Kuranda is located 25km northwest of Cairns in the mountains. Commonly referred to as the “village in the rainforest” this laid back town is blessed with gorgeous surrounds and features many attractions.
The drive itself from Cairns through magnificent tropical rainforest with views back to Cairns and the Coral Sea is thoroughly enjoyable. Alternatively you can ride the Scenic Railway or Skyrail, both departing daily from Cairns.
The village is famous for its fabulous markets and variety of shops, galleries and cafes. The town centre has 3 sets of markets all operating daily between about 9am-3pm. The Original Markets, Heritage Markets and New Markets are all worth checking out for bargains, gifts and souvenirs.
Aboriginal culture is big here and the locals perform in the streets in their traditional dress. You often hear the magical sound of a didgeridoo echoing in the town centre. The cultural display here is impressive. Genuine aboriginal artifacts can be purchased from village galleries.
are readily available. Sanctuaries include the Kuranda Koala Gardens, Birdworld , Rainforestation Nature Park, Australian Butterfly Sanctuary, and Spider and Venom World. Photos with the wildlife are available for an extra cost.
The walking trails and scenery at Barron Gorge National Park on the outskirts of town are certainly one of the highlights of this rainforest village. This small park encompasses the Barron River and Gorge, featuring some delightful falls.
Just a stone’s throw from the town centre is Barron Falls
. A short easy walk through the rainforest leads to various lookouts over the picturesque falls. The Scenic Railway also stops here and there is a lookout platform over the railway line.
Wrights Lookout is another short walk to views over Barron Gorge and Cairns in the distance, bordered by a mountainous backdrop. Soak up the views by relaxing on the prime positioned bench seat.
The other main attraction in the national park is only accessible from Lake Placid Road back towards Cairns. The Barron Gorge Hydro-Power Station is located beside the enormous Barron Gorge amongst magnificent rainforest. This clean green power generator utilizes the Atherton Tablelands’ descending water which flows to the Kuranda Weir. The gorge is very scenic and only a short stroll over the bridge finds the power station visitor centre showing an informative video presentation on the history of the Barron River and its power generation.
Karanda is simply supurb. Escape the city for a great day out in the rainforest, enjoying the scenery, shopping and fresh mountain air. Or stay longer and relax and unwind in this carefree environment.
Click here for climate statistics for Australian locations (provided by the Bureau of Meteorology)
Destinations in Queensland
Daintree National Park
Tin Can Bay
Undara Volcanic National Park
Return from Kuranda to Queensland