Kuranda was our last stop for our Cairns vacation. Kuranda is a small village 34 minutes from Cairns. It is located in the mountains and is surrounded by rainforest. The village is famous for their markets and small local wildlife and cultural attractions.
There are two fun ways of getting to Kuranda. The first way is the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. The Skyrail carriages can fit six people per carriage and feature glass roofs and flooring. The cableway stops at scenic locations along the way and guests are able to get on and off at the stops.
The second way is to take the Kuranda Scenic Railway which is the option Paul and I chose. The train is a two hour journey and it goes around and through the mountainside. There is also an audio commentary about the train, which is a hundred years old and about the history of Kuranda. The best part of the train journey is that the train slows down so that people can take photos of the waterfalls that jut out from the cliff face.
When we arrived at Kuranda Station, we decided to head up to the markets. The markets are on everyday and it is located right in the middle of town. All the attractions are within walking distance and there is a free courtesy bus to take tourists to all the sites. I thought Kuranda had a bohemian vibe to it seemed to have a lot of artsy, hipster people as well as backpackers.
There was the usual stuff for sale at the markets, tie dye clothing, shells with googly eyes, candy, incense, as well as jewelry, photographs, Australian leather goods and chocolates. There was also a great variety of restaurants such as Italian, Vietnamese, French and Chinese and there were many juice shops as well.
The markets were quite large and there were stalls everywhere. As Kuranda is on a mountain, the surface is uneven so there were some stalls downhill, uphill and hidden away in corners. Paul and I had arrived early in the morning so there wasn’t much activity going on at the time.
Later on, we headed to Butterfly World. Butterfly World has the largest enclosure of butterflies in Australia. There were many butterflies but they were so small and fast that it was hard to take photos of them. It was only when we stopped and waited was when we noticed butterflies perched here and there. We still weren’t able to get a good shot though as by the time we focused the camera, they were gone. I learnt that butterflies close their wings when they perch so as not to alert predators. It would have helped if we were wearing bright colours which attract butterflies but we still had a nice time there.
When we finished with Butterfly World , we headed to the Kuranda Koala Gardens. I was blasé about seeing koalas because I have seen them before. In my case it was once you’ve seen one koala, you’ve seen them all. I still find them cute though. We headed to the Koala Gardens because they offer more than koalas. They have other native wildlife like kangaroos, birds and snakes.
What I found most fascinating was the plane wreck located outside of Koala Gardens. The plane didn’t crash there; it was a prop for the movie Sky Pirates. It was purchased as a point of interest for Kuranda.
Then it was time to go home so got back on the Kuranda Scenic train. The train departs twice daily and there’s plenty of time to catch the train. The train is more for tourists; the locals drive or take the bus down the mountain.
So that was the last adventure we had in Cairns. The next day was all about packing up and going to the airport. It was the first trip that I had planned by myself and it mostly went according to plan. It has given me the confidence to plan other trips.
I might be going back to Cairns for the Christmas holidays but this time, I would take my parents as well. We’ll go see all the things that we missed the first time round as well as the things we enjoyed. Hopefully, we can stay longer than a week which will allow us more chill out time. It will actually be our last beachside holiday as we’ve been going to a lot of seaside locations for our vacations. I want to go somewhere else such as a city or a desert. Australia is known for the outback and I’ve never been in a desert before.
You can find the other Cairns stories here
You can find the other Cairns stories here