17 Amazing Things To Do In Kuranda, Queensland Australia and the details you need to Know
Kuranda located in Queensland Australia is the ultimate day trip if you are visiting Cairns. With more experience activities than any part of Queensland you will be obsessed with this area. We travelled here this year and took in every tour that they had, and the best part it was cheap. Kuranda is a rainforest on a mountain overlooking the ocean and will offer you some of the best picture opportunities you can get on a trip to Australia. From taking an old train through the rainforest, to feeding kangaroos and holding pandas, to taking a gondola and going on rainforest safaris, this place has it all compressed into a small area. We were able to do multiple tours in a day and our children went bananas for this place. The hiking here is epic, and you will find hidden gems every corner you look including a cool hippie market and lots of interesting restaurants.
To really enjoy everything this place has to offer you have to start your day early and get there by around 9am. Sign up for the 3 park pass that will take you through the Rainforestation park, the koala garden, Bird world Kuranda and the butterfly sanctuary. It is like 3 zoos in one where you actually get to interact with the animals. Kangaroos and wallabies roam freely and are used to human being around and feeding them. It would be a crime to miss out on this if you are any where near Cairns or the great barrier reef. In this guide, we have included all of the best things to see and do in Kuranda along with the details you need to know before you go!
17 Adventurous Things To Do In Kuranda
Rainforestation Nature Park
The Nature Park offers you a lot of wild experiences like the Kuranda Army Duck experience, taking pictures while holding crocs and koalas, or having lunch in the middle of the rainforest! There are several shows they offer here so time yourself right to fit what you want to do around their show schedule. Some of the shows include Pamagirri aboriginal shows about the aboriginal Australian culture and the Bush Tucka walk that teaches you even more about local culture.
Barron Falls and Nature Park
The nature Park is in the middle of the rainforest and is surrounded by the beautiful Barron River. Located in the same area is theBarron falls and gorge. It is a amazing sight to see and a great picture spot.
Kuranda Army Duck Experience
At the Rainforestation park you will get to experience the famous army duck tour where you are driven in an old army amphibious vehicle. These vehicles are actually from world war 2, and they can operate on land and in water. The tour will take you through the rainforest and the guides will entertainingly explain the local fauna to you and the uses to the Australians. Halfway through the tour the army duck vehicle will drop into the natural ponds in the rainforest where they continue the educational tour. Look down at the water and you might see fish and turtles!
Shop at the Kuranda Heritage Market
The heritage market is outside of the wildlife museum and sell things like boomerangs, didgeridoos and other antique type products. We did not buy anything from this market, but it was fun to walk around.
Walk around the Kuranda hippie rainforest village
There are several markets in Kuranda including the original market, which started in 1978 by locals wanting to attract visitors to the area. This market is also referred to as the hippie market, many of the booths sell holistic products. It is totally local run and in behind the shopping centre that faces the Koala Gardens. It was really fun, we ended up having lunch here. The locals have really created a memorable atmosphere with chilled vybez and reggae music!
Butterfly World Kuranda/Australia Butterfly Sanctuary
The butterfly sanctuary was a really fun experience for the adults and for kids. By the end of it you will know everything that you would ever want to know about butterflies and there life process. We started in a giant aviary where there are lots of different breeds of butterflies flying around. If your lucky, one might land on you! The aviary has ponds and waterfalls and is in an indoor rainforest! They also have a lab you can visit and a Pupae area, where you can see the butterflies in their early stages.
Hike Through the Kuranda Rainforest Park
There are 3 major hikes in Kuranda. The first is where you will get to see the spectacular Barron Gorge waterfall at the Barron Gorge national park. There is also the jumrum creek walk, the river walk, the jungle walk and the Kuranda Backroad walk.
Kuranda Art Gallery
Kuranda is a really creative little town, with inspiration everywhere you turn there is no wonder why. Because of this, there are several art galleries around Kuranda. Some of these art galleries are the Peter Jarver Gallery, doongul aboriginal art gallery, Kuranda arts co-op gallery, and the terra nova art gallery.
Kuranda Candy Store
The candy store is called the Kuranda Candy Kitchen, they specialize in traditional Australian rock candy. Although that is what their main seller is, they also have a large selection of other types of candies. You will be able to smell them from blocks away and they are centrally located in the centre of town!
The Kuranda Koala gardens had so many cute Koalas to view. Some of them even had babies. It was really amazing, at the end of the koala exhibit there was a spot where you can hold a Koala and take pictures! This was not the only type of animal here, there were many other indigenous Australian animals here as well including kangaroos and wallabies.
Bird world was a favourite for myself and my family, you enter into a netted area in the rainforest full of tropical birds. It was unreal, they were flying everywhere and you can feed them. They interact with people by flying on their hands or shoulders. One flew right on my daughters head and hung out for a while!
Australian Venom Zoo
This Zoo is partially funded by the tourism it brings in. They captively breed rare venomous Australian creatures like snakes and spiders. They milk the venom for bio-pharmaceutical applications. UPDATED This is now permanently closed
Learn to throw a boomerang
They have open field where they have Australian men dressed up in their traditional outfits that teach you how to throw boomerangs. They were really nice and they gave my son his own boomerang! Located in Rainforestation park.
Learn to throw a spear
This is another native Australian thing they do in the field of the rainforestation park. They teach you how they used to hunt and how to throw the spear!
Feed Wallabies and Kangaroos
There are several places you can feed Wallabies and Kangaroos in this area including at the Koala gardens, as well as rainforestation park. Your probably seeing a theme here, you have to visit rainforestation park.
Take the Kuranda Scenic Railway
The Kuranda scenic railway is a monorail train system that goes from Cairns stations all the way to Kuranda is one of the most epic ways to see the countryside in Queensland. Although there are many ways to get to Kuranda from Cairns, this remains the most popular because of the fun railway experience. Originally the train was a tin mining train, now it has been highly upgraded for the tourism influx into Kuranda.
Take the Kuranda Skyrail
The skyrail is actually called the skyrail rainforest cableway
Kuranda springs is another name for the Barron river area. There is a natural spring that flows off the river.
How to get to Kuranda
Kuranda Day Trip From Cairns
There are 4 distinct ways to get to Kuranda from Cairns. The first and most fun is the Kuranda scenic railway this is the monorail system from Cairns to Kuranda. The second option is to take a taxi, this is the most expensive way to do it, I don’t recommend this. The 3rd option is to rent a car for the day. I did this and it was awesome. It gave us more time to do what we wanted, when we wanted and the car rental was only $30 per day! The last option is to go on a tour bus, which can be annoying as you will be on strict timelines at each place you visit. You will also have to wait for the other people to get picked up and dropped off from their hotels.
Kuranda Scenic Railway/Kuranda Train
The Kuranda scenic railway starts in Cairns and has several stops along the way. Freshwater station, stoney creek falls, the skyrail, barron falls and finally Kuranda. You can get off at each of these stops to take a look around and catch the next rain to your destination. A lot of people get off at the skyrail stop. This is where you would catch the gondola up the mountain to Kuranda.
Kuranda Railway and Skyrail timetable
Here is the railway timetable.
What is the Cairns to Kuranda Train race
The Cairns to Kuranda Train Race is an 18km solo or 3 person team relay with legs of 5km (road), 8km (trail) and 5km (road).The race starts across the Freshwater Station on Lower Freshwater Road, Kamerunga, Cairns and goes on roads, grass tracks and single track trails. It finishes at Kuranda Station.
Rent a car and drive from Cairns to Kuranda, the ultimate driving experience
We rented a car and did the drive from Cairns up the mountain Kuranda. This was an amazing driving experience, with beautiful scenery all the way through. The first part of your drive will take you through parts of Cairns you did not know existed, from there you will see the countryside with farms and animals all over the place. If you are travelling with kids, they will really enjoys this. The final stretch once you get to the mountain base is a winding road up the mountain. It is a good road and very safe, it is also very beautiful full of lush trees and peak views of the ocean. Finally when you get to Kuranda, you can drive around and explore everything it has to offer.
How to Get Around Kuranda
There is a taxi service in Kuranda, but I found no real need as everything there is very close to each other. Walking distance for the most part.
What is it?
The Kuranda rainforest is a spectacular lush rainforest located right on a mountain close to Cairns. Not only does it have all of the tours above to do, it also has a trail system that will take you through the rainforest on an adventure of a lifetime.
Where to stay in Kuranda
There are a bunch of option for bed and breakfast in Kuranda. This is probably the least expensive way to stay here, other than camping. There is Speewah country tavern, Ronday-voo bed and breakfast, Cassowary house, and Fairyland house. I included link to their sites.
There is a lot to do in Kuranda and you can easily spend a few days of adventure here. There are a few hotels in the area as well as campgrounds. One budget place we found that has budget rooms, a pool and campgrounds is the Kuranda accommodation rainforest park. This place is right smack dab in the middle of the rainforest and looks like a great adventure option. The second place we found that looks awesome is the Grande Barron lodge, located conveniently across from the famous waterfalls! Both of these places look a little rustic, but a lot of fun!
What is the average weather per month in Kuranda?
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Here is an awesome travel guide on Cairns and Kuranda!