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Kuranda Scenic Railway

Cairns Railway Station, Bunda Street | Cairns, QLD | Official website
Kuranda Scenic Railway Photo info
Tourism Queensland
  • Type: Natural Wonders, Sightseeing
  • Time to Spend: 2 hours to Half Day
Overall Rating: 4.0 (3.8)
Value: 2.0 (2.0)
Facilities: 5.0 (5.0)
Atmosphere: 4.0 (4.0)
About these ratings

If you need a break from exploring the reef, why not go 1,076 feet above sea level with a ride on the Kuranda Scenic Railway? Departing from Cairns, the train takes a two-hour journey through the upper Barron Gorge before reaching Kuranda, known as "the village in the rainforest." Along the winding route, you'll weave past gushing waterfalls and lush greenery while hearing commentary on the railway's history. Upon your arrival in Kuranda, you'll have your pick of activities: Get to know the wildlife at the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary or the Kuranda Koala Gardens, or stretch your legs on the Barron Gorge National Park walking trails.

While some visitors lament the high ticket price, others say the fares are worth the unique experience. "My first impression was that this was a tourist trap, but I was totally wrong," one TripAdvisor user said. "I loved the scenery and good commentary about the history of the area."

For morning departures to Kuranda, you can board at the Cairns Railway Station or the Freshwater Connection (about 5 miles northwest of the Cairns station). Trains departing from Cairns leave at 8:30 or 9:30 a.m., while trains leaving from Freshwater depart at 8:50 and 9:50 a.m. When it's time to head back to Cairns, trains depart Kuranda at 2 and 3:30 p.m.  

You can choose from a variety of tour packages, depending on what you'd like to do in Kuranda Village — options include a visit to Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park and an army duck tour of Rainforestation Nature Park. Round-trip tickets to Kuranda (without the additional village activities) cost $74 AUD (about $69 USD) for adults, $37 AUD (about $35 USD) for children, and $184 AUD (approximately $173 USD) for families. For a full menu of package prices, visit the railway's website.

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