Kuranda is one of the most popular day-trip destinations from Cairns, where you can browse for handicrafts, didgeridoos, and Aboriginal art, or explore Australian wildlife in nearby Kuranda National Park and Barron Gorge National Park. Many travelers opt to ride an enclosed gondola on the 4.5-mile (7.5-kilometer) Skyrail Rainforest Cableway from Kuranda to Smithfield. Among Kuranda’s other popular attractions are the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary, Kuranda Koala Gardens, Reforestation Nature Park, and Birdworld Kuranda.
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Things to know before you go
Kuranda is a kid-friendly destination with activities for all ages, from animal lovers to souvenir shoppers.
Wear sturdy shoes for strolling around Kuranda and nearby park attractions, where most paths are well-maintained with wheelchair-accessible facilities.
Although Kuranda tends to be cooler than the coast, summers are still hot; Jan. is the warmest month.
How to get there
To get to Kuranda from Cairns in style, ride 90 minutes 1-way on the historic Kuranda Scenic Railway, which chugs from downtown Cairns through Barron Gorge National Park to Kuranda, offering clear views of landmarks such as Barron Falls and Stoney Creek Falls. By car or bus, it’s about 30 minutes to Kuranda from Cairns.
When to get there
Kuranda’s mild climate allows for year-round activity, but the summer wet season from Jan. to Mar. is considered the best time to see Kuranda’s rain forest. The winter months span June to Aug.
Wildlife in Kuranda
To see wildlife in Kuranda, head to the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary or the Rainforestation Nature Park, which offers boat tours and the Pamagirri Aboriginal Experience. At Kuranda Koala Gardens, travelers can get close to koalas, kangaroos, and crocodiles under the supervision of trained professionals. Head to the Barron River from Kuranda’s town center to take a wildlife-spotting cruise and see freshwater crocodiles, water dragons, and tropical birds.
- Birdworld Kuranda
- Australian Butterfly Sanctuary
- Kuranda Koala Gardens
- Barron Gorge National Park
- RainForeStation Nature Park
- Trinity Beach
- Skyrail Rainforest Cableway
- Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park
- Hartley's Crocodile Adventures
- Mt. Whitfield
- Red Arrow Walk
- Cairns Botanic Gardens
- Centenary Lakes
- Muddy's Playground
- Cairns Aquarium
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