We will be heading to the tropical north of Queensland next week so I decided to look at previous posts we’ve done from that exciting part of the world. There was the one about the iconic Kuranda Railway All Aboard and the three walks in Kuranda, but where was the one about the cable car that connects Cairns and the Coral Sea with the rainforest village of Kuranda? Why here it is…
I get the same feeling of awe walking through a rainforest as I do in the biggest man-made cathedrals. My eyes follow the massive tree trunks as they shoot up like arrows in search of the sun only to merge together in a canopy exactly as the branching columns do in Gaudi’s masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.
While walking beneath the rainforest canopy is an undeniably beautiful experience, there is another side to the rainforest and Skyrail will get you above that canopy. A Pterodactyl would have had a similar view skimming low over the tree tops back in the dinosaur age. Amazing.
It’s not only looking fun looking down to the treetops looking for parrots or cockatoos, but as the ride progresses the views over the Coral Sea and Cairns are jaw dropping. Our photos were taken through the window panels, but you can now pay extra for exposed gondolas with uninhibited views.
Skyrail operates from it’s base at Carvonica in the Cairns suburb of Smithfield, stopping at Red Peak and Barron Falls before arriving at Kuranda Station. Of course the trip can be done in reverse which is what we did.
Strap yourself in.
You can leave the gondolas and take walks at both of the mid-ride terminals. The walk to the Barron Falls lookout is easy and worthwhile, even in the dry season. The Falls themselves are so tall it is difficult to get them in one shot from the viewpoint. When the falls are in flood this view is spectacularly transformed into thundering water and clouds of spray. It doesn’t happen often enough!
At Red Peak stop there is a 175 m boardwalk overlooked by giant trees. From the Red Peak terminal it only takes 10 minutes to get back to sea level. I was sad to think our ride was nearly over.
A note to nervous flyers out there, I don’t like heights but my pre-gondola nerves soon left me and I totally enjoyed the experience. The transfers between the stations took place indoors, were well-controlled and I felt totally at ease. I thought the heights would bother me but the gondolas actually skim quite close to the tree-tops. I sat at the back of the gondola and Marty took photos from the front and side.
I thoroughly recommend the Skyrail Experience and combining it with the Scenic train ride makes for an enjoyable round trip.
Be sure to allow a couple of hours at the top to absorb the fun hippy vibe of the Kuranda township. It gets pretty crowded between the hours of 10 am and 3 p.m. after which it transforms back into a sleepy little village. There are many activities from extensive shopping to riding an ATV through the rainforest and Orchards.
Head to the Kuranda Visitor Information Centre to find fun things to do in Kuranda.
This post is linked to Budget Travelers Sandbox for Budget Travelers Sandbox.