda Self Drive trip is a great option for you. Drive yourself to the Skyrail Smithfield Terminal, where a representative will check you in and issue you with the Kuranda Boarding Pass. This includes a detailed itinerary with a time schedule, as well as your Kuranda Scenic Railway and Skyrail tickets, allowing you to proceed straight to the boarding area.  Board the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway at 10:45 AM and enjoy an unforgettable journey through the world’s oldest continually surviving tropical rainforest, stopping along the way to explore. Once you arrive in Kuranda, you'll have free time to see this unique village. Use the discount vouchers on your Kuranda Boarding Pass, or visit the heritage markets. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants where you can purchase refreshments.  Return from Kuranda to Cairns on the Kuranda Scenic Railway, one of the most unique rail journeys in Australia. Choose either the Standard service that retuns at 2 PM, or the Gold Class service with comfortable lounge seats, a dedicated host, and refreshments included, retuning at 3:30 PM. Admire the views as the train winds its way from Kuranda to Freshwater Station, passing spectacular waterfalls and through the beautiful Barron Gorge. Disembark at Freshwater Station to board the shuttle bus back to your car at the Skyrail terminal.

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Kuranda Half Day Tour from Cairns

4. Kuranda Half Day Tour from Cairns

Begin the day with hotel pickup in Cairns at 7 AM or soon after. Make your way to the Kuranda Scenic Rail, then board the famous train for an amazing journey along one of the world's most scenic rail routes at 8:50 AM. Sit back and admire the views as you travel through hand-hewn tunnels and over bridges spanning spectacular gorges. Upon arrival in Kuranda at 10:30 AM, enjoy 1 hour of free time to explore the many and varied shops, as well as the heritage markets which operate daily. Once your hour is up, board the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway for your journey to Caravonica Lakes at 11:30 AM. After boarding, be amazed as you glide silently over the rainforest. There are 2 stations en route where you can alight and enjoy a walk through the rainforest to spectacular lookouts or visit the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) Interpretive Center. At 12:40 PM, the coach departs for the return journey to Cairns.

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N. Queensland: Best of the Kuranda Rainforest Full-Day Tour

5. N. Queensland: Best of the Kuranda Rainforest Full-Day Tour

Start your immersion into the culture and nature of the Kuranda Rainforest with a ride aboard the Kuranda Scenic Railway. Wind through the mountains and rainforest to the village of Kuranda.  Upon arrival, experience Australia's largest butterfly aviary at the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary with 1,500 tropical butterflies, including the vibrant green Cairns Birdwing. Next, travel by shuttle to the Rainforestation Nature Park for a barbecue buffet lunch.  After lunch, explore the rainforest by 6WD amphibious vehicle as you climb aboard a World War II Army Duck that can drive over land and in water. Search for wildlife as you learn about the plants and trees of the surrounding rainforest. Then, sample some exotic fruits and locally-made ice cream at the Tropical Treats fruit orchard.  Learn about Aboriginal culture at the Pamagirri Aboriginal Experience and watch spear-throwing demonstrations and traditional dances. Try your hand at throwing a boomerang, and hear all about the didgeridoo. Then, get up close to Australian animals including koalas, dingoes and the endangered Cassowary and Lumholtz's Tree Kangaroo. See typical Australian critters including wombats, crocodiles, lizards and birds. Feed the kangaroos and wallabies by hand. Then, travel back to Cairns on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway and ride over the canopy of the pristine rainforest. Transfer back to your accommodation at the end of the tour services.

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From Cairns: Full-Day Kuranda Army Duck Experience Tour

6. From Cairns: Full-Day Kuranda Army Duck Experience Tour

Start your day with a ride on the Kuranda Scenic Railway, winding through tunnels and over bridges on this magnificent journey, passing Stoney Creek and Barron Falls. Once in Kuranda, you will travel to Rainforestation Nature Park via shuttle. Explore the rainforest on a 6-wheel drive World War II Army Duck amphibious vehicle over land and water. Your experienced duck driver will help you search for wildlife and teach you about the plants and trees that make up the surrounding rainforest. After your tour, you can sample exotic fruits and locally made ice cream at a Tropical Treats fruit orchard.  Then, take the shuttle bus from Rainforestation Nature Park to Kuranda Village. Once in the village, you have free time to explore the markets and shops. At the end of your day, you will travel back to Cairns via the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway over a pristine rainforest with the canopy just meters beneath you. It is recommend you spend time at the two stations en route: Red Peak Station and Barron Falls Stations. Upon arrival in Cairns, you will be transferred back to your accommodation. 

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Kuranda & Hartley's Crocodile Adventures

7. Kuranda & Hartley's Crocodile Adventures

7.00 am - 8.00 am Hotel pick-up at Cairns & Cairns Beaches 8.50 am Kuranda Scenic Rail:  Board the famous train for an amazing journey, as you travel one of the world's most scenic rail routes, through hand hewn tunnels and over bridges spanning spectacular gorges. 10.25 am Arrive in Kuranda.  You have limited free time (1hr) to explore the many and varied shops, as well as the heritage markets which operate daily. 11.30 am Skyrail:  Board Skyrail, an experience which takes you over the rainforest canopy with stops along the way allowing you to take a stroll or visit the CSIRO Interpretive Centre. On arrival at Caravonica Lakes, board the coach for your transfer to Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures. 1.20pm Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures:  Is the best place to see crocodiles in Tropical North Queensland. Highlights of the park include the Wetlands Cruise, Crocodile Attack Show and Snake Show. 4.45pm Coach departs for Cairns

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Kuranda Scenic Railway and Palm Cove Tour

8. Kuranda Scenic Railway and Palm Cove Tour

Following pick-up from your accommodation anywhere in Port Douglas, commencing at 8:30 AM, journey in a small group of only 12 guests for guaranteed personal service and entertaining commentary. Travel down the Captain Cook Highway, known as the second most scenic highway in Australia, and learn the history of the region, along with local issues and stories about the wildlife.  Arrive at beautiful Freshwater Station and board the historic Kuranda scenic railway. Then, head through the rainforest and take in a breathtaking scenery of waterfalls and 15 dramatic tunnels carved through the rocks. Upon arrival in Kuranda, explore the 'Village in the Rainforest', famous for its colorful arts and crafts markets, open every day. Browse the wide variety of Aboriginal artifacts, such as handmade leather goods, wood and jewelry. Stop at a café for lunch and listen to the busker, or try some local snacks such as macadamia nuts, honey, mango wine, homemade sweets or delicious homemade ice cream. Next, head up the coast to Palm Cove, where you will be taken along the palm-fringed esplanade. Then, stop for a drink of your choice and get some staggering views of the picturesque beach. Stroll amongst the stores and galleries, or take a walk along the beach and let the kids play in the playground. Return to Port Douglas with new friends and great memories, before getting dropped off at your accommodation or chosen restaurant on request.  

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N. Queensland: Kuranda Rainforest Full-Day Tour

9. N. Queensland: Kuranda Rainforest Full-Day Tour

Explore the depths of the Kuranda Rainforest with rides on the railway, Skyrail Rainforest Cableway and 6-wheel-drive amphibious Army Duck vehicle! Experience this enchanting region of Australia and see its wildlife, lush scenery, and aboriginal culture. Board the Kuranda Scenic Railway for a spectacular journey with stunning views of the Coral Sea, Cairns City, and more. Take the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway over pristine rainforest and skim the forest canopy just beneath you! See kangaroos, wombats, koalas, and crocodiles up close and personal. Explore the rainforest on a 6-wheel-drive World War II Army Duck amphibious vehicle, over land and water. Your experienced Duck Driver will help you search for wildlife and teach you about the plants and trees that make up the surrounding rainforest. After your Duck tour, you can sample exotic fruits and locally made ice cream at the Tropical Treats fruit orchard. The Koala & Wildlife Park offers the opportunity to get up close with native Australian wildlife including wombats, crocodiles, lizards and birds. You can hand feed kangaroos and wallabies. Included also is the world-famous BBQ lunch. Go for a dreamtime walk and learn about Aboriginal culture with spear-throwing demonstrations and ritualistic dances. Take the opportunity to try your hand at boomerang throwing, then visit Kuranda's markets and art galleries, or even the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary. Optional extra: For your Kuranda Scenic Railway journey you are able to upgrade from Heritage Class to Gold Class. Gold Class includes the following: Dedicated host service, souvenir trip guide, moist towellete, individual seating, lounge-style chairs, ambient, historical décor, including timber look flooring, historical photographs and cedar interior. Kuranda Scenic Railway gift pack including Kuranda Scenic Railway badge, pen and postcard. Queensland and local Tablelands produce such as Gallo Dairyland Cheese, Skybury Coffee, Wondaree Macadamias, Mango to Go (100% pure mango treat), freshly baked muffins with local fruit, Sirromet wines and Great Northern Brewing Company Super Crisp Lager.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Kuranda Scenic Railway

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What people are saying about Kuranda Scenic Railway

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 1,010 reviews

This was a lovely experience and our tour guide shared some great knowledge about the area and the history of Skyrail and Kuranda. Timing was good and the day was not rushed. Totally recommend.

Was spectacular and well worth it. Our driver, Jun was exceptional. Thank you

The crocodile attack show was amazing. A must go to place when in Cairns.

All aspects of the day were fantastic. I would recommend it to everyone.

I would highly recommend very professional luxury bus