Kuranda is a quirky village high in the rain forest hinterland 25 kms North West of Cairns, which features some really fun "must see" attractions. Whether you drive up the range or take the train or cable car, a visit to this unique part of Far North Queensland will be the highlight of your trip. I have included a list of the Top 5 Attractions below, but please feel free to add any to the list.
This star attraction proudly houses the largest single collection of free flying birds in Australia. There are over 500 birds to visit at these landscaped gardens, including parrots, cockatoos, rainbow lorikeets, endangered cassowaries and a wide variety of herons. The Kuranda Koala Gardens are nearby and also well worth a visit.
The 7.5 km Cable Car is the best way to negotiate the hinterland's steep ravines which are covered in World Heritage listed Rain Forest. After exploring Kuranda Village, take the Skyrail Cable Way back down the McAlister Range and make the most of the opportunity to view the trees and the ancient landscape from above.
Open daily (9.30am - 3.30pm), this is a great place to buy local arts and crafts -from opals to didgeridoos to hand painted t-shirts, these markets are the place to find unusual treasures. Live music drifts along the lane ways and fresh cooked food stalls are tucked away down alleys and stair cases.
The largest butterfly farm in Australia - 1500 butterflies inhabit this magical all weather attraction. Learn details about the life cycle of tropical butterflies on a 35 minute guided tour and maybe have a giant Ulysses Butterfly or Cairns Birdwing Butterfly land on your own head or hand. Just remember to wear brightly colored clothes on the day.
Beginning at Freshwater Station, this is an ideal way to reach Kuranda Village and an educational journey back in time.
Be sure to hop off at Barron falls Railway Station for an amazing view across the famous Barron Falls. Kuranda Station itself is a Heritage listed building and the Kuranda Railway Tea Rooms are worth a stop off before exploring the village.
The Tjapukai People are the traditional owners of the land on which Kuranda now stands. They kindly share their amazing culture with all visitors in the form of day or night tours. They incorporate giant holograms into the sacred Dreamtime stories with a moving live performance, as well as teaching traditional hunting techniques, such as spear or boomerang throwing.
The performance takes place at the base of the McAlister Range and is definitely not to be missed, as it is the most awarded Aboriginal cultural attraction in Australia.
The Tjapukai cultural park is not in Kuranda and has not been for many, many years now. It is located at the bottom of the mountain range that Kuranda is on, right where the cablecar terminus is. I find it hard to believe that the writer somehow failed to notice this.