I have to say that although I love the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest, our day visiting Kuranda was definitely a highlight of our trip to Queensland.
Although you do not need to book a tour to visit this area, I do recommend it because you get to experience a little bit more in much smaller groups if you are part of an organized tour than just showing up and doing it yourself. However, in saying that there is certainly more that I would have liked to do with the kids that day if we weren't on a schedule. Just like the Great Barrier Reef tour I arranged this one through the Cairns Visitor Centre too.
Our day began with a tour bus picking us up from our accommodation (which I'll share a bit about later) and taking us to the Freshwater Railway Station where we boarded a train and headed for Kuranda Village. At Freshwater Station we had time to grab a bite to eat in the cafe, where you can either sit on a platform to eat, or one one of the many train carriages. We then took a little time to explore the museum there.
Just after leaving the station one of the train crew noticed that our carriage was a little packed with people and immediately grabbed us (we had the only small kids) and took us to another carriage where we could spread out. I think that was one of the highlights of the trip for Flynn, being able to walk between the carriages while the train was moving.
It was such a fabulous and scenic train ride. We wound our way over 15 bridges and through 55 tunnels, yes Flynn counted every one of them. Passing the two waterfalls, Stoney Creek and Barron Falls was definitely a highlight for me though.
The train made a brief stop at Barron Falls so that we could get off and take photographs. The view was amazing.
Once arriving at Kuranda Railway Station we made our way through Kuranda Village and to the Butterfly Sanctuary, which is the largest butterfly flight aviary in the country. We not only got to view the beautiful butterflies, but also had a guided tour behind the scenes, where we saw a couple of Hercules Moths that had come out of their cocoons just that morning and were set to be released outside later in the afternoon.
Our first stop was a Corroboree where we watched the Pamagirri Dancers perform at the rainforest ampitheatre.
We were then taken on a Dreamtime Walk where we were shown how to play a didgeridoo, and throw spears and boomerangs, before being guided to a large buffet for lunch. The food was amazing, and I even had the chance to enjoy damper and passionfruit, two of the things I really miss.
We then boarded an Amphibious Army Duck and had a tour both on land and in the water of the rainforest. We learned all about the plants that could kill us. A little frightening really.
The final part of our tour was to take the Kuranda Skyrail on a 40-minute journey over the rainforest canopy and back to the Caravonica Skyrail Terminal where our tour bus met us once more to return us to our accommodation. We did make a couple of short stops at Red Peak Station and Barron Falls Station so that we could go on short walks and view the falls from the opposite side.