Cairns Region Guide

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Kuranda Scenic Rail & Skyrail

Updated: 21-Jun-2016

Kuranda Train & Skyrail:

The Kuranda Train and Skyrail tour is one of the most popular land based tours in Cairns.

The Kuranda Train departs the Cairns Railway Station at 8.30am and 9.30am daily 

It stops en-route at the Freshwater Historical Railway Station also known as Freshwater Connection.  This station includes a railway museum, pioneer cottage and a cafĂ© where you can enjoy a hearty breakfast.  This station is a feature of the day and we always recommend guests depart or return to this station. 

Departures from Freshwater Railway Station are at 8.50am and 9.50am.  Tours picking up from Cairns hotels start at 7.30am and 8.30am and take you to Freshwater Connection in plenty of time to meet the train.   If you prefer to do the Kuranda Scenic Rail Train in the afternoon there is a 2pm and a 3.30pm departure from Kuranda.  This will get you back to Freshwater Station at 3.30pm and 5pm with coaches meeting these trains.  The afternoon train is popular for guests who book the Gold Class upgrade.  This upgrade includes beverages and morning or afternoon tea.   

All of these tours do need to be pre-booked.  The coaches are for pre-booked passengers only and there is not a regular local bus service.  The train takes 1 hour and 40 minutes to make its way up the mountain range through hand carved tunnels and rainforest, stopping at the Scenic Barron Falls for a photo opportunity. 

Once in Kuranda there is plenty to do.  Shopping at the famous Markets, Wildlife attractions including Butterfly Sanctuary, Bird World and Koala Gardens, the Kuranda River Cruise

The Skyrail is a cableway and runs like a ski gondola on a 14 km loop with many gondolas.  These gondolas arrive every 40 seconds so there is not set departure times for these.  We do suggest to allow 1.5 hours to go down the mountain.   There are 2 stations on Skyrail where you can wander through World Heritage rainforest. 

There are many different tour operators who offer variations to fit with your planning.   For example people who prefer to sleep-in can opt for a later hotel pickup, go up on Skyrail then come back down the mountain on the Kuranda Train. 

Self-drive Kuranda train & Skyrail:

For people who have their own car it is possible to book the Kuranda Train and Skyrail self-drive tour option.  This involves driving your car to the Skyrail Station.  Parking it free for the day.  A coach driver then picks you up here and drives you over to the Freshwater Station where you can have a look around the station, head up to Kuranda on the train, spend the day in Kuranda then come down the mountain on the Skyrail at your leisure and jump in your car and drive back to your hotel.  For people who have their own car this option gives you the convenience of leaving at a time that suits you and is a little cheaper than the other option that includes return hotel transfers. 

Most Kuranda Tours are unguided and leisurely days.   Fully inclusive tours that include lunch and Rainforestation.  As well as Sunrise Hot Air Ballooning tours that combine with the Kuranda Train and Skyrail and work out at better value than booking these options separately.     

Kuranda Train: 

This unbelieveable train journey takes you 328m above sea level across awesome ravines and gorges, through exotic vegetation and past the hiding places of endangered rainforest creatures. 

As you journey through some of the oldest rainforest in the world on the famous Kuranda Scenic Rail, you'll be making the same journey that many others have made for the last 100 years!

The Kuranda Scenic Train will take you past the Baron Gorge Observation Deck, to the giant bridge over Stoney Creek and through the 15 tunnels that were hand carved from the cliffs. 

The railway operates daily all year, except Christmas day.
includes an informative commentary and souvenir booklet.

Kuranda Railway Station is located beside the Skyrail Cableway Terminal so you can combine your Scenic Rail Experience with Skyrail and other attractions in any combination you choose.

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