Barron falls and skyrail

Where to go

Kuranda

Tropical North Queensland’s Colourful Quirky Rainforest Village

Kuranda is an arts and crafts hub tucked away in the cool of the mountains just outside of Cairns.

As a traditional Djabugay owner and a ranger at Skyrail, I share stories of our ancient rainforest with our guests and introduce them to Barron Falls and the cassowary, both of which are sacred to the Djabugay people

Ranger Jeremy – Kuranda Skyrail

Street signs in Kuranda

COOL-CLIMATE CHARM

Kuranda has been Tropical North Queensland’s favourite retreat since the early 1900s. Just 27km from Cairns and at an altitude of about 330m, Kuranda’s cool mountain climate makes for an ideal escape from the heat of the coast.

Street performer and audience in Kuranda

STREET SOUNDS AND SIGHTS

These days, Kuranda has a fun and festive atmosphere with welcoming locals and lots to do. The town became popular with the hippie crowd in the 1960s and ’70s, and they have left an artistic and musical legacy that can still be enjoyed today. Look out for the amazing street art and talented buskers performing on street corners.

Man at Kuranda market stall

MARKET TOWN

There are two outdoor markets open seven days a week – the Kuranda Original Rainforest Markets and the Heritage Market. You can find locally made clothing and jewellery, wood carvings, leatherwork, ceramics, gemstones and Indigenous art. There’s lots of fresh local produce like macadamias, coffee and fruit, as well as organic juices, snacks and international cuisine.

Birds in Kuranda

WONDROUS WILDLIFE

See some of Tropical North Queensland’s most iconic wildlife at the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary, Birdworld, the Koala Gardens, Rainforestation Nature Park and the Australian Venom Zoo. Get up close and personal with the animals – cuddle a koala or feed a wallaby.

Barron Falls after heavy rain

FALLS TO
FALL FOR

The most famous waterfall lookout in Queensland is just outside Kuranda. Barron Falls is a steep, 125m tiered waterfall that plunges out of the rainforest. It’s at its most spectacular during the wet season. Explore the national park on foot through a series of interlinked walkways like the Jumrum Creek Walk, Kuranda Village Circuit Walk or the River Walk. For a more strenuous hike, there are trails connecting Cairns with the Barron River.

Kuranda train crosses stoney creek falls

RAILS WITH A VIEW

See the park from above with the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway, which runs for 7.5km above the rainforest canopy of the Barron Gorge National Park. Or take a ride on the historic Kuranda Scenic Railway, dating back to the 1890s. The train runs on the edge of the rainforest from Cairns to Kuranda, through 15 hand-cut tunnels and across 37 bridges.

Tips

  • Because of its altitude, Kuranda has a much cooler and less humid climate than Cairns. Average daytime temperatures are between 26 and 29.5 degrees in the dry season (June-October) and 28 to 31.5 degrees in the wet season (November-May), with humidity in the wet season around 70 per cent.

  • Make sure you have a meal at Frogs Restaurant which opened in 1980 and is still one of the best restaurants in town. Or try the much-talked-about crepes at Petit Cafe.

  • Learn about the local Indigenous culture with the Pamagirri Aboriginal Experience at Rainforestation. It includes traditional dance performance and a Dreamtime walk with displays of spear and boomerang throwing.

Discover More

Explore more of this charming mountain town – from its vibrant artistic community to a huge array of outdoor adventures.

View from Kuranda range lookout

Getting here

  • People in Skyrail car

    By cableway

    Skyrail Rainforest Cableway is a 7.5km unique rainforest cableway experience which glides just metres over the canopy of Australia’s World Heritage listed Tropical Rainforests. Two stations, Red Peak and Barron Falls, provide the opportunity to learn about this ancient environment on boardwalks, the Djabugay Aboriginal Guided tour, and at the Interpretation Centre.

  • Car driving on Kuranda range

    By car

    Kuranda Village is a short 30 minute drive from Cairns. Self-drive or hire a car and travel along the Kennedy Highway (Kuranda Range).

  • Bus at Rainforeststation

    By coach/bus

    Tours to the Kuranda depart Cairns and Port Douglas, daily. Bundling popular attractions is a cost-effective way to experience different things so be sure to chat with your local tour specialist.

  • Kuranda train carriage at station

    By rail

    Kuranda Scenic Railway (one way or return) is a historic rail journey through World Heritage Listed rainforest.

Stay

Most people visit Kuranda for the day but there are a few options if you want to stay overnight, or stay in Cairns and drive, train, bus or Skyrail

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