Top 10 Things to do in Kuranda
The picturesque mountain village known as Kuranda is stunning in its own right and as an added bonus, it lies only 25 km from the city of Cairns. Located on the Atherton Tablelands in Far North Queensland and home to the Djabugay people for over 10,000 years, this quaint village is situated within the Kuranda National Park and Barron Gorge, which both see themselves on the World Heritage List. Engulfed by magical rainforest, Kuranda is a stunning mountainous haven, which grants the beholder a glance into a remarkable local culture and stunning retreat setting. There’s so much to do in Kuranda, but here’s 10 top things to get you started:
Skyrail Rainforest Cableway
With a 7.5 kilometre reach, the Skyrail sees visitors gliding across the glorious canopy of the rainforest below. With breathtaking views of the McAlister Range, try the glass bottom gondola to get the best experience. This phenomenal experience operates during the hour of 9 am to 5 pm every day (excluding Christmas Day) and ports at intervals that allow for purpose built platform views. This would be the ideal destination to start your day, and a perfect addition to any holiday in Kuranda
Kuranda Scenic Railway
The Kuranda Railway has trains travelling to and from Kuranda Village daily. The completion of the railway occurred in 1891 – nine years after construction began – and is considered an engineering feat in its own right. As you wind through the lush foliage, waterfalls, panoramic gorges and plethora of wildlife, be amazed at the seemingly untouched oasis – it’s almost as though you’re the first to see it!
Kuranda Heritage Markets
If you’re looking to immerse yourself in the culture of Kuranda, then don’t look past the Heritage Markets – open daily. Here, you’ll find yourself surrounded in artisans merchandise, from hand-painted Indigenous items, clothing, jewellery, toys and gifts, to cultural dining experiences. With entertainment around every corner, you’ll never be bored and you’ll even get to enjoy the native wildlife as you shop.
Shopping and Dining
The shopping scene in Kuranda is varied. On one hand, you could try out the honey treats, local fudge and native candy, while on the other; you could explore the extensive variety of artwork, craft galleries and studios filled with both local and Indigenous creations. There is also a huge population of metal and woodworkers, jewellers, photographers and potters who create wonderful artwork that reflects the landscapes they envisage. Kuranda has many opportunities for you to pick-up a gift for yourself or that someone special waiting back at home.
While small and quaint, Kuranda is used to catering for an influx of tourists, and the cafes and restaurants have grown into some serious contenders. The food is delicious and the relaxed and picturesque landscape that you can enjoy it in is second to none. One of the many popular bistros is the Kuranda Hotel, offering scrumptious and hearty food, including the infamous Guinness Pie! Kuranda Village Café Bar & Grill is another one to place on your dining list. Kuranda is full of delicious gourmet meals at very affordable prices. Take your pick – you can’t go wrong!
If you’re looking to cruise through paradise along the river, taking in the sights and sound that Kuranda’s waterways have on offer, a Riverboat Cruise is the way to go. Operating daily and showcasing the natural beauty seen from the water, you’ll almost be hypnotised as you lazily drift across the still, natural waters of this magical rainforest. See the local wildlife go about their day – tropical fish, freshwater crocs and turtles in the water and birds and mammals throughout the rainforest.
There’s a vast array of remarkable lookouts located in and around Kuranda – most of which are effortlessly accessed by landscaped walking paths. This includes the amazing Barron Falls, with possibly the most dramatic cascade of all the local waterfalls and steep rocky outcrops that need to be seen to be believed. Once the summit/lookout has been conquered, you’ll be awe-inspired by the scenery that engulfs your senses.
This Photographer’s paradise lends itself to over 80 local and exotic bird species, including the renowned giant cassowary, beautiful exotic parrots, Amazonian macaws and, of course, the Aussie locals – galahs and cockatoos. This area is exceptionally maintained and landscaped, making for an awesome adventure for everyone, from nanna to the toddlers. Open daily (excluding a few main public holidays) from 1.30 pm to 4 pm.
Australian Butterfly Sanctuary
This very impressive butterfly sanctuary boast more than 1,500 tropical butterflies and is the largest light aviary in all of the southern hemisphere. Watch as these colourful and dainty insects effortlessly glide through the air – the sanctuary is a photographer’s delight and will grant a very nice experience to kids and adults alike. Open daily, this is an opportunity not to be missed.
Kuranda Koala Gardens
This amazing garden sanctuary – one of Kuranda’s latest destinations – gives you the chance to get up close and personal with a vast collection of native wildlife. Meet the stars of the show – koalas, wallabies, freshwater crocodiles, lizards, snakes, water dragons, wombats and lizards. Even get the chance to snuggle up to Australia’s most loveable native animal for a photo memento, then, stroll leisurely around the park between the hours of 9 am until 4 pm.
Australian Venom Zoo
If venomous creatures are something that triggers excitement in your heart, you can’t go past the Australian Venom Zoo. With five of Australia’s most dangerous snakes on live display – combined with a vast collection of spiders and scorpions as well as lizards and centipedes – this is a must see for creepy crawly lovers and a adrenal adventure for everyone else. With great opening times (10 am until 4 pm daily), the Australian Venom Zoo needs to be high on your itinerary adventure list.