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Kuranda Village is located in the mountains near Cairns in Tropical North Queensland. Here you will find many unique and fun things to do in Kuranda, from rainforest walks to wildlife encounters. Or simply enjoy a day exploring the Kuranda Markets!
Surrounded by World Heritage Listed rainforest, this artsy village in the mountains has something for everyone to enjoy!
And best of all, with a slightly cooler temperature compared to Cairns, the Kuranda weather can be a great way to escape the heat for a few hours!
Where Is Kuranda?
Kuranda is located approximately 27 KM from Cairns city, situated in far North Queensland. It sits on the Eastern edge of the Atherton Tablelands, in the Shire of Mareeba in Queensland, Australia.
How To Get From Cairns To Kuranda
One of the things that makes Kuranda such a popular day trip from Cairns and surrounding areas is the trip to get there and back. Sure, you can drive. It’s an easy half-hour drive up the Kuranda range into the mountains. But there are more fun ways to get there than that!
Kuranda Scenic Railway
Take one of the most unique railway journeys in Australia, as your train takes you from sea level in Cairns to 327 metres above sea level, through dense rainforest and up the mountains to Kuranda Village.
On board the train, listen to commentary about the history of the scenic railway and the Kuranda area as you make your way there. Pass by waterfalls, including Barron Falls and other breathtaking views on this relaxed journey.
Kuranda Scenic Railway operates two departures from Cairns and two return trips from Kuranda to Cairns daily. Check the Kuranda train times on their website.
Kuranda Skyrail Rainforest Cablecar
The Kuranda Skyrail cablecar is another incredible way to get to or from Kuranda. Take a cablecar over and through the world’s oldest tropical rainforest for stunning aerial views.
From the Skyrail journey, you will see Barron Gorge and the Wet Tropics Rainforest World Heritage area, with close up views of Barron Falls.
You also have the option to take guided ranger walks at Red Peak and visit the Rainforest Discover Zone and scenic lookout.
A one way skyrail journey takes approximately 1.5 hours, including time to explore Red Peak and Barron Falls lookout areas.
The Kuranda Skyrail gondolas run all day in 15-minute intervals between 8:45AM and 3:45PM. Each gondola holds up to 6 people (or 5 if taking a Diamond View gondola).
If you wish to visit Kuranda by bus, there are daily services on the Trans North Bus & Coach Service Kuranda Shuttle bus from Cairns. This service runs on bus Route 850.
Find the current bus timetable and updated fare information on their website.
If you want to take a self-drive visit to Kuranda, this is an option too. This is what we did on our most recent visit since we only had a short time to spend in Kuranda Village.
It is a scenic drive into the mountains, although do take care as parts of the drive are very steep with sharp turns as you make your way up the Kuranda range.
Fun Things To Do In Kuranda Village
Kuranda Village is a wonderful place to visit with kids when in Tropical North Queensland. There are many different attractions that families love. Especially if you are hoping to encounter some of the unique Australian wildlife during your visit.
Here are some of the best things to do in Kuranda:
Kuranda Koala Gardens
Visit the only nocturnal wildlife attraction in the Atherton Tablelands region.
Not only will you meet adorable koalas during your visit and have the chance to have a cuddle and a photo, you will also meet other native Australian wildlife. They have a collection of marsupials, reptiles, birds, and more.
Location: Kuranda Village, 2-4 Rob Veivers Dr Clifton Beach, Kuranda.
The Rainforestation Nature Park is an award-winning adventure attraction located within the Kuranda rainforest. They have Army Duck Rainforest tours on land and water, which is a fun way to experience the rainforest in all weather conditions.
There is also a chance to learn about Aboriginal culture with the Pamagirri Aboriginal Experience, as well as getting up close with native Australian animals at the Koala & Wildlife Park.
For current opening hours and ticket prices, visit the website.
Opening Hours: 9 AM to 3 PM daily during school holidays, otherwise closed on Monday and Wednesdays and certain public holidays.
EntryPrice: 3 attraction pass is $52 for adults and $26 for kids.
If you’d love the chance to spot a crocodile in the wild, you have a good chance with the Kuranda Riverboat Sightseeing Cruise.
The cruise leaves at regular intervals throughout the day and takes you on a relaxing journey along the Barron River. And yes, if you are lucky, you may spot a crocodile lurking in the water or on one of the banks.
The cruise is 45 minutes long with guided commentary from your host. They offer a 95% success rate at seeing crocodiles.
Location: Across the Kuranda Railway Station footbridge and down the stairs to the river.
Opening Hours: Cruises run daily between 10:45 AM and 2:30 PM.
Barron Falls is one of the most impressive waterfalls near Cairns and well worth seeing.
If you are visiting Kuranda by Skyrail or Scenic Rail, you will have the chance to see this glorious waterfall up close at the lookout points.
If you are driving to Kuranda by car, it is a quick 7-minute drive to the Barron Falls lookout and an easy walk through the rainforest to the lookout point.
Otherwise, if you’re feeling energetic, it will take you approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes each way to walk there on foot. Be mindful of the fact that you are in the mountains so the Barron Falls Kuranda walk will be strenuous journey on the way back!
If you love markets filled with unique handmade wares, souvenirs and accessories, you will love the Kuranda Markets!
Tip: If the markets are one of your must-see Kuranda sights, visiting between Thursday and Sunday is best as the markets are not open every day of the week.
Kuranda Original Rainforest Markets
The Kuranda Original Rainforest Market has been running since 1978, when a group of local artists first kicked them off. They have since grown and become a key attraction in Kuranda Village.
You will find eco crafts made from recycled materials, hand-crafted wares, gourmet regional eats and fresh produce. They are contemporary art, clothing, jewellery, homemade food and much more.
The Kuranda Heritage Markets run all year round and are undercover, so even if it’s raining, you can still enjoy wandering around the different stalls. They are located in a rainforest setting and are also home to Birdworld and the Kuranda Koala Gardens.
The Kuranda Heritage Market has a wide range of market stall, with locally produced souvenirs, arts & crafts, jewellery, gemstones & clothing. You will also find organic produce from the region, spices and healthy treats to enjoy.
Location: Rob Veivers Drive, Kuranda.
Opening Hours: Thursday to Sunday from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM.
The Best Kuranda Tours
Taking a day tour to Kuranda from Cairns as part of your itinerary is a great way to experience the best Kuranda Village has to offer, including your chance to ride on either the Scenic Railway, the Skyrail Cablecar… or both!
Kuranda Scenic Railway Day Trip from Cairns
This customisable full-day trip to Kuranda from Cairns starts with a hotel pick up before boarding the historic Kuranda Scenic Railway. Then you can choose from a variety of activities to fill your day, including visits to the Tjupakai Aboriginal Cultural Park and Rainforestation Nature Park.
At the end of the day, make your way over and through the rainforest back to Cairns on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway.
Barron Gorge & Kuranda National Park Half-Day Rainforest and Waterfall 4WD Tour
Experience the tropical North Queensland rainforest up close in this thrilling half-day 4WD adventure from Cairns.
Go off-road in the Barron Gorge National Park and Kuranda National Park with your expert tour host, taking you along the Great Dividing Range.
Get plenty of photo opportunities along the way with stops at Lake Morris, Copperlode Dam and Surprise Falls, plus views of the Great Barrier Reef from Lamb Range. And of course, Barron Falls. This is a small-group tour limited to 13 people.
Take a guided quad bike journey through the rainforest atop the majestic Barron Falls. Cruise down the footpaths of ancient loggers as you follow your guide and learn about your surroundings in this fun adventure tour.
You will have the chance to taste exotic fruit fresh from the branch and may even get lucky and spot a wild cassowary along the way.
If you are visiting Kuranda by bus or on a day tour from Cairns or Port Douglas, you can easily get around to the main attractions using the free Kuranda shuttle bus service.
The bus operates at regular intervals throughout the day, between the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary and the Rainforestation Nature Park.
Most other attractions and markets are within walking distance from the Butterfly Sanctuary.
Kuranda Restaurants & Places To Eat
You will have no trouble finding something to eat in Kuranda. Whether you are looking for organic and healthy bites from the Kuranda markets, or seeking out the best Kuranda restaurants for a more hearty meal, there are plenty of options to suit all budgets and tastes.
Here are some of the most popular cafes and restaurants in Kuranda:
With so many great things to do in Kuranda Village, there is little wonder why this is a popular day trip while visiting Far North Queensland. It makes a perfect detour during a Brisbane to Cairns road trip as well!