Just a city girl who dreams of dusty trails and endless oceans. www.twentysomething.com.au
Published June 4th 2017
Take your family on a rainforest adventure to Kuranda
Nestled in the rainforest covered mountains behind Cairns is Kuranda, a small village known for its great markets, relaxed atmosphere and tranquil setting. It makes for an exciting day trip, with something to entertain every member of the family. To get here, you can book a tour from one of the many providers available, or you can take the self-drive option which I will talk about.
Pristine rainforest is just a day trip from Cairns
Driving north from Cairns, take Sheridan Street, which turns into the Captain Cook Highway. Follow this road for approximately 20 minutes before reaching a large roundabout (which will be signed), turn left and begin the windy road up the Macalister Range on the Kennedy Highway. It's not long before the magic of the rainforest will win over even the toughest critic. Be sure to stop at the lookouts along the way for the best views.
Right before you enter the village, you will find the turn off for Rainforestation Nature Park. This property has a little something for everyone with wildlife encounters, traditional Aboriginal performances and their unique World War II Army Duck tours.
Back on the road, once you cross over the river you will find yourself in the heart of town. Parking is usually readily available as most tourists choose to take the scenic railway into Kuranda. Here you will find a large area of markets. Behind these is the colourful Birdworld, home to a large number of rescued parrots, both native and exotic. Kids will love the opportunity to get up close and personal with these feathered friends. Nearby is the cute and cuddly Koala Gardens with its Koalas, kangaroos and wallabies, wombats and scaly critters. Also in the area is the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary, the world's largest walk-in butterfly enclosure and home to the stunning Ulysses butterfly.
A stunning Ulysses butterfly at the Australian Butterfly Sanctuary
If you still have some time left over, you can go a little further afield in this tiny town and take a look at the majestic Barron Falls, best seen after heavy rain. Some short rainforest trails will get you up close and personal with the natural flora. Also worth a stop is the Australian Venom Zoo, Bat Sanctuary and Riverboat Cruise. Cafe's around the centre of town provide a variety of lunch options or a snack for the trip home. Some local favourites include the vegetarian-friendly crepes at Petit Cafe and the quirky but delicious Frog's Kuranda.
For more information on activities and attractions around Kuranda, visit the official website here.