A visit to Cairns and the Tropical North Queensland would not be completed without a journey to the picturesque mountain retreat of Kuranda. Kuranda is just 25 kilometres northwest of Cairns and is well known as the village in the rainforest. This quaint village has been attracting visitors over the years due to the natural beauty of the nearby mighty Barron Falls and rainforest, as well as the relaxed atmosphere of the local markets.
Getting there is fairly easy and highly doable as a day trip, the majority of the tourists make their way to Kuranda either on the Kuranda Scenic Railway or the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. I got to the village via the railway and return via the cableway. I highly recommend a combination of both options as it allows you to see different things or see things differently enroute to and from the village (I will cover both options in details in subsequent articles).
Kuranda has earned a reputation as the arts and crafts nexus of Tropical North Queensland. Many artisans have decided to call the village home, resulting in a vibrant arts and craft culture. There are several markets in Kuranda specialising in locally made arts, crafts and produce.
Besides the markets, attractions in Kuranda include a bird aviary, butterfly sanctuary, wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centre, reptile park and koala sanctuary. If you fancy a cruise, you can also travel on a riverboat along the mighty Barron River.
In addition to the usual shopping and attraction circuit, Kurana has a range of walking tracks suited to every age and fitness level. You can take an interpretive walk through the village, a rainforest stroll through the undergrowth or a more adventurous and strenuous hike to the Barron Falls lookout. With a toddler and a baby in tow, I decided to play it safe and stick to the easiest walking option, i.e. staying within the village!